Colorado Didn’t Get Better In 2019

Tully Corcoran

It feels like Mel Tucker has Colorado in the right track. Recruiting is going great. And after a rough middle of the season you could feel the team find a groove over the last few weeks.

But no matter how it feels, 2019 Colorado wasn’t any better than 2018 Colorado, and that has to be pointed out.

This team gave up more yards and more points than it did a year ago, while scoring less itself. CU was slightly more efficient on offense this year on a per-play basis but opponents got more than 6.5 yards per play against the Buffaloes, a jump of more than a yard over 2018.

From a certain angle, that’s a win for Tucker, who dealt with all the usual personnel changes that happen with a regime change. Some mid-season departures hurt as well, and probably cost the Buffaloes at least one win.

So there’s a way of looking at this that makes 2019 CU look better.

But this is sports, and as the great Bill Parcells said, “You are what your record says you are.”

And Colorado is 5-7 for the second year in a row.

This team goes down as a missed opportunity. With all the talented veterans on offense, veterans who have played together for a while, this should have been one of those years you build to, where it all comes together and you’re rewarded for sticking through the hard times.

That didn’t quite happen.

For one thing, Steven Montez never got much better in his college career. Statistically, his quarterback rating went down every year of his career. On a less quantifiable level, you never really got the impression he was the leader of the team.

Laviska Shenault entered the year as a Heisman candidate, but was banged up most of the time. He only looked like himself in brief moments.

The running game — a big focus for Tucker — improved a lot, going from 3.8 yards per attempt to 4.3, and you can tell from CU’s recruiting class that the running game is a big part of Tucker’s pitch.

Meanwhile, opponents gained almost an extra yard per attempt this year against CU 

There was a point where it looked like this season might totally unravel for the Buffaloes. To their credit, they didn’t let that happen.

But you can’t really say this team is any better than it was last season, so ...

Maybe next year.