The Colorado Buffaloes are halfway through their 2023 season under their new head coach Deion Sanders, the Hall of Fame cornerback and former NFL star. The Buffaloes have a 4-2 overall record and a 1-2 Pac-12 record, ranking eighth in the conference standings. They have shown some flashes of brilliance, but also some signs of inconsistency and inexperience. Here is a midseason review of the Buffaloes’ performance so far:
- The Buffaloes started the season with three consecutive wins, including a thrilling 45-42 victory over No. 17 TCU in their opener. They also beat their rivals Nebraska and Colorado State in convincing fashion, scoring 36 and 43 points respectively.
- The Buffaloes have one of the best passing offenses in the nation, averaging 337.2 yards per game, which ranks eighth in the FBS. They are led by freshman quarterback Shedeur Sanders, the son of Deion Sanders, who has thrown for 1,987 yards, 18 touchdowns and six interceptions so far. He has also shown his mobility and athleticism, rushing for 211 yards and three touchdowns.
- The Buffaloes have a talented and deep receiving corps, featuring senior Travis Hunter, junior Javon Antonio, sophomore Savion Washington and freshman Cameron Skattebo. Hunter is one of the best receivers in the country, with 47 catches for 783 yards and nine touchdowns. He has been out with a liver laceration since Week 3, but he could return soon. Antonio has been a reliable target for Shedeur Sanders, with 36 catches for 512 yards and four touchdowns. Washington and Skattebo have also contributed with big plays and touchdowns.
- The Buffaloes have an aggressive and opportunistic defense, which has forced 15 turnovers (nine interceptions and six fumbles) in six games. They are led by senior safety Shilo Sanders, another son of Deion Sanders, who has three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. They also have a strong pass rush, with senior linebacker Nate Landman leading the team with five sacks.
- The Buffaloes suffered two heartbreaking losses to No. 10 Oregon and No. 8 USC in consecutive weeks, losing by a combined score of 90-47. They were outplayed and outcoached by their Pac-12 rivals, who exposed their weaknesses on both sides of the ball.
- The Buffaloes have one of the worst rushing offenses in the nation, averaging only 78.7 yards per game, which ranks 129th in the FBS. They have struggled to establish a consistent running game, relying too much on Shedeur Sanders’ arm. Their leading rusher is sophomore Jarek Broussard, who has only 281 yards and two touchdowns on 82 carries.
- The Buffaloes have one of the worst passing defenses in the nation, allowing 302.5 yards per game, which ranks 129th in the FBS. They have been torched by some of the best quarterbacks in the country, such as Oregon’s Anthony Brown Jr., USC’s Kedon Slovis,, and Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels. They have also given up big plays and touchdowns to receivers like USC’s Drake London, Arizona State’s Elic Ayomanor, and Stanford’s Ashton Daniels.
- The Buffaloes have been plagued by penalties and mistakes, which have cost them points and momentum. They have committed 48 penalties for 431 yards in six games, which ranks among the worst in the nation. They have also had some costly turnovers, such as Shedeur Sanders’ interception in overtime against Stanford that led to their stunning loss.
The Buffaloes still have six games left in their regular season schedule, including four against ranked opponents (No. 18 UCLA, No. 15 Oregon State, No. 19 Washington State and No. 16 Utah). They will need to win at least three of them to become bowl-eligible and salvage their season.
The Buffaloes have shown some potential under Deion Sanders, but they also have a lot of room for improvement. They will need to find a balance between their passing and rushing offense, improve their pass defense, and limit their penalties and mistakes. They will also need to get healthy and regain their confidence after their recent losses.
The Buffaloes have a tough road ahead of them, but they also have a chance to prove themselves and make some noise in the Pac-12. They will need to play with passion, pride, and poise, and follow the lead of their charismatic and energetic head coach.