March 2, 2024

Window of bowl eligibility closing fast for Coach Prime’s Buffaloes

Colorado Buffaloes Football

Colorado's Coach Prime discusses a previous play with quarterback Shedeur Sanders during a timeout in the second quarter against USC Saturday September 30, 2023 at Folsom Field. (Lynn Harrington/stayaliveinpower5)

BOULDER, Colo. — The Buffaloes have six losses so far in Coach Prime’s first season, and one more will eliminate them from bowl contention, so there’s no denying the urgency.

Coach Prime’s back is against the wall as Colorado travels on the road to face Washington State under the Friday night lights. The Buffaloes have no margin for error, and Coach Prime understands what’s at stake. After winning four of its’ first six contests, Colorado is reeling, and on a four-game losing streak.

Despite the circumstances, Coach Prime believes his team is weathering through the storm, and he’s confident in the direction the Buffaloes are going.

“The process is taking place tremendously, the offensive line is tightening up, the offense is moving the ball consistently, we’re controlling the clock, which is phenomenal,” Coach Prime said. “It’s progress, we just can’t seem to make that play when we have to make that play.”

He wants his team to deliver in the clutch moments, but that’s easier said than done. The Buffaloes have suffered losses in numerous ways on the gridiron this fall. From the blowout at Oregon, to the epic collapse against Stanford, and last week’s overtime loss to Arizona, Colorado has been through it all.

The Hall of Famer believes it all comes down to the small aspects of the game, such as a tackling, blocking, catching the ball and creating turnovers. Regardless of the opponent, the Buffaloes continue to show that they’re a scrappy bunch, and that’s what Coach Prime admires.

“The thing I love most about this team is they do not give up, ain’t no quit in them, they fight to the end of every darn game, and I love that about them,” he said.

Coach Prime wants to make it up to his seniors on the roster, for not sending them off on a high note against the Wildcats. Colorado fans are hoping Coach Prime has a great game plan for Washington State. After all, the Cougars are on a downward spiral, and riding a six-game losing streak.

Coach Prime knows all about Washington State’s style of play, and its’ quarterback Cameron Ward. He’s a lot like Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders with his arm and mobility. With two high-caliber gunslingers, the game has the recipe for an offensive shootout, and the Buffaloes have to be ready.

“They’re similar to us, statistically and physically, they really are when you look at what they’re capable of doing,” the 56-year old coach said. “Certainly he (Ward) is a a phenomenal passer, they have some phenomenal receivers, we got to effect their protection, get the ball out of his hands, make him fumble and do things to force turnovers, as well as score on offense.”

Practice has been intense this week for Colorado (4-6), considering there’s no margin for error. The Buffaloes are focusing on the glaring weaknesses, which is blocking and tackling. Both teams have identical records, and want to reach postseason glory, so something has to give.

Bowl eligibility is how the naysayers are going to determine if Coach Prime’s campaign is a success or failure. However, he knows it’s deeper than just wins and losses. Recruiting, and laying down the foundation for the near future is a huge part. At the end of the day, Coach Prime is still taking it one game at a time, and he anticipates his squad will be up for the challenge.

“Our kids do not quit, one thing they’re going to do, they’re going to give you a great game, we fight to the end.”