FACE to FACE: Buffaloes Jeromy Irwin joins Mat Smith

The Colorado Buffaloes (3-2, 0-2) are coming off a big loss on the road to the UCLA Bruins (3-2, 1-1), 27-23. It was another step forward for a program that stopped counting moral victories a few years ago, so results matter. CU had plenty of chances to win the game but once again, execution errors derailed the Buffs en route to victory. The defending Pac-12 South champs have now dropped two in a row and now sit at the bottom of their division.

Colorado has plenty to take away from Saturday night’s affair, including the debut of their five starters all together along the offensive line. The unit that we thought we would see before the season began but was delayed due to injury and suspension, played. They weren’t perfect but gave the Buffs enough chances to win.

Redshirt-senior Jeromy Irwin at left tackle (team suspension first two games of season). Redshirt-senior Gerrad Kough at left guard (started all five games at left guard). Redshirt-senior Jonathan Huckins at center (missed Northern Colorado game due to injury). Redshirt-sophomore Tim Lynott at right guard (two games at center with Huckins injured). Redshirt-sophomore Aaron Haigler at right tackle (played two games at right guard with Huckins injured).

The issue was that UCLA’s defense, who came into the game ranked 124th in the NCAA in total defense, was able to put a beating on Colorado’s redshirt-sophomore quarterback Steven Montez. Despite gashing the Bruins on the ground for nearly 150 yards, CU’s offense ultimately couldn’t make enough plays to get their first conference win of the year. In no small part due to the fact that Montez was under heavy duress from the Bruins pass rushers all night.

It was just the offensive line’s first game all on the field in the positions they were supposed to be in. However, Colorado is already preparing for week six of the college football season. With a two game losing streak, the margin for error has become much, much smaller as matchups with the Arizona Wildcats (2-2, 0-1) and Oregon State Beavers (1-4, 0-2) loom around the corner in the month of October. The Buffs don’t have the luxury of time on their side, but they do have the veterans and playmakers on offense necessary to turn things around. At this point, it has to be their saving grace.

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