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Previewing the Colorado Buffaloes

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Is it Coach Macintyre’s last chance?

NCAA Football: Oregon at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks open up the conference slate with the Colorado Buffaloes. Last year, Oregon went to Boulder to pull out a closer than it should have been 41-24 victory with Taylor Alie at quarterback.

Quick facts:

League- Pac-12

2015 Record- 4-9 overall, 1-8 in league

2015 Points Per Game: 24.6

2015 Points Per Game Allowed: 27.5

Head Coach: Mike Macintyre, 4th year

Offensive Coordinator: Darrin Chiaverini 1st year, Brian Lindgren 4th year

Defensive Coordinator: Jim Leavitt, 2nd year

Trends:

Mike Macintyre’s job is certainly on the line come this time around as he has yet to have a winning season. Last year the 4-9 record was a brutal one with not much going right for the Buffaloes. This year, Colorado opens their season with in state rival Colorado State before hosting Idaho State. What works in Oregon’s benefit is that the Buffaloes won’t have much time to prepare or think ahead for the Ducks as they have a week three matchup in the Big House at Michigan.

Last year, the Ducks and Buffaloes played in a sloppy, rain and thunder delayed game in Boulder. It took a grinding it out effort from the Ducks with third string quarterback Taylor Alie to pull out the victory. Recruiting wise, Macintyre didn’t do much more to help strengthen his squad this season. The best player on the list was perhaps a full back that was ranked second in the country. This year without a doubt, Macintyre’s job is on the line and his team needs to respond.

Key players:

Sefo Liufau. #13, senior quarterback, 6’ 4”, 230 lbs.

After recovering from a foot injury, the dual-threat Liufau is set to return as the starting quarterback for Colorado. Liufau had a decent game last year against the Ducks, throwing for 231 yards on 25/42 passing with one touchdown and one interception.

Chidobe Awuzie, #4, senior defensive back, 6’ 0”, 205 lbs.

Not much stands out on the Buffaloes defense, but Awuzie is certainly the player that does. After his team high tackles for loss and coming in second for team tackles, he was named to the all conference second team last year for cornerback. The preseason honors have been rolling in as some publications have him as one of the best corners in all the conference.

Rick Gamboa #32, sophomore middle linebacker, 6' 0", 230 lbs.

One of the other bright spots on the otherwise poor defense last year was the freshman Gamboa. While replacing a player with an injury to start the season, Gamboa posted a team high in tackles to set the tone for the defense. Named on many of the pre season conference watch lists for linebacker, Gamboa will be a player to watch.

Phillip Lindsay, #23, junior running back, 5' 8", 190 lbs.

Only started in six of 13 games last season, but returns as the team’s leading rusher thanks to his 653 total yards. Oregon held him well last year, only allowing 37 yards on 12 carries. He is a threat to watch in the kick return game; in 2014 he put up 849 total kick return yards.

What to watch:

Liufau. Which quarterback shows up for the Buffaloes this season? In 2014 he put up 28 touchdowns to 15 interceptions however last year he put up 9 touchdowns to 6 interceptions. One improvement last year though was with his feet as he put up a career high 5 running touchdowns on 255 yards.