Karl Dorrell isn’t happy with the way things ended for Colorado this season.

“This team that ended up 4-2, I’m not happy with how we ended, I’m going to tell you that, I’m going to tell you that right now,” Dorrell told Matt McChesney of McChesney Unchained on Wednesday. “The last two games of the year we didn’t win, so that’s the taste that I have in my mouth. It’s not the taste that ‘Oh Karl, you had a great year and all that.’ That is far from where I’m at right now.”

Luckily for Dorrell, it sounds like he’ll have a chance to run it back with the majority of his team again next year.

During the podcast, Dorrell said that key defensive starters will be returning in 2021. He named two defensive linemen, Terrance Lang and Mustafa Johnson, and two linebackers, Carson Wells and Nate Landman, but he left the door open for others, as well.

“Nate, and Mustafa, and Carson, and T-Lang and all those guys, they’re all back next year,” Dorrell said.

The phrase “all those guys” leaves some room for more returnees. McChesney said in a question that the whole secondary is back but Dorrell never said so himself. That could mean that senior safety Derrion Rakestraw has decided to return. The Buffs have two other senior defenders—Akil Jones and Jeremiah Doss—who could choose to return for another year.

If you’re wondering why seniors have the option to return, here’s what’s up: The NCAA decided that, because the season was impacted heavily by COVID-19, all senior football players won’t have a year of eligible deducted for the 2020 season. Seniors can return as seniors for a second season in 2021, and juniors will remain juniors, sophomores remain sophomores and freshman remain freshman. 

Dorrell said that the defenders decided to return because of the progress the team showed during the 2021 season.

“They feel that  we have a chance to really do some damage—if we all come back, if we all have a great offseason and develop as a football team, and build our depth, and continue to get better at our systems,” Dorrell said. “I think this prelude of what we did this fall tells them that we’re really in the thick of this thing. We have as good a chance as anybody to win this conference.”

CU felt the same way before the 2020 season and Dorrell said that the defense was a big reason why. He said that the coaches new that—at least on paper—the defense should be a strength for the team.

There’s a difference in 2021, though.

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Henry was born in Columbia Falls, Montana and graduated from Columbia Falls High School in 2015. He earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and economics from the University of Montana in 2019. Henry joined BSN Denver as a remote staff writer in 2017, providing support to BSN's Broncos beat reporters. He interned at BSN headquarters in the summer of 2018 and accepted a full-time position after graduating from UM.