Colorado Buffaloes Opponent Watch: Week 4

He looks like he has no upper arm in the picture!

If you’re only interested in our opponents the week we’re slated to play them, then this piece isn’t for you. This is a look at all 12 13 of our opponents in 2011 and how they did from week-to-week. Eventually, this will be a measure of our schedule strength, but since there’s a pretty good chance we’re not playing for a BCS bowl this season, it’s just a friendly update about those teams that we’ll be facing at some point. Also, with us playing Cal in ’10 and this season, OSU is the only Pac-12 team we don’t know anything about, so I figured we should follow them a bit so we know what to expect when we face them finally in 2013. And because they’re important too.

Hawaii Warriors (2-2)
The Warriors finally fixed their slow-start issue in a dominating fashion at home. Moniz threw 7 TDs in the first half and wasn’t used the rest of the game. They look good at home, but they still have to get their road issues fixed (sound familiar). They absolutely dominated the time of possession battle, keeping the ball for 37:24. They are hoping that this big win helps them go into WAC play with some confidence. They can still win the conference, as they were picked to do in the pre-season. They face Louisiana Tech next.

Follow the jump to see how high I can count!

California Golden Bears (3-1)
Despite beating us, they sit at 0-1 in the conference after they couldn't quite get it done against Washington. They made some big plays, but they couldn't punch the ball in from the 2-yard line late in the 4th quarter. A disappointing loss for Cal, who was hoping to prove that they were right behind Oregon and Stanford in the North. Some of the blame can be put on Maynard’s experience, but their secondary got picked apart by Washington’s Price. They did manage to hold Chris Polk to only 60 yards rushing (though he had 85 yards & a TD through the air). Next up is Oregon…uh oh.

Colorado St. Rams (3-1)
The Rammies are actually tied for first in the Mountain West at the moment, though I doubt it will last. It was an exciting game for CSU, who tied Utah State to send the game into overtime after USU fumbled a punt return and the Rams recovered it on the 15 yardline. Pete Thomas didn’t have a great day, but he didn’t throw any picks and they did enough to get the victory. Next up they face San Jose State, which should be interesting.

Ohio St. Buckeyes (3-1)
We all know how they did (actually, I don’t because I haven’t yet gotten to see the game. Upon Second Viewing will be more like a depressing first viewing…). They found their QB of the future just in time for them to begin B1G (that’s Big 10…or at least it’s supposed to be) play. They also are getting closer to getting all of their best players back from suspension. They may actually do pretty well this year…Michigan State is their first conference opponent.

Washington St. Cougars (2-1)
They got to enjoy their week off before traveling to Boulder to face our Buffaloes. Nothing has changed since last week, except more change for them to game plan for us. This is a game they expect to win, so hopefully we can make it difficult for them. You know, that is if we can limit penalties, special teams errors and turnovers…

Stanford Cardinal (3-0)
They also got to enjoy their bye week after stomping on Arizona and currently are #1 in the Pac-12 North. Andrew Luck is solid this season, even with the issues up front, and they get another chance to figure things out when they face UCLA this week. It would be very surprising if this was anything other than a dominant win. They are currently sitting at #6 in the country before beginning a two-game homestand that includes our Buffaloes in two weeks.

Washington Huskies (3-1)
After losing to Nebraska, they came up with a good win against Cal. They looked good and keep improving, which isn’t a good sign for us (this road game is looking tougher and tougher). They face Utah this week in an interesting matchup. Nobody really knows that much about the Utes still with regard to where they fit in the conference, and Washington wants to solidify their spot in the North right behind (or possibly even with) Stanford and Oregon. Chris Polk looks good and Price is having a pretty impressive season after taking over for Locker.

Oregon Ducks (3-1)
The Ducks are tied for first in the North Division (though their loss to LSU puts them behind Stanford overall). After jumping out to a huge lead over the Wildcats, they almost let them back into the game. But it was no use, as the Oregon Offense kept scoring. They are slightly worried about their Defense, but they keep on winning. LaMichael James put up huge numbers for his second consecutive 200 yard game and set a school record with 288 total rushing yards. They get to rest this week and get their defense figured out before facing Cal on Thursday the 6th.

Arizona St. Sun Devils (3-1)
After losing to Illinois, they came back and looked surprisingly good against USC. I didn’t expect it from them but they kicked butt and managed to hop into the last spot in the AP Poll at #25. Their offense is a little inconsistent, but they are figuring it out. And their defense is doing better than expected, even with the loss of so many contributors. Next up they face Oregon State, which should see the Sun Devils put up huge numbers.

USC Trojans (3-1)
They feel a lot worse then their record indicates (they are 1-1 in the conference). Matt Barkley made some bad decisions and a lot of folks aren’t happy with the playcalling they saw against ASU. They couldn’t get it done when it mattered, and then they couldn’t keep themselves in the game. They get a chance to work things out against a reeling Arizona team this week before a bye week. But despite the issues and lack of confidence, they are still sitting at 3-1.

Arizona Wildcats (1-3)
Some might say that Stoop’s seat is getting warm, but look at their schedule! They’ve had one of the toughest Septembers of anyone in the nation after losses to OK State, Stanford and Oregon. They started to come back against Oregon this week, but couldn’t quite do it (they’ve lost a number of defensive players to injury and it shows), but they get a chance to redeem themselves against USC this week and then Oregon State before their bye week. They could get things turned around in the next month, as the toughest part of their season is over.

UCLA Bruins (2-2)
They don’t look good, but they’ve got a better record than the Buffs, plus they’re 1-0 in the conference (thanks a lot Oregon State…). That makes me slightly sick to my stomach. I’m still excited to play (and beat) them, but it’s not for forever. They have a tough game this week, though, as they travel to Palo Alto to play Stanford. They look okay running the ball, and Brehaut (in his first game starting this season) completed 7 of his 11 passes. Nothing too exciting, but a road win is still a road win.

Utah Utes (2-1)
They got to enjoy their big win against rival BYU an extra week because of a bye. This week they face Washington in an interesting Pac-12 matchup. The Utes are 0-1 in the conference after a loss to USC, and because I’m stubborn, I still believe Utah is pretty good, so I’m expecting them to come out swinging against the Huskies.

***Oregon St. Beavers*** (0-3)
Of course the one Pac-12 team we don’t face until 2013 looks like the worst of the bunch. OSU got some players back from injury, but UCLA still beat them at home. They hoped a week off after getting shut out against Wisconsin would help turn things around, but it apparently didn’t. They don’t have it any easier this week when they travel to play at Arizona State. It’s tough to see any games on their schedule that they could win…why oh why don’t we get to play them?!?

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