Buffs Practice Report: Defense Improving Takeaways
BOULDER — After finishing last season with just 13 takeaways, the Colorado Buffaloes have been putting an extra emphasis on forcing more turnovers in training camp.
So far, so good — at least for the defense (not so much for the offense), as Buffs defenders have been much more active this August in getting to the ball, creating opportunities and collecting some takeaways.
"The defense had a good day today," CU head coach Karl Dorrell said after Tuesday's practice, a full-pads workout indoors. "Three turnovers — that's their standard. So they had a little bit better day than the offense."
One of those turnovers was an interception by safety Isaiah Lewis, who has had several thus far in camp. Lewis went high in the air on the sidelines and wrestled the ball away from a receiver.
Increasing his number of interceptions — and thus the Buffs' overall takeaway number — has been a high priority for Lewis, who had two picks last season.
"We're asking for him to elevate his game," Dorrell said, "and he's made a couple of nice plays."
CU's nine interceptions last season were the 10th most in the Pac-12 while the Buffs' four fumble recoveries were tied for the ninth most.
BUFFS BITS: Tackle Jake Wiley and wide receiver Chase Penry have both returned to full duty after missing some time. Wiley has stepped back in with the No. 1 unit and Penry is making an immediate impact, coming up with several big catches in Tuesday's workout … After Saturday's scrimmage, Jamar Montgomery and Chance Main are getting their share of reps as edge rushers with the top defensive unit … D-linemen Na'im Rodman continues to be a presence inside, making plays against the run game from the backside in pursuit …
Linebackers Robert Barnes and Josh Chandler-Semedo continue to be a solid pairing … RB Deion Smith had a nice burst up the middle for a big gain Tuesday … QB Brendon Lewis connected with tight end Brady Russell for a big play touchdown … QB J.T. Shrout had an extremely accurate day, working the short game with precision and also connecting on some deeper balls … Dorrell said he hoped to have OL Tommy Brown and WR R.J. Sneed II back next week … RB Charlie Offerdahl is making a case for some playing time, showing a good ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.