How Will The Colorado Buffaloes Perform In 2021?

Colorado Buffaloes
Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Brendon Lewis. Photo Courtesy: Tim Warner-Getty Images

The University of Colorado Buffaloes begin their 2021 season in less than a week. In a truncated 2020 campaign, the CU Buffaloes went 4-1 with a loss to Texas in the Valero Alamo Bowl. In head coach Karl Dorrell’s first season in Boulder, he established a stability for the program and earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year. He laid the foundation for a return to competitive play for the Buffs. In Dorrell’s second year, they will have a good chance of clinching a second-straight bowl berth.

Brandon Lewis At The Helm For CU Buffaloes

The Colorado Buffaloes will be heading into their first game with a new quarterback. When they take the field on September 3 against the University of Northern Colorado Bears, true freshman Brandon Lewis will be under center. Prior to Lewis, senior Sam Noyer led the Buffs offense. In 20 games for the Buffs, Noyer threw six touchdowns and nine interceptions. Before taking over at quarterback, Noyer played safety during the 2019 season. In June, Noyer announced he was transferring to Oregon State for his senior year.

Brandon Lewis shows tremendous upside for head coach Karl Dorrell and his staff. In his only appearance last season, Lewis went 6-of-10 for 95 yards in the Alamo Bowl against Texas. He led the Buffaloes on their only two touchdown drives of the game. Despite the 55-23 defeat, Lewis looked like he belonged under center. This season, he has an opportunity to prove Dorrell and his staff made the right choice in naming him the starter.

The Colorado Buffaloes Can Make Noise In Pac-12

Since beginning play in the Pac-12 in 2012, the Colorado Buffaloes have yet to win a conference title. With the Buffs projected to finish near the bottom of the Pac-12 South, the team has a chip on their shoulder. In 10 years as a member of the Pac-12, the Buffs have only posted two winning seasons. In 2016 under former head coach Mike MacIntyre, CU went 10-4 with an 8-1 conference record. The Buffs won their first division title and recorded just their second winning season since 2005.

In 2021, the Buffs have a chance to build on the success they had last season. Despite adding some new faces such as linebackers Robert Barnes and Jack Lamb, the defense has potential to be strong. With inside linebacker Nate Landman back for his senior year in the black and gold, no opposing quarterback is safe. Landman led the Buffs with five sacks and 61 total tackles before tearing his Achilles’ tendon during the final game of the season. If he can have an injury-free year, Landman and the Buffaloes have the ability to accomplish great things.

2021 Outlook

The Colorado Buffaloes look to start off the new season on the right foot. The first game against the Bears is right around the corner. The Buffs then travel to Denver, Colorado to host sixth-ranked Texas A&M. The Aggies are coming off a 9-1 season in 2020. They concluded the season with a 41-27 victory over North Carolina in the Capital One Orange Bowl. In fact, three of the first five games for the Buffs will be against ranked opponents. Currently, CU is only favored in their first game of the season.

The 2021 season promises to be a year of growth for the Buffs. With a new quarterback in Lewis and a relatively young defense, CU will have their ups and downs this year. It is up to Dorrell and the rest of the coaching staff to have the Buffs playing their best when Pac-12 play begins in late September.

Final Thoughts

Karl Dorrell and the Colorado Buffaloes have a lot to play for this season. Not only is a conference championship up for grabs, but year two of the Dorrell-era could prove to be a make-it or break-it year.

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