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Despite low expectations, CU football has high aspirations in 2021

The Buffs were picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 South preseason poll, but at media day on Tuesday head coach Karl Dorrell said the team is making progress.

LOS ANGELES — College football is back!

The Colorado Buffaloes have been picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 South preseason poll. Here are the results:

Credit: pac-12.com

Those results may have to do with who is going to play quarterback.

“It’s a two-man race between Brendon Lewis and J.T. Strout,” said CU head coach Karl Dorrell at Pac-12 media day in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Lewis was a freshman this past season. He played in one game, which happened to be in CU’s Valero Alamo Bowl loss to Texas. Lewis was 6-10 and threw for 95 yards. 

Strout transferred from Tennessee in December of 2020. He played in eight games, threw for five touchdowns and three interceptions, while completing 54% of his passes.

“We think they’re both very, very qualified, capable players. And both of those guys have great leadership qualities as well. All of our players offensively respond to both of them, in a positive way. It’s a great competition between those two," Dorrell said. 

The Buffs head coach noted that they’ll probably make a decision on a starter in the middle of training camp, but certainly not in the first couple of weeks.

Dorrell also pointed out that his wide receiver corps is young, but there is promise, saying CU will need to find consistent talent at the position. So does that mean we could expect more of a running game? 

Star running back Jarek Broussard, who won the Pac-12’s Offensive Player of the Year award last season, will now be joined by a healthy Alex Fontenot in the backfield. The junior missed all of 2020 with a hip injury.

“He [Broussard] doesn’t have to carry everything on his shoulders. Every run doesn’t have to be an eight to ten yard run. That’s something I’ve been in his ear about," Dorrell said. 

The Buffs took a positive step forward last season finishing above .500 for the first time since 2016. Dorrell sees bright things in the future for his program.

“Colorado is making those steps in progress. We want to be relevant and be in the championship discussion. We’re well on our way in going down that road," Dorrell said.

It is also noteworthy to point out that Dorrell said his star inside linebacker Nate Landman, who ruptured his right Achilles tendon against Utah on December 12, is "close to 100%." 

"We do anticipate him being 100% somewhere in the middle of training camp," Dorrell said. 

Landman offered an update of his own on the Pac-12 Network. 

“(My) Achilles is doing great. Rehab has been going great. Our training staff has been on top of it. I am feeling healthy and excited for a great season coming up," Landman said. 

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