The Buffs’ offensive line comes together in the second half of the season — Boulder Daily Camera

BOULDER-CO-15.  October: Anthony from the University of Colorado Boulder...

(Chris Daniels / photo courtesy)

University of Colorado Boulder’s Anthony Hankerson looks for a hole against the Cal Bears on Oct. 15, 2022 while guard Tommy Brown (left) makes a block for him. (Cliff Grassmick/staff photographer)

Although he had never been a regular in college football, Tommy Brown came to Colorado as a veteran player with a successful pedigree.

He also knew pretty well what good offensive play looks like, having spent the last four seasons in Alabama.

As the Buffaloes (1-10, 1-7 Pac-12) prepare for their final against No. 14 Utah (8-3, 6-2) Saturday at Folsom Field (2:10 p.m. Pac-12 Network). , Brown was impressed with the growth of the offensive line.

CU isn’t dominant up front but has come a long way since Brown’s arrival in January.

“As an attacking line, we took a lot of pride in coming in and doing our job and just trying to improve no matter what was going on,” said Brown, who has started every game at right-back. “It was amazing to see what we’ve accomplished all season. It’s amazing to see the growth of some of the guys and I think it’s a true testament to (Offensive Line Coach Kyle) DeVan and all the other coaches. When it comes down to it, it’s good coaching and guys buy in.”

CU went through several lineup changes early in the season, but eventually settled on a group that included Brown and Casey Roddick as guards, Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan as left tackle, and Jake Wiley as right tackle. When healthy, newcomer Van Wells has started in the middle while Austin Johnson has filled in.

Throw to Filip?

A few weeks ago, CU created a package for tackle Frank Fillip to line up on the tight end. He’s played a few tight end snaps in the past couple of games, and Brown said he’s committed to helping Fillip get a pass in a game.

“Every single meeting, every time I see (offensive coordinator Clay) Patterson or (interim head coach Mike) Sanford, it’s like, ‘Let’s get Frank the ball,'” Brown said. “Ever since the idea came up that Frank could be a tight end for Frank’s tight end, ‘Okay, let’s get Frank the ball.’

“I knew Frank would go that route (Saturday in Washington) before the play. So I blocked as hard as I could, hoping it got him, but there’s another opportunity in another game so hopefully it’ll come.”

Remarkable

Quarterback JT Shrout was slammed in last week’s 54-7 loss to Washington, but Sanford said, “He’s ready to go.” …CU is 74-56-2 all-time in the regular-season finals, but only 2-9 since joining the Pac-12 (including 2-8 vs. Utah). … Roddick has the longest current starting streak for the Buffs at 21 straight games. Defensive lineman Jalen Sami is next to start the last 18 games.

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