Central Arkansas - Colorado TV viewer guide
Game day: September 7, 5 p.m. PT
Stadium: Folsom Field – Boulder, Colo.
Central Arkansas - Colorado TV information: Pac-12 Networks
Story lines: Mike MacIntyre makes his Folsom Field and Pac-12 Networks debut as head coach of the Buffaloes when Colorado welcomes Central Arkansas to the friendly confines of Boulder Sept. 7, and it couldn't come a moment sooner for Buffs fans who want to see their not-too-distant past of winning football restored. It will take some time to get things back to the Bill McCartney level of success, but MacIntyre is certainly the right guy for the massive rebuilding job in Boulder. He more than proved his worth in his time at San Jose State — where he made his actual Pac-12 Networks debut. There, he took over a program low on funding and tradition and turned it into an 11-win squad and Military Bowl champion in 2012. The best part of all that? It only took him three years. Granted, the Pac has stiffer competition than the WAC, but it’s still a good omen for the Folsom Field faithful.
MacIntyre will have some pieces to work with as all those young bucks from 2012 are now a year older. While guys like offensive lineman David Bakhtiari and safety Ray Polk are gone, one-man wrecking crew Chidera Uzo-Diribe (who is looking ahead to a future he never thought possible) brings a serious playmaking ability to the defensive line and a healthy Paul Richardson will look to restore big play potential to the wide receiving corps.
[Related: 2013 Colorado football schedule]
One of the biggest questions (among quite a few of ‘em) for MacIntyre going into fall camp was who will deliver the football to Richardson? Jordan Webb, last year’s No. 1 signal caller, tore his ACL in the spring and ran into some legal troubles. Nick Hirschman decided to transfer, leaving Connor Wood in the driver’s seat heading into fall camp with Shane Dillon and incoming freshman Sefo Liufau also in the picture. But then came along junior college transfer Jordan Gehrke, who signed with the Buffs in May to add a little more depth and drama to the QB spot. Wood has built off an impressive spring with a solid fall camp, earning him the starting spot for the season opener against Colorado State Sept. 1.
The Buffs will have a chance to get some revenge on the FCS with this battle against Central Arkansas. However, the Bears are no slouches, especially for a team that lost to Sacramento State the previous year. The Dean of Southland Conference coaches Clint Conque will bring a Central Arkansas squad that went to the FCS playoffs for the second consecutive year in 2012 and returns the conference’s offensive player of the year and freshman of the year. That offensive POY would be quarterback Wynrick Smothers, who passed for more than 3,100 yards, threw 31 touchdown passes and almost ran for 450 yards in 2012. The FOY would be Jonathan Woodard, the defensive end who wreaked all sorts of havoc on opposing offenses with seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
If you’re ever out in Conway, Ark., I’d suggest you check out “The Stripes,” Central Arkansas’ purple-and-gray-painted turf that changes colors every five yards. As cool as Boise State’s blue and Eastern Washington’s red fields are, this field takes the cake. Maybe you can get a Scottie Pippen sighting while you’re at it, too.
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