Buffs Vs. TCU: Quick Facts & Figures
COLORADO BUFFALOES (0-0)
vs. TCU HORNED FROGS (0-0)
Karl Dorrell's Colorado Buffaloes couldn't ask for a better environment for their season opener: at home under the Friday night lights in front of what is sure to be a raucous and ready Folsom Field crowd, and a respected Big 12 opponent on the visitors' sidelines.
The matchup pits two teams aiming to bounce back from difficult 2021 campaigns. The Buffs want to forget their 4-8 finish from a year ago while the Horned Frogs moved on from their 5-7 season last year by firing their coach and hiring Sonny Dykes.
But the Buffs didn't stand pat by any stretch. Dorrell brought on six new assistants to his staff, including a new offensive coordinator, Mike Sanford. Friday night will be the first chance for CU fans to see whether Sanford's new scheme can inject life into an attack that last year was one of the least productive in the nation.
TCU, meanwhile, returns plenty of firepower from an offense that was productive in 2021 — but will be aiming for a much better effort from a defense that gave up more than 35 points per game.
The nuts and bolts:
KICKOFF: 8 p.m. (MT), Folsom Field (50,183)
TV, RADIO: The game will be televised by ESPN with Brian Taylor and Dustin Fox in the booth and Taylor McGregor on the sidelines. The radio broadcast will be carried by KHOW (630 AM) with Voice of the Buffs Mark Johnson and Gary Barnett in the booth and Andy Lindahl on the sidelines. KOA's coverage begins at 6 p.m. with the pregame show.
THE COACHES: Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell is in his third year at the Buffs' helm, where he has compiled an 8-10 record (43-37 overall as a head coach).
TCU is coached by Sonny Dykes, who is in his first year with the Horned Frogs. Dykes has also been the head coach at Louisiana Tech, Cal and SMU, compiling a 71-63 career record.
Dorrell is 0-0 as a head coach against TCU while Dykes was 1-1 as Cal's head coach against the Buffaloes.
THE SERIES: This will be the first meeting ever between the two schools.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: A win would give the Buffs their seventh straight season opening win. But the game is also a matchup between the Pac-12 and Big 12, two conferences that have been at odds in recent months after the college football realignment shuffle was reignited. Both conferences are currently in the process of renegotiating television rights and whoever wins will give their respective conference a little ammunition.
TEAM LEADERS: The Buffs have their 2019 leading rusher, Alex Fontenot, returning this year, as well as last year's leading receiver, tight end Brady Russell.
Defensively, CU's top two tacklers from a year ago, safety Isaiah Lewis and linebacker Quinn Perry, both return.
TCU has last year's starting quarterback, Max Duggan, returning, but the Buffs are also expecting to see Chandler Morris. Wide receiver Quentin Johnson has five career 100-yard receiving games while Taye Barber has 122 career receptions.
Defensive end Dylan Horton led TCU last year with nine tackles for loss, including four sacks. Safety Mark Perry had three interceptions — for Colorado. Perry is one of 14 players to join TCU's roster via the transfer portal.
KEY MATCHUPS: Colorado's defensive front seven vs. TCU offensive line. The Buffs have to get to the quarterback and disrupt the pocket. If Duggan or Morris get too much time to throw, they could take advantage of a young Colorado secondary … Colorado's offensive line against TCU's defensive line. The Buffs need to establish a run game and control the clock. While the Horned Frogs have a new scheme, they did give up more than 220 yards per game on the ground last year. CU needs to put up those kinds of numbers Friday.
UP NEXT: The Buffs travel to Air Force on Saturday, Sept. 10, for a 1:30 p.m. meeting with the Falcons (CBS).