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Dorrell Decides Buffs Won't Announce Starting QB

Aug 27, 2022

BOULDER — And the starting quarterback for the Colorado Buffaloes will be …

Sorry, you'll just have to wait until Friday's season opener against TCU at Folsom Field (8 p.m., ESPN) to get the answer.

But CU fans aren't alone. Also playing the waiting game this week — and preparing for two quarterbacks in the process — will be Sonny Dykes, the new Horned Frogs boss who is playing a little QB guess 'em game as well. Dykes also has two quality candidates for the TCU job (and a third who could factor in as well) and there's been no announcement emanating from Fort Worth.

Thus, both CU head coach Karl Dorrell and Dykes will no doubt be watching Friday night's pregame warmups at Folsom with a very close eye.

Dorrell announced after Saturday's practice that he won't be publicly announcing who will take the opening snaps for the Buffs.

But he did meet with incumbent starter Brendon Lewis and challenger J.T. Shrout after Saturday's workout and inform them of the plan going forward.

"We decided to announce not to announce a starting quarterback," Dorrell said. "It helps us in our process of what we do for this week and it keeps them having to prepare for both …  We did talk to both of them. They know what our game plan is in terms of who's starting. But I think it's wise for us not to do that announcement at all."

While the Buffs did release an opening week depth chart Saturday, there are several positions listed with co-starters, with quarterback being the most prominent.

By all accounts, the battle between Lewis and Shrout was close throughout fall camp. Neither ever managed to create anything resembling significant separation — actually a good problem for the coaching staff. No matter who starts, CU coaches also know they will have a well-qualified backup in the wings.

"They both competed really hard and really had the same statistical numbers," Dorrell said. "It was very close. We feel good that they kind of feed off each other. That's why we're trying to leave our options open. They understand what we're trying to do from a game plan standpoint and just like I told them, they're both going to play."

Indeed, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the Buffs might utilize both quarterbacks, with specific game plans devised for each player. Michigan rode that strategy to a Big Ten title last year, and while relatively rare, it's by no means unheard of in the college game.

The Buffs defense, meanwhile, will be preparing for at least two quarterbacks this week as well. The Horned Frogs have had a spirited competition in camp between incumbent starter Max Duggan and Chandler Harris, a backup last year who performed well when he had the opportunity.

Also a contender is Sam Jackson, a versatile athlete who has spent time as a receiver and running back in TCU's practices, along with taking snaps at quarterback. In what may be nothing more than a little gamesmanship — or a game plan possibility — Dykes has said he has considered the option of using all three quarterbacks.

BROWN UPDATE: Dorrell had some good news regarding offensive lineman Tommy Brown, who missed the first part of camp with an injury. Brown returned to full speed at practice this week, and could be available to play Friday.

Brown is currently listed as a co-starter at right guard along with Austin Johnson — and if he is available, it will be a big boost to the Buffs' depth up front.

Dorrell also said transfer R.J. Sneed II, who also missed the first couple weeks of fall camp, has also been practicing and could be available for the opener.