Last season: 8-5 overall (4-4 Big 12). Mason Crosby's four field goals – including a 60 yarder and a 54 yarder – pushed the
Key Returners – The Buffaloes will return 50 letterwinners (22 offense, 23 defense, 5 specialists); including 19 starters.
Signal-caller Joel Klatt will try
take over all of
"I would say offensively one of the biggest things that we have to get better at is, especially from my standpoint is our efficiency in the passing game," Klatt said. "We really worked on that this spring. Coach Barnett put a strong emphasis on throwing the ball."
Tight end will also be strength for the Buffaloes with the return of Joe Klopfenstein, who caught 33 passes for 418 yards and five touchdowns last season. The 6-foot-6, 245-pounder was a second team all-Big 12 selection by the league's coaches a season ago.
Gone to graduation is Bobby Purify
"I think the only area that doesn't have a great deal of experience is the running back spot and we have two returning sophomores, as well as a senior back there, so we have got some guys that played a little bit," Barnett said. "We were young last year. I think we have just gotten a little bit older and better at most positions."
Barnett said Vickers has gotten down to the 225-230 pound range so he can be utilized at the running back position if the younger players don't step up.
"I want to give those two or three
young guys a chance to prove they are tailbacks," Barnett said. "We are a better
team when we have a legitimate tailback and
With the loss of veteran
"As far as tight ends and receivers, we have been working this off-season catching a lot more balls and just concentrating on eliminating that number, which is way too high," said tight end Klopfenstein.
As the season wore on, former walk-on Evan Judge emerged as a threat at wide receiver, leading the team in receiving with 29 catches for 336 yards and three touchdowns. Also blooming late in the season was Blake Mackey who averaged a team-high 16 yards per catch. The Buffalos brought in junior college transfer Alvin Barnett for reinforcement.
"One of the things that we did that I think is going to be a very big advantage for us is the wide receivers now meet with the quarterbacks in meetings," Klatt said. "We are able to be on the same page much more than we were in years past."
Last season was a transition year
"As far as defensively, I think that we, as a defense, we need to focus more on preparing and knowing our opponent, and third-down plays," said Brian Iwuh. "I think that if we were prepared and know our opponent better, we would be prepared to make plays and make third-down stops and get the defense out of the field."
During the spring the CU coaches moved James Garee from end inside to tackle with the hopes that the pass rushing skills of Alex Ligon and Abraham Wright will put the heat on opposing quarterbacks. A year ago the Buffaloes had 31 quarterback sacks.
Linebacker will be the biggest
At outside linebacker Iwuh was the Buffaloes team leader with 98 stops and a team-high 14 tackles for losses.
A first-team all-Big 12
place-kicker in 2004,
Entering the 2005 season, Torp will be the NCAA's leading active punter with a 44.62 yard average. Last year 80 of 159 opponents drives began at or inside the 20 yard line.
winning the Big 12 North last year