Approaching the halfway mark of the season, the Colorado football team is still searching for consistency and better play from its offensive line.

Through five games, the Buffaloes (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) have already used three different starting combinations up front, and it's possible they'll use a new one this week when Arizona (2-2, 0-1) visits Folsom Field.

In last week's 27-23 loss to UCLA, sophomore Isaac Miller finished the game at right tackle, and might have done enough to earn a starting job this week.

"I don't know (if he will start), but he looked good out there when he was doing it," head coach Mike MacIntyre said. "I thought he pass protected really well at tackle. That's what we definitely believe he can do. We feel like he can be a phenomenal pass protector."

Knee issues have held Miller back to this point. He missed all of the 2016 season with a knee injury, and was plagued by knee problems this offseason.

The knee issues continued into fall camp and the early part of this season, to where it was bothersome for him to play right tackle. Being on the left side wasn't as painful, however, and he made his debut there on Sept. 9 against Texas State (playing 64 snaps after subbing for Josh Kaiser).

Offensive line coach Klayton Adams said Miller flashed a lot of his potential in that game against Texas State. However, with senior Jeromy Irwin, who was suspended for the first two games, back in the fold the last three weeks, Miller went back to the bench.


Advertisement

Meanwhile, Haigler and Kaiser have split the starts at right tackle, but both have struggled at times. That prompted Adams to give Miller another shot on the right side last week at practice.

"We're kind of in the mode right now offensively where we're just searching for some consistency, where we can do the right things all the time," Adams said. "We decided to give it another go last week during practice and there was no issues (with Miller's knee)."

For Miller, who is listed as 6-foot-7, 280 pounds, there have been mental hurdles to clear, as well.

"There was times I'd be limping and not even noticing it," he said to CUBuffs.com. "It didn't hurt, but it was just habit. It took a while just to break that, but now that I finally did, I'm feeling better than I have in a long time."

Although it was just 11 snaps against the Bruins, Miller impressed his coaches with his pass protection.

"It was kind of late in crunch time and he did a really nice job," Adams said. "I'm excited about what he's done. Some guys handle (switching sides) better than others, and he's handled it pretty well."

While Haigler and Kaiser could still play, as long as Miller's healthy, it appears he'll continue to get on the field, as well.

"I'm really excited about his future," Adams said. "I'm hoping he can be a really solid portion of a really good group here as we continue to get better."

Expected to be a strength of the team this year, the offensive line has struggled, but Adams hopes the tide is turning.

"I'm a little bit disappointed with where we're at, in terms of consistency," Adams said. "We've gotten a little better every week, but it's still not where we want to be. We're grasping and clawing and fighting and trying to make this group what we want it to be. I think we're going to get there, but it's not happened as fast as we want."

Miller believes the Buffs simply need to focus on their basic principles.

"We get caught up in scheme and maybe (the defense is) changing different things we didn't necessarily practice on their front four, but it doesn't matter," he said. "We have to just go with our base rules that we were practicing the whole camp. A lot of it is just kind of over-thinking it; you just have to relax and trust what you know."

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.