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Buffs Offense Makes Strides In Second Spring Scrimmage

Apr 16, 2022
WR Daniel Arias continues to have a productive spring for the Buffaloes.

BOULDER — One week after the Colorado defense had the upper hand for most of a scrimmage, the Buffaloes' offense had a much better day Saturday at Folsom Field.

The defense did have some big plays, including a red zone interception by sophomore cornerback Kaylin Moore and sacks from Alvin Williams and Jalen Sami.

But the offense had more success in putting together sustained drives than it did a week ago. Quarterback Brendon Lewis had a solid day, including a touchdown pass to Daniel Arias, and newcomer Maddox Kopp had the longest completion of the day, connecting with Jack Hestera.

CU's run game also had a much more consistent day than a week ago, with Jayle Stacks, Deion Smith and Charlie Offerdahl all posting productive days.

"Jayle ran the ball well again today for the second scrimmage in a row and I thought Deion ran the ball better today," head coach Karl Dorrell said. "He had some good runs. Charlie also had a couple good runs."

Overall, CU's offense showed much more consistency, with Arias among the receptions leaders for the second week in a row.

"I'm excited about what his future's going to look like," Dorrell said. "In the last couple years he hasn't been targeted all that much and I think he's going to be a big part of what we are in the future. It's good to see him come alive and you can tell he's becoming a better player because he's getting more attention."

Arias has indeed shown flashes over the last few seasons, but as Dorrell said, has somewhat been lost in the shuffle to a degree.

Now, he has the chance to become a primary target and is showing the ability to be that receiver this spring.

"Daniel's always been a hard worker," Dorrell said. "I think he's really very receptive to the knowledge of what (wide receiver coach) Phil McGeoghan is teaching right now. We're trying to build a pattern of success with him being a part of that and I think it's him getting more attention … We had so many other pieces before. I just think it's his turn now to be at the top of the list."

Up front, depth has been an issue for the offense this spring. Saturday, the Buffs had just nine healthy offensive linemen, meaning guards Tommy Brown and Casey Roddick took all the snaps with the No. 1 unit and then split time with the No. 2s.

Defensively, Moore's interception in red zone work near the end of the scrimmage was the big play of the day, as it helped the defense collect a "win" in the scoring system devised by the coaches.

"He was in the right position," Dorrell said. "We had a pass rush on B-Lew and he tried to move in the pocket. When he moved inside he kind of lost vision of the receiver so he was guessing where he was and he threw it right to Kaylin and Kaylin played it perfectly."

The Buffs have made defensive takeaways and pressure on the quarterback a priority of spring, and both areas had success Saturday. Along with Moore's interception, the defense also had a handful of quarterback sacks and pressures, with Alvin Williams continuing to grow in his spot as an edge rusher.

"Alvin was in the backfield quite a bit," Dorrell said. "He's really catching fire and really enjoying his new role, being an edge player."

Williams and Moore were among Saturday's leading tacklers, as were linebackers Mister Williams and Robert Barnes. Other players showing a penchant for getting to the quarterback included linebacker Eoghan Kerry, a true freshman who continues to stand out, and edge rushers Guy Thomas and Chance Main.

"The defense hung in there," Dorrell said. "They gave (the offense) some shots. That last drill there, when you're holding teams to field goals and get a last-second touchdown with an interception, you're playing pretty good defense."

Dorrell and his staff also took a good look at special teams, with kicker Cole Becker perfect on four field goal tries and punter Ashton Logan having a solid day as well.

"(Becker) is very confident," Dorrell said. "One thing you notice with him compared to where he was a year ago, you would guess here and there whether he was confident on making a kick. Now he has a little swagger about how he works his program. He's been booming the ball. He's kicking it very well."