There are major changes happening in Boulder. The Colorado Buffaloes are in the middle of a coaching paradigm shift thanks to the hiring of Deion Sanders from Jackson State University. But Sanders isn’t the only coach hoping to make an impact on the black and gold.
Sean Lewis was hired as the offensive coordinator, and he isn’t simply here to run an effective offense. Like “Coach Prime,” Lewis wants to change the way that fans and pundits alike view Colorado’s offensive gameplan.
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Bring the Speed
It is safe to say that Lewis has one motive in mind and that is to make the Buffs fast. When describing the new up-tempo offense he is installing, he said that “it’s like riding a bike down a volcano that’s erupting.” Well, that’s one way to say that the offense will be playing at a faster pace than we have seen before.
Coach Prime has already had his fair share of quotes, but it is going to be tough to top one like that. Lewis has also compared himself to notable fast movie character Ricky Bobby. “I like going fast,” Lewis said.
Even being in the first week of spring practice, Lewis and the rest of the coaching staff are not going slow. There will be no training wheels for all of the new players to the program as evidenced by both the players and coaches flying around the practice facility. That is exactly what Lewis wants it to be like.
Kent State head coach Sean Lewis has taken the Colorado offensive coordinator job
I thought Lewis would be next for a power 5 head coaching job, huge win for Deion
Lewis led the 44th ranked offense this year pic.twitter.com/qxrcOJLgqT
— CFBTalkDaily (@CFBTalkDaily) December 6, 2022
Why change was needed
It’s pretty easy to say that change was needed given the hiring of coach Sanders. But it doesn’t really give you a clear picture of what is going on with the offense when talking about what Lewis wants to make happen.
In 2021, the Buffs had one of the worst offenses in the country. Somehow, that only got worse in 2022. The offense averaged just 15.4 points per game in 2022, the lowest average in the Pac-12 since the conference expanded 12 years ago. Even more frightening? In that 12-year period, only two offenses in the conference averaged below 302 yards per game: the 2021 Buffaloes at 257.6 yards per game and the 2022 Buffaloes at 281.3 yards per game.
If anything is going to help turn the ship around, it is an offense that even approaches competent. You cannot play in a Power Five conference and expect to be successful with an anemic offense like what Colorado has fielded in the last two seasons.
Colorado is set to hire Kent State head coach Sean Lewis as their offensive coordinator, per @PeteThamel.
More: https://t.co/tWy2SWOZ8Y pic.twitter.com/YApfCIHfTC
— On3 (@On3sports) December 5, 2022
Kent State University
Lewis has been the head coach of Kent State University for the last five seasons. During those five years, the Golden Flashes have lived up to their name by being one of the fastest offenses in the entire country. They averaged an offensive play for every 21.7 seconds of possession. Colorado was almost five seconds behind at one play per 26.4 seconds.
Kent State finished fifth in the MAC in points per game at 28.4 but that was the lowest total during Lewis’ five years. That said, they have also gained more yards per game than any other MAC team in the last three seasons.
If anyone out there knows how to get the most out of an offense and do so quickly, it is Lewis. Moving to a bigger program with greater resources, Lewis and his potential will only grow. With a coach like Sanders handing him the freedom to do as he wants, Lewis will be able to implement speed galore into the offense.
Deion Sanders has hired Kent State HC Sean Lewis to be Colorado’s offensive coordinator.
In 2022, Kent State ranked 44th in total offense.
In 2021, they ranked 5th. pic.twitter.com/EseaOiWnyr
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) December 6, 2022
What to expect
Though it is far too early to make solid predictions, things certainly look promising. Sanders not only brought with him a reputation of making big changes but a winning attitude. With someone like Lewis at the helm of his offense, he is aiming to get the most out of his talent by running at a pace that is difficult for defenses to handle.
Sanders brought a ton of talent in from the transfer portal and through traditional recruiting means. Who will take the starting roles will be determined through a rigorous spring practice season. It is safe to say that, with results bottoming out at 1-11 in 2022, every spot will be open for competition.
No matter who shakes out as starters on offense, Lewis will make sure that they are ready to play at an accelerated pace. There will be some growing pains as Lewis installs his offense, but it has to be better than what Colorado fans have seen the last two seasons.
If Colorado can get anywhere near average within the Pac-12 Conference, the could surprise more than a few teams.
The Coach Prime era has begun, and Sean Lewis is being given the keys with no speed limit.
Today we had the opportunity to talk to Sean Lewis, Gary Harrell, Bill O’Boyle, Brett Bartolone and Tim Brewster.
Here are our takeaways after talking to Colorado’s offensive staff! #SkoBuffs🦬 pic.twitter.com/3c64S0838C
— DNVR Buffs (@DNVR_Buffs) February 24, 2023
Credits on Featured Image: Kent State head coach Sean Lewis watches as his team warms up before an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma in Sept. 10, 2022, in Norman, Okla. Lewis is leaving the school after five seasons to become new Colorado coach Deion Sanders‘ offensive coordinator, a person familiar with the hiring told The Associated Press on Monday night, Dec. 5. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File/Digital License)