August 31st, 2008 5:30pm
Radio - 850 KOA / TV - Fox Sports Network
So we have detailed the CSU Ram Offense and Defense. We have thought all summer about this game...what the Rams might do or not do, how will CU attack a relatively green defense...we have analyzed and analyzed. Thankfully, in 51 short hours, we can start talking about the outcomes. That reminds me, during the game Sunday night, we will have a live game thread. I will be at the game and Woodrow will be in Vegas but we have iphones and we will be bloggin away...inebriated but still present! There is nothing to do Sunday night, no other games so lets fill this board up. Get your friends from other sites and bring'em over to discuss the game and bash the Rams.
CU's Keys to the Game (and what CSU should try to do to pull an upset)
- Knock the Lambs Down Early and Often - Nothing keeps an underdog in a rivalry game alive more than feeling that they have a chance or hope. Destroy the hope early. The Buffs are the better, bigger team. They need to impose their will.
Make the Green Beat You, Not the Gold - the Rams offense is inexperienced at quarterback and wide receiver but golden at running back and tight end. Load the box and out-physical the Rams' playmakers. Contain Sperry, Bell and Johnson and the Buff fans will be celebrating in the streets.
Pass Rush, Pass Rush, Pass Rush - make CSU QB Billy Farris feel uncomfortable the entire game and establish confidence on the defensive line for the entire year.
- Let the Playmaker's Play - This is the game to strike a buzz about Buff football for 2008. Let the rest of the Big 12 wonder if the Buffs team is this dangerous. Get Josh Smith, Rodney Stewart and Darrell Scott in big play situations and let Cody Hawkins shine.
Picture above courtesy of http://csurams.cstv.com
5 Duos I Am Excited to See If They Are Ready to Take the Next Step
- DL Brandon Nicolas and Maurice Lucas - Hawkins says the DLine is the best unit on the team. That means these two are expected to have big years. Will they be the underachievers we have known or will they back up the media talk this offseason and really dedicate themselves to being successful football players?
- CBs Cha'pelle Brown and Gardner McKay - I also want to see if Anthony Wright and Jimmy Smith will challenge for the starting spots along with Jalil Brown but it is important that they don't let the inexperienced passing game of the Rams show well in this game or else it will be a passing feeding frenzy in Big 12 play.
- OTs Ryan Miller and Nate Solder - they are receiving a lot of praise even getting the first round pick mention yesterday in the papers. I am curious whether they will be the rocks of the offensive line or big bodies that are still a work in progress.
- WRs Scotty McKnight and Josh Smith - I can't think of a nickname for these two but we need to come up with some at the Ralphie Report. Smith can be the lightning but McKnight is not thunder but Mr. Consistent. Can they emerge as the ying and the yang to the passing attack and will Josh Smith be the game breaker the Buffs have lacked in the past couple of years?
- RBs Darrell Scott and Rodney Stewart - Do you really think I would have left these two off? No disrespect to Demetrius Sumler or Kevin Moyd, but we want to see what Five Star and Speedy can do. Is Scott ready yet (in shape and fully healed) and how will CU use the "lightning in a bottle" Rodney Stewart.
Before we get to The Showdown, lets look around the college football landscape at some other games this weekend. Woodrow will probably add his picks as well when he chimes in. Let's hope all of these teams learned from the South Carolina v. NC State game last night that the play clock is quicker now and usually 4 interceptions will not get you a W.
Game of the Week - Missouri (-8.5) v. Illinois
I am very high on Missouri and have no problem pumping them up as possible National Championship contenders. Chase Daniel and Jeremy Maclin will make Illinois' vaunted cornerbacks look silly. Missouri should cover and make a statement to Oklahoma that they will see them in the Big 12 championship undefeated.
Clemson (-5) v. Alabama
Is anyone outside of Alabama rooting for Nick Saban? All of the ESPN analysts really think Bama will win the game but I love the running back tandem of Clemson. I think the game will be close but Clemson should win but I it will be more like a 3 or 4 point game
Utah @ Michigan (-3)
Will Michigan really lose again at the Big House. So we don't have to hear about it for the next nine months, go Michigan but it will be closer than 3 points.
Tennessee (-7) @ UCLA
Slicker gets his chance on Monday night. Who will be his 4th quarterback option. Won't matter. Tennessee wins big and covers.
Western Michigan @ Nebraska (-14)
After CornNation affectionately called out the Colorado game with hints of hippies and arrests at Invesco, one must wonder if Nebraska fans know what the rest of the nation thinks of their high quality of life? No shots here yet but there will be plenty of ammo soon enough, especially with this guy leading the pack. Western Michigan covers but Nebraska wins a closer one than the fans who fired Frank Solich will like.
Colorado State v. Colorado (-11)
Time for the big one. The Buffs need a dominating performance. They need to show that their youth will not be an issue this year and that they are ready to be talked about as a threat in the Big 12. This game is the perfect showcase. I expect the Coach Hawkins to have the Buffs focused and energized. If the Buffs are a player in the shake out of the Big 12 this year, they should win this game convincingly. Send the little brother's and sister's back to the Fort early - Buffs win 38 - 17 with Cody Hawkins gaining MVP honors.