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Colorado Fires Karl Dorrell; Cal Will Face New Coach Oct. 15

Mike Sanford will be Buffaloes head coach when they face the Golden Bears after both teams have byes this week.
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Cal will be facing a team with a new head coach when the Bears play their next game against Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.

Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell was fired on Sunday. Offensive coordinator Mike Sanford will serve as interim coach, and he will be the Buffaloes’ head coach for Colorado’s home game against Cal (3-2) on Oct. 15. Colorado and Cal, which is coming off a 28-9 loss to Washington State, both have byes this coming weekend before facing each other the following week. Sanford served as head coach at Western Kentucky for two seasons, finishing with a 9-16 record.

Colorado defensive coordinator Chris Wilson was also fired. The Buffaloes are 0-5 and have given up at least 38 points in each of their five games and more than 40 in each of the last four contests. They rank 129th of 131 teams in scoring defense, allowing 43.2 points per game. Colorado yielded 673 yards of offense on Saturday in the 43-20 loss to Arizona, a team Cal beat 49-31 last week. The Buffaloes also rank 129th in the nation in total defense, allowing 507.6 yards per game.

"This place can be and will be a football powerhouse," said Colorado athletic director Rick George, who had hired Dorrell on Feb. 23, 2020, 11 days after Mel Tucker left Colorado abruptly to become Michigan State’s head coach. “We will find a leader that will get us back to prominence. I'm energized about going out to find that individual."

Dorrell was named Pac-12 coach of the year in his first season as Colorado’s head coach in 2020, when the Buffaloes went 4-2 in the shortened, pandemic season. They went 4-8 last year, and have lost all five of their games this season by at least 23 points. They have started true freshman Owen McCown at quarterback the past two games, and he is expected to be the Buffaloes starter against Cal in two weeks. He has completed 61.2% of his passes with one touchdown and one interception.

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Dorrell is the second Pac-12 head coach to be dismissed during the 2022 season. Arizona State fired Herm Edwards two weeks ago.


Cover photo of Karl Dorrell by Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports


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