Karl Dorrell's Quarterback Conundrum Ahead of 2020 Colorado Buffaloes Season

This week, the Pac-12 Coaches Media Webinar series took place. Every coach spoke about the challenges associated with preparing for the college football season, whenever that may be. The 2020 Colorado Buffaloes will have their own set of challenges they have to navigate. One of these challenges will be determining the quarterback position.

Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell was a part of Tuesday’s panel, which included coaches Jimmy Lake of Washington and Kyle Whittingham of Utah. The main similarity between the programs of Colorado, Washington, and Utah is that each team does not have a clear-cut Week 1 starting quarterback.

Dorrell will eventually have to choose between Tyler Lytle, Brendon Lewis, and Sam Noyer as his starting quarterback once the season actually starts.

Lytle, Lewis, and Noyer Will Each Have Opportunity at Starting Quarterback Job for 2020 Colorado Buffaloes

Redshirt junior Tyler Lytle, is the longest-tenured QB with the program. So, he may end up being the best option for the team to start the season. Lytle does not have much in-game experience but is the best pro-style option on the roster.  

Brendon Lewis, a true freshman, could still be the starter in the fall. He was ranked number 257 in the ESPN 300 and could be the best dual-threat option on the roster. Although Lewis may have more trouble winning the starting job because of circumstances, he should be able to see playing time. He is a unique talent and may be the next long-term starter for the Colorado Buffaloes.

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Sam Noyer will be entering his final year of eligibility. Last season, he played safety for the Buffaloes. While playing quarterback in 2018, Noyer won the hearts of some Buffaloes fans in 2018 when he laid a hit out against Washington State after he threw an interception. Noyer has been a mainstay in the program since 2016, so he may also have a chance to see in-game action during his senior season.

Karl Dorrell stated that none of these quarterbacks have had much time to get reps in. He has film from each of these players, but Colorado did not get any spring practices before college sports were shut down. There will be minimal answers at the most important position for the Buffaloes until they are able to hit the practice field.

2020 Colorado Buffaloes Need the Requisite Amount of Practice Time to be Ready for Season

Regardless of who the starting quarterback ends up being, Dorrell stated the need for at least a six-week window before the start of the season. Many predictions have been made about the 2020 Colorado Buffaloes, and they have not been favorable. Most pundits have the Buffaloes winning three to four games this season. For a program that is hungry for a bowl victory, they need the practice reps.

Kyle Whittingham, Utah’s head coach, brought up that things may not necessarily be equal in the NCAA. He is hoping that some of Utah’s players can get back into the weight room by June 1. However, he said that the lead-in time into the season needs to be the same. Different schools in the Pac-12 will be dealt different hands, which could complicate the season even more.

2020 Pac-12 Season in Question Depending on What California Pac-12 Schools End up Doing

NCAA President Mark Emmert stated that the NCAA will leave it up to the conferences as to when they want to start their seasons. Karl Dorrell, along with Jimmy Lake, stated that they wanted the opposite to happen.

The California State school system, which comprises 23 schools, has already decided to have their classes completely online in the fall. However, the California Pac-12 schools are not part of the Cal State system. Still, with Gavin Newsom casting doubt on California holding live sporting events with fans, coupled with Los Angeles’ stay-at-home order being extended to the end of July, it may be hard to imagine Pac-12 games being played in front of fans at the season’s start in September.

Even if the Pac-12 goes the safer route, it could further alienate the conference in the College Football Playoff conversation. The conference has not had a team in the playoff since the 2016 season. The Pac-12 may suffer by not playing in conjunction with the rest of the Power 5 conferences, but it could also give the conference more visibility. If people were able to watch the Pac-12 more readily, they may realize the quality of the conference.

Regardless of what happens, the Colorado Buffaloes have worked hard to be ready for the challenges that the 2020 season will present.

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