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More Talented WRs Will Lead To More Points For CU

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Wide receiver Paul Richardson's return, combined with the addition of several young playmakers, should give Colorado a much-needed spark on offense in 2013. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.
Wide receiver Paul Richardson's return, combined with the addition of several young playmakers, should give Colorado a much-needed spark on offense in 2013. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.

Colorado owned some of college football’s worst statistical records last season.

And if the Buffs weren’t the outright owners of a particular worst, chances are they had plenty of stock in it.

Dead last (out of 124 FBS teams) in scoring defense, surrendering 46 points a game; 121st in total defense (488.5 yards a game); 120th in scoring offense (17.8 points a game); 119th in total offense (302 yards a game)…

And so the story goes.

In the score-crazy Pac-12 Conference, teams must be able to produce lots of points if they want to survive: 17.8 points a game just doesn’t cut it.

The Buffs' offense had plenty of shortcomings, but one stands out: their receivers lacked quickness, breakaway speed and overall talent.

CU’s top two receivers from 2012, Nelson Spruce and Tyler McCulloch, combined to make 78 receptions for 882 yards and five touchdowns. To put things into perspective, USC’s Marqise Lee hauled in 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns last year. Pretty big difference.

While the Buffs don’t have a Lee on their roster, they do have Paul Richardson and several other promising pass-snatchers who should make CU more dangerous in 2013. After all, they can’t be any less dangerous.

Richardson, who originally signed out of Los Angeles’ Serra High to play for UCLA before transferring to CU, missed all of last season after tearing his ACL during spring drills. But the 6-foot-1, 170-pound junior is back, and so are his 1,069 career receiving yards, 73 career receptions and 11 career touchdown catches.

Defenses always will have to account for Richardson’s big-play ability (his 11 career touchdown receptions covered 33.7 yards on average), so his presence on the field should lessen pressure on the Buffs’ running game.

Converted running back D.D. Goodson possesses good speed and apparently has pretty good hands. In a scrimmage in early April, the 5-foot-7, 170-pound junior caught five passes for 64 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“He’s pretty much a natural wide receiver if you ask me. I haven’t seen him drop a ball yet,” linebacker Derrick Webb said of Goodson.

A slew of youngsters in Bryce Bobo, Elijah Dunston, Devin Ross (all true freshmen) and Jeff Thomas (grayshirt freshman) also could see valuable playing time. Coaches seem especially high on the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Thomas, who made several impressive plays in the spring. He’s a grayshirt freshman because he delayed his enrollment at CU until January so he could return to his hometown of Dallas to address some personal issues.

More speed, more height and more talent at the receiver position, inserted into first-year coach Mike MacIntyre’s up-tempo, pass-often pistol offense, should lead to more points and less laughs for Buffs opponents.

After generating little of one and lots of the other last year, any offensive improvement would be a welcome sight to CU's coaches and fans.