If they were looking to start the 2022 season off on the right foot, the Colorado Buffaloes football team fell plenty short of that goal. A 38-13 blowout loss to Texas Christian University on Friday, Sept. 2, in Boulder left fans with more questions than answers.
After a 35-minute lightning delay, the long-awaited return of CU football was upon the crowd. The story of Friday night’s game is best summed up as this: growing pains.
Colorado entered the game as underdogs against TCU and their first half showed promise. Sophomore quarterback Brendon Lewis was named the game-time starter and looked the part for most of the first half. The offense was able to move the ball and got into the TCU red zone on multiple occasions, but could only muster six points on two field goals to show for it. On the other side of the ball, the Colorado defense was stout and forced multiple TCU punts.
Senior tight end Brady Russell said the missed opportunities to put touchdowns on the board should be looked at with optimism.
“It was more of a feeling of optimism,” Russell said. “Give TCU the credit, they were great. They are a good team but they were not as good as we made them. I think the first half showed what type of team we are; we just have to figure out how to finish.”
The first half also gave CU fans the long awaited debut of junior quarterback J.T. Shrout, who transferred to CU last year before suffering a season-ending leg injury. Shrout looked like the more consistent QB all game, but it was obvious there was a plan going into the game in terms of which QB would get what drives. Head coach Karl Dorrell touched on those plans in his postgame press conference.
“Our plan was to start the second half with Brendon and eventually J.T. was going to get in after that,” said Dorrell.
The second would prove to be rough for CU on both sides of the ball. After an efficient five play, a 75-yard drive to put TCU up 14-6, Lewis was sent back out on CU’s first offensive drive of the second half. From there, it would spiral from a winnable game to a blow out. CU was outscored 31-7 in the second half; the defense broke down and the offense never got into a rhythm.
Folsom Field quickly cleared out by the time CU finally put a touchdown on the board, which came from the hand of Shrout and not Lewis. During a game that could have been a great win to start the season, CU let too many opportunities slip through their fingers and inconsistencies on both sides of the ball plagued them all night, leading to a blow out loss.
Dorrell was mull when asked about the QB situation, and said that “[the team] will continue to work through it.”
He did not give any indication as to who would be starting under center next week against Air Force. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering a starting QB wasn’t announced until the starting lineups were released before the game.
Luckily for the Buffs, there’s still a whole season left of football as they look back to get back on track next Saturday. The team will travel to Colorado Springs to take on the Air Force Academy. Kick off is set for 1:30 p.m. MST and will be televised nationally on CBS.
Contact CU Independent Assistant Sports Editor Jason Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org.