BOULDER, Co. — The reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year is not having much success on the ground this fall and it has him questioning the direction of Colorado’s offense.
Jarek Broussard averaged 149.2 rushing yards per game in 2020, but this season he only has 256 on the ground through five games. Injuries, play-calling and sharing the workload with Alex Fontenot has contributed to the running back’s huge dip in production.
The Buffaloes have been abysmal on offense throughout their 2021 campaign. The unit ranks dead last in the Pac-12 and 129th in the FBS in total yards per game. Not to mention Colorado has only scored nine touchdowns all season. After the blowout loss at home to USC last Saturday, the Colorado players and staff were left scratching their heads.
There’s no denying the team needs to hit the reset button and evaluate every position on offense. Having the week off will definitely help the Buffaloes because the team is starting to lose hope in making it to a bowl game.
“I mean for the bye-week, the only thing we expect is to work,” Broussard said. “The only way you can turn stuff around is work.”
Instead of pointing fingers, the players have to start holding themselves accountable. Leaders need to emerge and set standards on what’s acceptable. Quarterback Brendon Lewis has yet to progress as a passer. In return that has put more pressure on Broussard and the rest of the Buffaloes’ backfield.
Lewis is still holding onto the ball too long in the pocket and taking unnecessary sacks. It’s no mystery Colorado is struggling mightily to throw the ball and the rest of the Pac-12 has taken notice. The offense can’t seem to find any rhythm or consistency and fans want better play-calling. Broussard knows changes have to be made in order to make any improvement.
“When you come out and you’re consistently getting three and outs and barely draining any time off the clock, it can be very frustrating,” he said. “All you can do is stick to the script and play hard.”
He still trusts the coaches will put the players in the right position to be successful, but Offensive Coordinator Darwin Chiaverini must do a better job at making adjustments, especially at halftime. Coach Karl Dorrell is already under fire for shoving a photographer’s camera while exiting Folsom Field last Saturday and the team currently has no momentum.
There’s a lot of questions that needs to be answered for Colorado (1-4) during the bye-week. The Buffaloes have no identity. However, there’s still a lot of football left to be played, with seven games remaining on the schedule. A winless Arizona team is up next for Colorado, and probably its’ best chance at ending the four-game skid and earning that first conference victory of the year.
It remains to be seen if everyone has bought into Dorrell’s vision at this point, and that includes players and staff. The Buffaloes need to take a deep look at themselves in the mirror during the time off. Figuring that out will be the first step towards the team establishing a foundation.
Broussard understands that the Buffaloes need to rally behind their embattled coach, and find some way to salvage their season.
“We just need guys that just want it.”