Colorado lost most of it’s players off of the 2016 defense that helped the Buffaloes win the Pac 12 South. They also lost their defensive coordinator, Jim Leavitt, to Oregon and their new coach Willie Taggart. This is not the same type of Colorado team as last season.
In this past weekend’s game between the Arizona Wildcats and the Colorado Buffaloes, the Buff defense knocked the Cat’s starting quarterback out of the game in their first offensive series. It was a late hit and out of bounds costing the Buffs 15 yards on a late hit penalty. Quarterback Brandon Dawkins looked delirious as the trainers helped him walk across the field.
The late hit was a huge mistake for the young Buffalo defense, because the Wildcats were forced
to go with sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate.
Khalil Tate was an Arizona recruit that I liked last year. I don’t like to accuse, but it seems that the recruiting sites only like pro style California quarterbacks and Tate was a dual threat quarterback.
He was a 17 year old kid as a freshman in 2016 and he should have probably redshirted. Tate started the 2017 season as a back up to Brandon Dawkins.
The back up status may have ended that night.
The first offensive drive for the Wildcats ended in a punt. But, after stopping Colorado, the talented Tate had an impressive 58 yard touchdown run on the first play of the second series. His first 3 carries went for 88 yards which was more than he had all season going in to this game.
While admittedly not on the same level as Lamar Jackson, Khalil Tate is still really explosive. Jackson is listed at 6-3, 210 and Tate is similar at 6-2, 215. Jackson has a stronger arm, but Tate isn’t bad. Tate is not quite as quick as a runner as Jackson, but he still has that sudden burst of speed that will take your breath away. Both were 3 star recruits on opposite coasts. Jackson is from Florida and Tate from California.
On that recent Saturday night against Colorado, Tate completed 12 out of 13 passing attempts for
154 yards and a touchdown. That is not amazing and Luke Falk from Washington State throws for more than that in a single quarter on almost any given night.
What set Tate apart from most quarterbacks is that he ran for an amazing 327 yards on 14 carries. If you are not a mathematician, as I am not, that averages out to 23.36 yards per carry. On 4 out of 14 carries, he scored touchdowns to help his Arizona Wildcats defeat the Colorado Buffaloes 45-42.
Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez is on the hot seat and this season he has played 17 true freshmen so far. They haven’t really played that tough of a schedule so far other than Utah, but they are currently 3-2 on the season. Last year, the Arizona Wildcats won only 3 games all season long as they finished up with a hugely disappointing 3-9 record.
In my humble opinion, if Rich Rod wants to save his job he needs to go with Khalil Tate for the rest of the season. For that matter, he needs to go with Tate for the rest of Tate’s time in college football.
The kid can play.