FACE to FACE: Buffaloes Bryce Bobo joins Mat Smith

It’s no secret that the Colorado Buffaloes (4-4, 1-4) have fallen short of expectations thus far in 2017. Inconsistencies have plagued the defending Pac-12 South champions and the team has suffered as a result. It seems that when the offense finds a rhythm, the defense falls apart, and vice versa. This has led to a .500 record and quite a bit of frustration.

Before the year, all eyes were on the Buffs’ passing attack led by a dynamic trio of senior wide receivers. Shay Fields, Devin Ross and Bryce Bobo returned to lead a position group ranked third in the country preseason by Athlon Sports. With the offensive line’s struggles in pass protection, inconsistent play from redshirt-sophomore quarterback Steven Montez and sheer dominance of senior tailback Phil Lindsay, Colorado’s vaunted passing attack has become second fiddle in an offense that was expected to be high flying.

Out of all of Colorado’s talented receivers, the one that has stuck out in 2017 is none other than redshirt-senior Bryce Bobo. He leads the ‘Blackout Boyz’ in receptions, yards, and touchdowns and seems to have come Montez’s go-to guy.  Bobo now ranks 10th in Colorado history with 130 career receptions and is 14th in receiving yardage with 1,396.

As the calendar flips to November in the coming week, Bobo has cemented himself as the Buffs lone consistent playmaker outside. He certainly has the hands and size that will draw the eyes of NFL scouts and potentially earn him a selection in the the 2018 NFL Draft. Scouts’ main criticism of Bobo is a lack of top end speed and a need to polish his route running. However, this season Bryce has grown his game and the numbers show it. As his chemistry with Montez has developed, the kid from Covina, California has become an elite possession receiver. The most recent example was in CU’s win against the Oregon State Beavers (1-6, 0-4). Bobo posted a career-high 126 yards receiving on nine receptions with two touchdowns, his first two-touchdown game since 2014.

After a disappointing first two-thirds of his senior campaign, Bobo acknowledges that going back to the proverbial ‘drawing board’ is become more and more repetitive as the weeks unfold. The Buffaloes’ next matchup is against California Golden Bears (4-4, 1-4) on Saturday, October 28th for Colorado’s annual Homecoming game.

There are just four games remaining this season, and two wins are still needed to qualify for bowl eligibility. The goal and focus of 2017 has unequivocally shifted to simply qualifying for a bowl game. It should be a familiar feeling for fans who weathered 10 years without a postseason appearance until 2016’s run to the Alamo Bowl. Bobo and the rest of the four and five year players have to lead the fight to salvage what’s left of their season before it’s too late.

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