In the midst of Colorado’s worst three-game stretch in eight years, the public is calling for change.
Buffalo head football coach Carl Dorrell is not quite ready to go there.
On Monday, the Buffs (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) began their goodbye week with light exercise, followed by Dorell addressing the tough times of his schedule.
With a week off before facing Arizona (0-4, 0-1) on October 16, Dorrell was asked if it was the right time to make a staff change.
“We’re evaluating everything right now,” Dorell said. “We had a long staff meeting yesterday. We had a chance to talk through a lot of things that we’re trying to address, whether it’s from our employees or from a personnel standpoint. We’re doing all that work right now. Nothing concrete right now. We are still in the evaluation phase.
“This week we have some time to work on some things we need to work on and … if we need to make changes, we will, but we’ll probably work through it in a systematic process are going to do.”
For the first time since 2013, CU have lost three straight games by at least 20 points, and the Buffs started 0-2 in conference play for the first time since 2017.
Offensively, the Buffs have scored a total of 34 points — just 8.5 per game — during their current four-game losing streak. This has led many in Buff Nation to point fingers at offensive coordinator Darin Chiaverini and/or offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue, whose group is struggling.
However, Monday’s main line of questioning focused on how Dorell handles adversity.
The Buffs’ second-year head coach issued an apology on Sunday for pushing a local CBS-4 photojournalist’s camera while strolling off the field after a 37-14 loss to Southern California on Saturday.
“I have to have better restraint,” Dorell said on Monday. “It’s obviously a disappointment with the game and the way it has come out and I’m human, just like everyone else.”
Dorell said he apologized to the team and the CBS-4 photojournalist.
“We can all learn from this,” Dorell said. “I learned from it. The best way to learn from it is to recognize that there was a mistake and go and apologize and move on. So that’s what we’ve done and we’re looking forward to moving on.”
Dorell’s desperation has already been on display since Saturday.
After their 55–23 loss to Texas at the Alamo Bowl on December 29, he did not allow players to do postgame interviews—the only such opportunity at CU in at least a decade. After a 30–0 loss to Minnesota on September 18, he declined to do a post-game interview on KOA radio.
However, Dorell isn’t worried about showing a pattern of frustration.
“I have generally been very nice, calm and collected for most of my 36 years of coaching,” he said. “(Saturday) was one of those moments that I wanted to win that game. I thought we had a good week of practice… and it didn’t materialize.
“As a coach you go back to the drawing board and try to find a different angle to create success. These are the things that run through my mind when we fail. We have to find a way to be successful.”
CU’s lack of success this season surprised Dorrell, who said he expected challenges with a relatively young roster, but added, “We all had a lot of confidence that we would play great football and it’s really going to happen right now.” Not implemented till now.
“Whenever there is a situation where we are constantly at a loss then things like that tend to intensify with the negativity. We try to educate our people with the understanding that you have fans out there that they want to win football, and (players) want to win football. They’re not trying to fail, but they know they’re not playing well enough to win some of these games. So this is the truth of the matter. We have to play better football in whatever we are doing and we have to train better at it.
Dorrell said receiver La’Vonte Schenault, who has missed the last four games due to suspension, is “doing what he should be doing” to return to the team. “He is taking the steps he should have taken given his suspension and he will soon be active in the team,” Dorell said. … Monday was a “very light exercise,” Dorell said. The buffs will also practice on Tuesday and Wednesday before taking some time off. … The Pac-12 announced Monday that the Buffs’ game against Arizona on October 16 will begin at 1:30 p.m. at Folsom Field and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.