Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE
What will it take for the Buffaloes to get the moral victory and stay within 47?
NR (Coaches Poll)
Let's just get through this one. Another nationally ranked team on the road, but this one has yet to lose. I couldn't lie to myself and call this a "keys to the game" story. I felt like "keys to a cover" was much more appropriate. If Colorado can stay in the game and make it a contest, even better.
Return to efficiency in the red zone
Prior to last week's game against USC the Buffaloes had been models for efficiency when they actually saw the red zone with one of the best conversion rates in the country. That number went out the window against the Trojans with numerous turnovers inside the 20. Colorado isn't good enough to miss chances like that. Put the points on the board.
Be a little less friendly with the ball
USC and Oregon are very good teams and these Buffs just aren't there yet. I get that. What I don't get is why Colorado decided they wanted to make it even easier for the Trojans on the road by handing them the ball back six different times. Protect the football, make smart decisions and play tough. Turnover on downs? Fine, Darragh O'Neill will come in and pad his numbers and give the defense a shot. But please, cut down on the turnovers.
Eat up the clock. All of the clock.
For goodness sakes do not force this defense to live out on the field. Oregon can score quickly and from anywhere. This Colorado offense can not go three and out and send the defense right back out onto the field. They must move the ball as they did against USC. Run the ball, eat up the clock and let's get in and out with everyone intact. If we manage to stay in it, all the better.
Take advantage of the two's and three's
The odds that Colorado will see deep in to Oregon's deep chart today are astronomically good. Take advantage of it. Move the ball, score some points. Gain some confidence. Chip Kelly is not a run of the score type of coach, especially with the big showdown with USC on the horizon. After he started sitting his superstars at halftime against Arizona State, the Sun Devils put up 14 points. The Buffs should be able to score late in this game. Don't let the opportunity go to waste.
What are your keys to today's game?