Colorado begins the post-Mike MacIntyre era when the Buffaloes travel to Berkley on Saturday afternoon to face California in the team's regular season finale.
Kurt Roper takes over as interim coach, replacing MacIntyre who was fired on Sunday, a day after the Buffs' 30-7 loss to Utah. The defeat was the sixth consecutive for a Colorado team that began the season 5-0. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the program, the Buffs (5-6, 2-6 Pac-12) can still qualify for a bowl game with a win over the Golden Bears (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12).
MacIntyre finishes his time in Boulder with a 30-44 record and one bowl appearance in five-plus seasons.
"Our focus needs to be coming up with a good plan to defeat a good football team," Roper said. "A physical football team, a team that's won a lot of tough football games and we have to go to their place. Our focus is let's put enough in the bank on Monday to help us beat Cal. The same focus will be tomorrow."
Among the milestones that Colorado will be focusing on is setting a program first for rushing and receiving. Travon McMillian and Laviska Shenault Jr. can become the first running back and wide receiver tandem in team history to eclipse 1,000 yards on the ground and via the air, respectively, in the same season. Shenault can reach 1,000 receiving yards with 54 more yards, while McMillian can accomplish the feat with 49 rushing yards.
The mark hasn't been lost on Shenault, who was a Maxwell Award Semifinalist prior to sustaining a turf toe injury that sidelined the sophomore for a majority of the Buffs' six-game losing streak.
"Growing up, you see all these receivers put up 1,000-yard seasons, and they would do it back-to-back-to-back," Shenault said. "Now I'm living that, and it would definitely feel good if I could get that first 1,000-yard season."
California has won of three of their last four contests, including a 15-14 victory over Southern California on Nov. 10, the last time the Golden Bears took the field. Smoke from the California wildfires caused the Justin Wilcox' squad to reschedule its rivalry game against Stanford from Nov. 17 to Dec. 1.