Coach: Gary Barnett
20-16-0, 3 years
2001 Record: 10-3
Colorado State @Denver WON 41-14

WON 51-15

at Kansas State WON 16-6
at Texas LOST 7-41
at Oklahoma State WON 22-19
at Iowa State WON 40-27
Texas @Irving, TX WON 39-37
Oregon LOST 16-38

2001 Final Rankings
AP-9, Coaches-9, BCS-3

Chris Brown and a bevy of running backs will lead the Buffalo charge once again in 2002.
2002 Outlook

By the looks of things, Colorado has made a statement that they are the team to beat in the Big 12 North Division. Anything less then a return trip to the Conference Championship Game in Houston would be a big disappointment. The Buffs were on fire as they closed out the 2001 campaign. The running game started clicking so unbelievably well that the results were phenomenal. If there is a finer set of running backs in the nation, we want to see them. The holes opened by the offensive line were large enough to run mascot Ralphie through. The first part of that equation, the running backs, all are returning. The second part of that equation, the offensive line, has a few of holes to fill. The NFL draft took a toll on many of the star players, but there are still plenty of bodies to go around. If the Buffaloes are going to find repeat business on the victory bus, the receivers will need to step up and Ochs needs to continue improving.

Projected 2002 record: 11-3

Strong safety Omar Stewart tore a knee ligament in the spring game and will be out of action for four to six months. The Buffaloes were hindered as five offensive linemen missed spring practice, including several players who should contend for starting spots next season. Also sidelined this spring were tailback Bobby Purify and cornerback Donald Strickland, both of whom should be ready to go by the start of preseason camp.
QB - 3.5 DL - 3
RB - 5 LB - 3.5
WR - 2.5 DB - 3
OL - 4 ..
Passing: Craig Ochs, 99-166-4, 1220 Yards, 8 TD's

Rushing: Chris Brown, 190 att., 946 yds., 16 TD's

Receiving: Derek McCoy, 30 rec., 512 yds., 2 TD's

Scoring: Chris Brown, 16 TD's, 26 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: Pat Brougham, 1-2 FG, 1-2 PAT, 4 pts.

Tackles: Donald Strickland, 78 tot., 53 solo

Sacks: Tyler Brayton, 4.5 sacks

Interceptions: Donald Strickland, 2 for 32 yds.

Kickoff returns: Roderick Sneed, 3 ret., 18.7 avg.

Punt returns: none

OFFENSE: Bobby Pesavento-QB, Cortlen Johnson-TB, John Minardi-WR, Cedric Cormier-WR, Matt Brunson-WR, Roman Hollowell-WR/KR, Daniel Graham-TE, Andre Gurode-OG, Victor Rogers-OT, Jeremy Flores-K
DEFENSE: Justin Bannan-DT, Jashon Sykes-ILB, Michael Lewis-SS, Robbie Robinson-FS

By: University of Colorado, Official Athletic Site

A year ago, CU was fortunate to have the kind of depth at quarterback that when injury hit, the Buffs didn’t miss a beat. And a year later, junior Craig Ochs returns not only with more experience under his belt, but also with the knowledge gained from of watching the graduated Bobby Pesavento run the ship while a nasty ankle injury healed. Ochs passed for 1,220 yards and seven touchdowns in seven starts in 2001, and he also proved dangerous on the ground as he rushed for 70 yards four carries in a win at Kansas State. When healthy, he’s one of the best in the Big 12 if not the nation. There’s solid depth again this year, as a pair of capable seniors, Robert Hodge and Zac Colvin, will back up Ochs. Hodge saw only some mop-up duty last fall, but displayed his versatility as a member of the punt team. Colvin led the Buffs to a win at Iowa State in 1999 and started the first two games of the 2000 season, bringing some experience to the table as well. He briefly switched to receiver in 2001, but shifted to scout team quarterback when he was ineligible to play due to academics. Sophomore walk-on Adam Drill, who has good size at 6-4, rounds out the signal caller list for the spring. The quartet will be joined in the fall by incoming freshman James Cox.

Running Back It was “tailback by committee” in Eric Bieniemy’s first year as CU’s running backs coach, and the results were about as good as it gets. The Buffs finished eighth in the nation in rushing, averaging 228.5 yards per game, led by the “threeheaded monster” of Cortlen Johnson (graduated) and then-sophomores Chris Brown and Bobby Purify. The trio combined for 2,429 yards, the third most yards any three players produced for their team in the country, and the most for any NCAA Division I-A team by three players listed as running and/or fullbacks. Brown, the bruiser, became a household name across the country when he scored six touchdowns in CU’s 62-36 win over Nebraska and came right back with three more a week later in the Buffs’ Big 12 championship game win over Texas. Purify had big games against Colorado State (191 yards) and Nebraska (154) and was the slasher, zooming through openings and finding daylight quickly. Now fast-forward to 2002, and the Buffs should be in for more of the same, as sophomore Marcus Houston is healthy and figures to return to the form he displayed as a freshman before suffering a torn hip flexor muscle. Houston, who missed the first portion of last year due to a torn adductor (groin) muscle, is the kind of back who gives you the “home run” threat every time he touches the ball. Thus the Brown-Purify-Houston trio is more than capable of reaching or exceeding last year’s totals. And it gets better in the fall, when heralded freshmen Brian Calhoun and Lawrence Vickers will join the fold. Fullback Senior Brandon Drumm returns, and he was arguably the nation’s top fullback a year ago. Want proof? He was a favorite for isolation coverage by the ABC cameras late in the season and had 74 dominant blocks helping to pave the way for big yardage by the tailbacks. There is no experienced depth at the position, but J.P. diZerega moved to the position for spring ball (from linebacker) and has the kind of size to make a definite impact.

Offensive Line At first glance, it might seem impossible to replace the right side of the line, as it featured two All- Americans in guard Andre Gurode and tight end Daniel Graham with first-team All-Big 12 tackle Victor Rogers sandwiched in the middle. Well, as Rocco muttered in Godfather II, “Difficult, but not impossible,” the Buffs do return a solid group and hopes of matching what was accomplished in 2001. The anchors now are on the other side, starting with senior center Wayne Lucier, who according to the coaches played as well as the guys to his right who earned all the accolades. Senior tackle Justin Bates graded out the highest of all the starters a year ago, with guard Marwan Hage second only to Gurode in dominant blocks, so obviously the cupboard isn’t bare. Any of those three could emerge for serious postseason honor consideration. Seniors Rawle King (tackle) and Josh Foster (guard) open the spring listed first-team on the tight side, with junior guard Karl Allis, frosh redshirt tackles Gary Moore and Clint O’Neal and freshman guard Mark Fenton likely to be moved around to see what they can do. Sophomore Derek Stemrich will back up Lucier at center. Four players will miss spring drills as they recover from assorted surgeries, all guys who figure to battle for two-deep positions, if not starting slots: guards Drew Shader and Gabe Oderberg, center Ryan Gray, and junior college transfer Clint Werth, a JUCO All-American. Walk-on guards Justin Legary and T.J. Dlubac will get plenty of reps with the four players out and also will get a chance to prove something. Five freshmen will join the fold in the fall.

Receiver On paper, thanks to a couple of highly thought of transfers, this could be CU’s most improved position, and it’s also the one that will have the most different look. CU’s six main receivers last fall had an average size of 5-11 and 180 pounds; the eight figuring to get the most work in the spring check in at 6-2, 195. Junior Derek McCoy emerged as a go-to guy with a knack for the big play in 2001, hauling in 30 passes for 512 yards and two scores, averaging a gaudy 17.1 yards per catch. But depth has to be developed here, as the combined total of receptions by all other returnees at receiver totals just one, that coming from junior John Donahoe, who will line up first-team at the “X” spot to start the spring. Transfers Ron Monteilh (Oregon State) and D.J. Hackett (Cal State-Northridge) have turned heads and will help replace seniors John Minardi and Roman Hollowell. Battling this spring for depth chart supremacy will be 11 players in all, ranging from senior Jason Burianek, junior Marcus Moore and sophomore Travis Bomgardner to frosh redshirts Daric Wilhite, Evan Judge and Josh Duran. Returning to the team is walk-on Dan Gonzales, who was a member of the ’99 team who spent the last two years honing his skills at Scottsdale Community College. Another redshirt freshman, Tom Hubbard, has moved from quarterback to receiver, but he’ll miss spring with a severe knee sprain. Three heralded high school seniors will join the dozen come fall, so the competition will continue well into August.

Tight End The Buffs have to the nation’s premier tight end, Daniel Graham, a unanimous All-American who won the John Mackey Award. Junior Quinn Sypniewski, who has started a few games when the Buffs have opened in a two-tight end set, and senior Beau Williams will duke it out in the spring to see if one of them can help fill the void left by Graham, who had wide receiver skills in a body that could block with the best of them. Sophomore Jesse Wallace will get a lot of reps and a chance to prove what he can do, with junior Jake Jones a solid backup who has emerged as an excellent deep snapper on CU’s special teams.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Craig Ochs-Jr Robert Hodge-Sr
FB Brandon Drumm-Sr Bobby Purify-Jr (TB)
TB Chris Brown-Jr Marcus Houston-So
WR John Donahoe-Jr Marcus Moore-Jr
WR Derek McCoy-Jr D.J. Hackett-Jr
TE Quinn Sypniewski-Jr Beau Williams-Sr
OT Justin Bates-Sr Clint O'Neal-Fr
OG Marwan Hage-Jr Mark Fenton-Fr
C Wayne Lucier-Sr Derek Stemrich-So
OG Josh Foster-Sr Karl Allis-Jr
OT Rawle King-Sr Gary Moore-Fr
K Pat Brougham-Sr ..



By: University of Colorado, Official Athletic Site

Defensive Front The Buffs have a chance to be exceptionally good up front, with a good sprinkling of veterans and newcomers set to give CU its best front four in Barnett's tenure. Senior defensive end Tyler Brayton is the anchor, as he enjoyed a breakout season in 2001. He'll be joined on the other side by a pair of all-star JUCO performers, senior Dylan Bird, who had to sit out last fall due to problems with his transfer, and junior Gabe Nyenhuis, who has already received raves from the coaching staff. And backing up Brayton to learn the ropes is redshirt frosh James Garee, who won CU's Lee Willard Award as the team's most outstanding freshman, rarely awarded to a player who sits out. Garee excelled on scout teams a year ago. Frosh redshirt walk-on Nick Clement is the only other end on the roster for the spring, with junior Matt McChesney and sophomore Sam Wilder out until fall as they serve University suspensions. At the tackle position, junior DeAndre Fluellen and sophomore Brandon Dabdoub both started games in 2001, and one will have to replace three-plus year starter Justin Bannan. Redshirt frosh Vaka Manupuna learned and matured as a true frosh and will battle for time on the first unit as well. Junior Vince Mitchell is the only other scholarship DT on the roster and will get plenty of reps to prove himself. Two walk-ons, junior Ryan Magrum, who has overcome a disabling shin injury, and sophomore Geoff Whitaker round out the depth at the position.

Inside Linebacker This position takes on an interesting look, at least for the spring. It's anchored by junior Sean Tufts, a likely Butkus Award candidate and the latest in an impressive line of Colorado ILB's. That run started with Barry Remington in the mid-1980s (the school's all-time leading tackler), and includes Greg Biekert, Ted Johnson, Matt Russell (the '96 Butkus winner) and Jashon Sykes. Along side of Tufts will be senior Drew Wahlroos, who comes over from outside linebacker where he has performed his entire Buff career. No backup at the position during the spring has a single college rep; the most intriguing is freshman signee Andrew Ward enrolled for the spring semester after graduating high school in December. Three walk-ons are the only other healthy players at the position, senior Zach Griffith and redshirt freshmen Grant Grubich and Justin Ness. Senior Aaron Killion, whose interception and ensuing 73-yard return started the Buffs on a roll in the Big 12 championship game against Texas, will return in the fall; he's out for the spring recovering from shoulder and knee surgeries. Junior Dryden Dunsmore will also be in the fold, as he too misses the spring while undergoing rehab following shoulder surgery.

Outside Linebacker With Wahlroos shifting inside, the OLB slot received senior Joey Johnson in return. He came into his own last fall after replacing an injured Jashon Sykes for the last nine games of the season. Senior Kory Mossoni, a costarter in 2000 and who forced a key fumble to help preserve CU's win over Texas A&M last year, has overcome a troublesome back injury and will engage in a battle for playing time. But also coming over for the spring in an experimental move is former defensive end, junior Marques Harris. Depending on the success of that move, the coaches could have a lot of options available to them. Junior Chad Gardner, suspended from the University for the spring, is expected back in the fall. Four freshman linebackers will also report in August, and it is yet to be decided how many will play inside and outside.

Secondary The one position on the team that needs the most shoring up, as the Buffs lose their starting safeties-the duo of Michael Lewis and Robbie Robinson started 62 career games between them. And in the spring, CU also won't have the full services of senior corner Donald Strickland, who is limited following shoulder surgery. The Buffs do have a few veteran defensive backs in the fray, however, led by senior Roderick Sneed, who started the bulk of last season at right cornerback but will shift to strong safety. Junior Phil Jackson, who was replaced by Sneed after suffering a couple of broken fingers, is also back, as is junior Medford Moorer, who had a big interception return for a touchdown in CU's Big 12 title game win over Texas. The only other two lettermen in the secondary for the spring earned their letters on offense at wide receiver, juniors Corey Alexander and Barry Kunkel, both of who are penciled in at free safety. Senior Omar Stewart is the other safety on the roster, as he is converted corner who saw some special teams action while learning his new position last fall. As for the corner spot, it's basically up for grabs between seniors Lovell Houston and Joe Swift and sophomore Allen Mackey. Junior Clyde Surrell will return some experience to the corner spot when he returns from a University suspension in the fall.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Tyler Brayton-Sr Matt McChesney-Jr
DT DeAndre Fluellen-Jr Vaka Manupuna-Fr
DT Brandon Dabdoub-So Vince Mitchell-Jr
DE Dylan Bird-Sr Gabe Nyenhuis-Jr
ILB Sean Tufts-Jr Zach Griffith-Sr
ILB Drew Wahlroos-Sr Andrew Ward-Fr
OLB Joey Johnson-Sr Marques Harris-Jr
CB Donald Strickland-Sr Phil Jackson-Jr
CB Allen Mackey-So Lovell Houston-Sr
SS Roderick Sneed-Sr Omar Stewart-Sr
FS Medford Moorer-Jr Corey Alexander-Jr
P Mark Mariscal-Sr ..
Bobby Purify is just one of the many backs Colorado has to chose from.