Saturday, Sep 17, 2011, 10:30 AM PDT
Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium - Denver, CO
My favorite game of the year! The Border War is awesome and more likely winnable. The Air Force game is a nice instate rival and conference game. Nothing like playing the CU Buffs though. The hate runs a little deeper. The games have more energy. The hits are bigger, the scores tighter, and the rivalry deeper.
The CU Buffs come in at 0-2 and are coming off a tough loss to California in overtime. The Rams come in at 2-0 but with a much easier schedule played. Switch the schedules and you switch the records so we can throw those out. These games come down to the rivalry and are a toss up. CU has a 60-20-2 advantage over history, but just a 7-5 advantage over the last 12 meetings. No doubt the size advantage goes to the Buffs on both sides of the ball, the growing athleticism of the Rams will have to shine if they want to win.
For the first time since 1988 the teams are not opening the schedule against each other. That will only make the game better as the early season rust should be off by week 3. It should be a bit more crisp matchup as CSU isn't breaking in a new QB for the first time in 4 seasons. The Buffs are a couple games into the Jon Embree Era and should start to pick things up. It really is to bad Dan Hawkins left, he was a bad coach and it helped the Rams to a 2-3 record while starting 4 different QB's.
Let's take a look at the CU Buffs after The Jump...
The Buffalos main weapon will be Paul Richardson. Richardson had 284 yards. Two hundred and eighty four. 168 yards of those were after the catch. He is all over the CU record books for best all time game. You can expect to have his number called quite a bit by the Buffs. The Ram secondary could be in for a long day.
At QB the Buffs will run out Tyler Hansen who took over last year. Hansen is a decent QB and avoids huge mistakes. Last week the Buffs threw for 474 yards, no turnovers, and no sacks. They found a way to lose which is amazing really. None of that was Hansen or the offenses fault.
The defense has struggled a bit, but Hawaii and Cal are athletic scoring offenses. Something the Rams certainly haven't been the first two games. Last year the CU defense allowed just 49 yards rushing and 245 yards total offense in the showdown. They won't have the luxury of a brand new freshman QB to attack, but the running game is just as suspect for the Rams.
For the Rams to win they need a similar running show as last week when they put up 242 yards. The defense will be much better this week but if they can get to the century mark I would call it a win for the running game. Raymond Carter, Chris Nwoke, and Derek Good will all get some carries to see who has the hot hand, Carter will get the start.
Pete Thomas will need to extend the field with Lou Greenwood and Marquise Law. I thought TJ Borcky had a great catch last game but is seldom used, maybe it is time for his breakout game. Thomas needs to be smart but aggressive. Performances like his last two will have the Rams end up in the loss column.
The Sisson-less Rams defense will take the field for the first time. Mike Orakpo will have to step up for sure. I think it falls back on the defensive line to get pressure and stop or slow the running game of the Buffs. CJ James and Nordly Capi will have to play fast. Nuku Latu will have to be a beast in the middle, not sure if he will hold up to the CU size.
The Buffs are favored and should be even with a 0-2 record. These games never disappoint and there are always a few highlights to go around.
If Thomas can't do the head spike for a win it's ok Ram fans, we will always have Folsum.