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The 2012 college football season has begun in Boulder, and the students are eagerly waiting with their Colorado Buffaloes tickets to enjoy the second season under the tutelage of Jon Embree. Embree had a difficult first year as head coach at Folsom Field and this season should be no less challenging. The CU Buffalo play in the Pac-12, one of the power conferences at the FBS level. His roster remains young, with freshman and sophomores starting in many key positions. Yet, despite the loss of playmaking receiver Paul Richardson’s season is over after he tore his ACL, there is cause for optimism.
It appears Colorado is likely to lean on its offensive line. This is by far the best unit on the football team. Four starters return from last season, including second-team All-conference left tackle David Bakhtiari. Sophomore running back Tony Jones is starting the season as the feature back, with experts expecting Josh Ford and Malcolm Greer to essentially split the position with the undersized runner. Jones, though lacking top end speed, is quick enough to take advantage of a solid left tackle and an experienced right side of the line. Jones is at least being given the chance to prove his critics wrong with the blessing of the coach.
Not too much is going to happen in the passing game. Connor Wood is penciled in as the starter, but he has hardly made it clear he is “the man”, giving sophomore Nick Hircschman hope of starting. They may have time behind the offensive line, but the remaining receivers are largely untested. Nelson Spruce is likely to emerge as the go-to option as neither Tyler McCulloch nor Keenan Canty did anything to indicate they are going to be causing any concern for the opposition.
The Buffalo defense did not rank well last season. However, the linebacker group returns all three starters and safety Ray Polk returns. This means the middle of the field is not quite as susceptible as it was last year. The inexperience on the defensive line, in which six freshman are going to be part of the rotation, and the cornerback position, with an, albeit, highly regarded, but still freshman being forced to start immediately mean there may be some issue containing the run and giving up big plays vertically, at least to start the 2012 season. Thus, the coach and fans are excited about the year ahead, but there is some understandable trepidation with regards to CU Buffalo football tickets.
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