If the Buffaloes are going to compete in the Pac-12 South in 2018 they will need to rely on their seasoned quarterback Steven Montez to lead the offense.
Steven Montez is not a household name by any means, but the redshirt junior is now the unquestioned leader of the Colorado offense.
With Phillip Lindsay now a member of the Denver Broncos, the Buffaloes not only have a hole to fill in the leadership department, but will need to address the production Lindsay produced on the field.
Leading up to the 2018 season, we will be profiling specific players on the Buffaloes roster getting you ready for what should be a competitive campaign.
Breaking down his 2017 season:
Montez played in nine games in the 2016 campaign coming on in relief of an oft-injured Sefo Liufau, but was given the reigns to starting quarterback duties full-time in 2017.
The 6’5 quarterback put up solid numbers, throwing for 2,975 yards with 18 touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 60 percent of his passes.
Those numbers can be deceiving however, in the Buffs seven losses all to Pac-12 opponents Montez completed 55 percent of his passes for 1,602 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions. Those numbers leave a lot to be desired, especially in losing causes.
Steven will need to increase his production against the better teams in the Pac-12.
The Buffs won two conference games last season (Oregon State and Cal) and Montez delivered masterful performances in those victories. Combined, he threw for 515 yards, five touchdowns passes without turning the ball over while completing 68 percent of his throws.
Those type of performances need to be more consistent in 2018.
CU lost a load of playmakers from their offense a year ago including leading rusher Phillip Lindsay, leading receivers Bryce Bobo and Shay Fields to name a few.
The Colorado offense was in the Top 35 the last two seasons in total rushing attempts per game but that could change this season.
Gone is Phillip Lindsay who led all of college football in rushing attempts last season. We looked at his potential replacements not long ago, and a committee approach seems the most likely outcome.
That will mean the ball and the offense will be put on Montez’s shoulders.
I expect more passes this season in Colorado’s spread system.