Analyst shares what Shedeur Sanders needs for Colorado football to make big jump

Sep 16, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) hands off
Sep 16, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) hands off / Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

For Colorado football to make a big jump in 2024, BuffZone's Brian Howell believes Shedeur Sanders needs several things; two of which he needs to improve upon himself.

"Hard to complain too much about what Sanders did in his first season in Boulder," Howell prefaced before saying, "He set CU’s single-season passing record (3,230 yards), was one shy of the passing touchdowns record (27) and threw just three interceptions while completing 69.3% of his passes. Behind every great team, however, is a great quarterback and Sanders would likely be the first to say he has to be better. First and foremost is avoiding sacks (which is why CU overhauled the line), but if he’s healthy and upright, look for his numbers to take a big jump – which helps CU take a big jump."

Now, being healthy and upright does depend a great deal on the offensive line's improvement -- which should go well considering the Buffs' signing of Jordan Seaton to their 2024 recruiting class and the transfer portal haul from the likes of Houston, UConn, Indiana, and UTEP -- but the "Grown QB" could certainly do more to avoid pressures and either throw the ball away or take off running from the pocket.

There was a third thing, though, that Howell listed as a need for Sanders and the offense out of the backfield.

Colorado football needs Dylan Edwards' stats to 'at least double'

Another thing Howell called for from the Buffs was running back Dylan Edwards seeing his stats "at least double" during his second year in Boulder.

"Expectations went through the roof when he scored four touchdowns in his first-ever college game last September at TCU," Howell prefaced before saying, "He scored just one more touchdown, and that didn’t come until the last game. Still, Edwards put up good numbers for a true freshman, leading the team with 321 rushing yards while catching 36 passes for 299 yards. Edwards might be the most talented in a good group of running backs and the Buffs need his numbers to at least double."

Of course, Edwards' production is also tied back to whether or not the offensive line can improve with the new personnel. But he too is not without fault. Edwards' decision-making can improve as well, and almost certainly will with another offseason -- and a more concise NFL-style offense from new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.