Colorado Football: Offense must improve passing game in 2022

Make no mistake about it, the Colorado Buffaloes aerial attack was simply nonexistent throughout most of the 2021 season. Part of it was on the quarterback play, part of it was on the offensive line and part of it was on the game plan.

So what gives?

Colorado hit the reset button by letting go of offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini and hiring former University of Minnesota offensive coordinator Mike Sanford.

Sanford set the tone back in February on what the offense will look like identity wise.

“There is going to be an identity of physicality,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that we are only going to run the football. Physicality exists in the throwing game as well. We’re going to make sure that we have an identity as a program that we want to build a bully here; a bully on the field, a bully in the weight room. When we’re off the field, we’re gonna be gentlemen, obviously, but on the field we want to be a bully.”

Colorado has some work to do.

The team ranked 121st out of 130 schools last season in terms of scoring.

Spoiler alert. That’s not good.

Colorado quarterback Brendon Lewis, who showed some promising signs late in the season, was sacked 31 times and ranked in the bottom 20 of qualified quarterbacks with a 118.8 rating.

Lewis passed for 1,540 yards while throwing for 10 touchdowns and just three interceptions. His quarterback rating (QBR) was 43.0 which ranked 99th in the nation.

It was a frustrating season for the Buffs as they saw numerous players from the offensive side of the ball transfer, such as wide receivers La’Vontae Shenault, Keith Miller, Chris Carpenter, Dmitri Stanley and Brenden Rice.

Halfbacks Jarek Broussard and Ashaad Clayton were also among players transferring out.

As for head coach Karl Dorrell, it’s going to be another transition period in year three of his tenure in Boulder. Colorado did get some reinforcements from the transfer portal such as wide receiver R.J. Sneed (Baylor) and running back Ramon Jefferson (Sam Houston State).

With J.T. Shrout returning after missing the entire 2021 season due to a knee injury, Colorado still has to decide on who will be quarterbacking the program this fall.

One thing is for certain — the passing game has to improve.

The offensive line will have to do a better job protecting their quarterback, but scoring just ten touchdowns through the air isn’t going to win you many games.

The Buffs averaged just 131.3 yards per game through the air last season which was fifth worst in all of college football.

Personally, I would like to see them incorporate a little more play action especially if Lewis is under center. Use his wheels to their advantage and take shots when needed. There’s no reason that offense should have been as bad as they were statistically last season.

When you have dynamic playmakers such as Daniel Arias, Brady Russell and R.J. Sneed, you need to be able to get them the ball in space and see what they can do. Give them a chance if you will.

The Colorado Buffaloes football team opens up their 2022 season on September 2nd at home against the TCU Horned Frogs.