Spring football came to a close on Saturday as the Buffs hosted their annual spring football game for a crowd of 7,150 at Folsom Field in Boulder.
Each year, the spring game serves two purposes: it allows for the public to get a glimpse of what is to come, and it lets the coaches see who is ready and willing to step into the lights and perform.
Two Buffs in particular stood out.
Sophomore quarterback Connor Wood went 7-10 with 137 yards and two touchdowns in an attempt to solidify himself as starting quarterback. Junior tailback Josh Ford also put on a show, rushing for 141 in only 8 attempts and topping it off with two touchdowns. With Ford’s performance, he may be all set to pick up where Speedy left off, filling in a crucial role on an offense that relies on the run.
The Buffs’ performance on Saturday showed potential for a strong upcoming season — as long as they can stay healthy.
Last season served as junior wide receiver Paul Richardson’s breakout season. He garnered much attention after a spectacular game against the University of California, where he broke several school records. Richardson was able to overcome a knee injury which sidelined him for several games last year, but it seems bad luck has caught up to him.
During a spring practice, Richardson’s knee gave way, and for anyone who has ever witnessed such an injury in person, it doesn’t look all that terrible. Lo and behold, Richardson tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which all but guarantees he is out for the season.
On an already banged and bruised-up roster, this couldn’t be a bigger blow to the team’s hopes.
“Obviously, it’s a blow to our team, but it’s a part of the game,” said CU head coach Jon Embree.
Of course, Embree isn’t too discouraged.
“It’s an opportunity for others to step up and try to lessen his loss,” Embree said. “I thought at first he just rolled his ankle, and it turned out to be this. It’s a shame because he’s worked real hard and was doing a great job both on and off the field, leading by example and improving on all the things he needed to work on.”
Embree is right. With Richardson out, the spring season is an ample time for some unknown deep in the roster to step up and make a name for himself. And there was no better stage for that name-making than the spring football game.
Junior Jarrod Darden stepped up on Saturday, hauling in two catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Justin Gorman added another six with his own 12-yard run.
The coaching staff was hoping to make some headway today in seeing who may be the one starting behind the center come the start of the season. As it stands, it is uncertain who will take on that role on starting day.
The Buffaloes are eager to kick off their second season in the Pac-12 Conference with Embree. Last season the Buffs finished with a dismal 3-10 record, meeting the reasonably low expectations set forth for the team. Now that Embree and company know what’s to come, expect to see major improvements over last season.
The season kicks off in a few months, so the team has plenty of time to iron out all the kinks.
Statistics courtesy of the CU Sports Information Department.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Shay Knolle at Shay.firstname.lastname@example.org.