We spent some time this week getting to know Yogi Roth and finding out what he thinks of the Buffs and Cowboys as he and they prepare for Saturday's game at Folsom Field.
Yogi will be spending some time on the premium board here this week answering your questions and sharing his observations on the team. You can also follow Yogi on Twitter at Twitter.com/YogiRoth.
Roth actually found a member of the Colorado team with whom he could relate this week in junior wide receiver Scotty McKnight. While he was an all-state cornerback, he wanted to play offense in college and chose to walk-on at Pitt. He sees a lot of similarities in his path and his approach to the game when he played to what McKnight now does for the Colorado offense.
"I was maybe not even as good as him, but I was that type of player," Roth said. "I could catch and play all the positions."
"My claim to fame is I'm the only guy to start in every video game in spring game and get beat out by a Biletnikoff Award winner," he said.
Roth played briefly as a pro in Australia with the Gold Coast Stingrays. He eventaully found his way back to the U.S. and landed a job with Fox to do sideline reporting.
And finally landed a job on Carroll's staff on the administrative side. That led to an assistant coaching job working with Steve Sarkisian coaching Trojan quarterbacks.
"I learned more football than I ever dreamed of," he said.
Now he has taken that knowledge back to the broadcasting world where he hopes to become a teacher of the game for those who watch the games he works. This week he's in Boulder and he's been watching film of the Buffs and Cowboys.
What stands out to you as the Buffs' most significant problems in these first two games?
"I think you have to look where it all starts and that's up front and the turnover battle. They have three players on the offensive line who have never really played. And that's hard. I don't care who you are. I don't care who you have on the outside. You have to protect."
You worked the Elite 11 camp this year and spent some time around Cody Hawkins. What were your impressions?
"I really like him. I know he's getting a lot of flack out there and that's the position, and I know that he knows that. But he can make the throws. He knows the game probably as well or better than probably a lot of guys working fulltime in college football. I mean, there is something to be said about bloodlines and understanding the game of college football."
What have you seen from Colorado's defense?
"You can tell defensively, their talent, experience and depth isn't really balancing itself out. And that's tough. They could be good outside at corner, but at safety they didn't play great last game in their angles. At backer, they're getting put in position to go against more athletic tight ends or receivers running down the seams on some plays. When you look at that defense right now, it's not as athletic as I'm sure they would like it to be. What happens is in games when things aren't going well, sometimes as a player you try doing your own thing. I don't know the intricacies behind it, but it looked like some guys weren't in some positions they needed to be. They're not huge up front, tey're not incredibly athletic in the backer positions and at safety and on the outside, they're pretty good."
Can you give us a scouting report on Wyoming?
"They're pretty good. They're going to spread you out. They run all the Missouri stuff, which I think is going to be good for Colorado because they have played that offense a few times. I think the quarterback is one of the more impressive guys I've talked to so far this season. (Robert) Benjamin is a JC kid, but he is a mature young man. He's gone through a lot in his life. He doesn't seem like he can get rattled very easily. He's very focused. JC guys are either one way or the other.
"I think when you look at what they do offensively, they take advantage of their personnel. They're not going to be in base personnel all day. They know their two wideouts, their tight end and their two guys in the backfield aren't really going to matchup as well as everybody else. So what they do is they spread you out. They put their running back in the slot. They try to create mismatches, dink and dunk you down the field and take their shots when they can.
"I think that's what that offense was meant to do. Don't get the quarterback sacked, keep him in the gun, get rid of the football and hopefully he's athletic enough to make a few plays with his legs. Before you know it, you get a safety sucked up or a backer sucked up and you get a seam."
"When you look at their defense, they're better than you would think. Up front, they're good. I think early in the season with a new coaching change, an energy is infused in these guys. A mentality is in these young man. They think they can play with anybody."
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