Matt Sparkman of Ralphie Report was kind enough to give us feedback on our spring game questions.
AC: Which unit performed the best and why?
MS: Wide Receivers
Paul Richardson showed that he is fully recovered from his torn ACL, totaling 169 yards off of five catches. Four other Buffs had over 40 receiving yards, including 52 yards from speedy freshman Jeff Thomas out of Dallas. Thomas and Richardson should provide the speed from the wide receiver position that the Buffs sorely missed in 2012.
AC: Who were the individual standouts?
QB Connor Wood
11-of-15 doesn’t do Wood’s accuracy justice. The junior out of Houston had a couple of his passes dropped. Wood wasn’t just dinking and dumping his way to 11 completions either, many of those completions came on long balls. Hopefully for Buffs fans, this spring game will provide Wood with the confidence to make a difference come fall.
WR Paul Richardson
It didn’t look like Richardson lost any speed after suffering a torn ACL in the final week of 2012 spring practice. Richardson’s speed and athleticism is simply at a different level than the CU secondary. Whenever he needed to, Richardson would turn on the jets, and zoom by whoever had the unenviable task of covering him. Richardson did provide the game’s scariest moment, when he chose to return a well-covered Darragh O’Neill punt, only to take a shot after a minimal return.
OLB Woodson Greer
However difficult it is for me to justify putting any member of the Colorado defense on this list, Greer made his presence known by stuffing the run and by recording a few highlight-reel hits. Greer should be a decent option at the Sam Linebacker position.
AC: Which position group has the most room for improvement?
MS: Defensive Secondary
Wood and Nick Hirschman, Colorado’s two top competitors for the starting quarterback spot, completed over 60 percent of their passes. But that number isn’t concerning in and of itself. What should send shivers down defensive coordinator Kent Baer’s spine is the fact that Colorado quarterbacks were able to spot absolutely unmarked receivers as far as 20 or 30 yards downfield. CU could be in for another historically bad year on defense.
AC: Which player(s) from 2012 will be missed the most?
MS: TE Nick Kasa
t’s tough to say who Colorado will miss the most, as they don’t lose anyone who is truly irreplaceable, but I’ll go with Kasa, just because it would have been intriguing to see him develop for another year at a relatively new position. Kasa, who moved from defensive end to tight end during his junior year, could be a late-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
AC: If you had to give a (way too early) evaluation of the team as compared to last season, would you say that it's going to be improved or maybe take a step backward?
MS: It would be difficult to imagine Colorado taking a step back from their 1-11 2012 campaign. With the return of Richardson, CU acquires a player with the type of speed that really scares defenses. Last year, on the rare occasion when the Buffs would move the ball downfield, it was a rather laborious process. Richardson should make life a little easier offensively. I’ll go out on a limb and say the Buffs will win three games in 2013.