November 10, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Connor Wood (5) throws down field against the Arizona Wildcats during the second half at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 Football Preview: South No. 6 Colorado Buffaloes

Editor’s note: With this, we begin our conference preview leading up to Fall Practice kicking off. The teams will be released in reverse order of predicted finish, starting with the South Division.

2012 record: 1-11 (1-8 Pac-12)

Key returnees: OL Gus Handler, RB Christian Powell, DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe, LB Derrik Webb

Key departures: TE Nick Kasa, LB Jon Major, DT Will Pericak, QB Jordan Webb (ACL tear)

Key additions: HC Mike MacIntyre, QB Sefo Liufau (Bellarmine Prep/Tacoma, Wash.), WR Devin Ross (Bishop Alemany HS/Mission Hills, Calif.)

2012 season recap:

The Buffs had low expectations in their second season in the Pac-12 and they weren’t even able to meet those. After a debut season that consisted of two conference wins, that number dropped to one – and that one was only achieved due to a classic case of “couging it.”

Things went from bad to worse after an 0-2 start turned into an 0-3 start when the Buffaloes were obliterated by the Fresno State Bulldogs, 69-14. They rebounded the next week, however, with a stunning comeback win over Washington State in Pullman. The closest they would come to a win after that was a 42-35 loss to Utah in the final week of the season, finishing 1-11.

2013 season preview: 

For the third straight season, expectations will be low. Possibly the biggest change in the program is the addition of head coach Mike MacIntyre from San Jose State. With him comes defensive coordinator Kent Baer. If the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because he was the Huskies defensive coordinator during the Tyrone Willingham era. MacIntyre was able to take the Spartans from a one-win team in 2010 to a 10-win team in 2012. He’ll face a similar task in Boulder.

The injury of starting quarterback Jordan Webb may hinder MacIntyre’s rebuilding efforts, at least this season. Webb threw for 1,434 yards last season, occasionally showing some real potential. Though since he would have been a senior this season, it may be better for MacIntyre to get a fresh start at QB right now. Expect true freshman (and Bellarmine Prep product) Sefo Liufau to get a long look, though Connor Wood is the expected starter.

With a first year head coach and first year starting quarterback, Colorado should rely heavily on its biggest strength, running back Christian Powell. He rushed for over 700 yards last season and could see that number increase significantly with a larger amount of carries.

Predicted finish: 2-10 (1-8 Pac-12), sixth in the Pac-12 South

 

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