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What do the Buffs need to do to send the Bruins home with a loss?
NR (Coaches Poll)
NR (Coaches Poll)
For most of last Saturday's game against Washington State in Pullman it looks like we were going to be talking about a Buffaloes team that showed improvement, but still sat at 0-4 with little to no opportunities to get a win in the 2012 football season. Instead, the Buffs are now sitting at 1-0 in Pac-12 play with two home games over the next three weeks before beginning a murders row of USC, Oregon and Stanford. Here's what Colorado needs to do get a second improbable win in a row.
Don't let both Brett Hundley and Johnathan Franklin get rolling
Even with last weeks home loss to Oregon State now behind them, statistically speaking this Bruins offense is still one of the best in the country and number one in the Pac-12. Nationally, UCLA ranks 13th in passing and 14th in rushing. They will get their points today. Colorado has to shut down one aspect of the Bruin offense or the young Buffs defense will be on their heels all day. The Beavers were able to limit Johnathan Franklin to 12 carries for 45 yards and it stalled the UCLA offensive unit. CU has to hope they can do the same.
Continue the improved playcalling
The winning drive against Washington State was a case study in how this offense should be called in order to find success. Eric Bienemy should take what worked there and continue to apply that throughout the whole game. No giving up on the run as the Buffaloes did in the middle of the game against the Cougars. Now that Tony Jones is healthy, continue to give he and Christian Powell the carries they need to get going. Attack this soft Bruin defense, keep their offense off the field and wear out UCLA at an altitude at which they aren't used to competing.
Attack the Bruins secondary
Oregon State Sean Mannion picked the Bruins apart to the tune of 379 yards with two touchdowns, an interception and over 10 yards per completion. Jordan Webb should have all the confidence in the world after a fantastic game against WSU and a clearly defined starting role this week in practice. Nelson Spruce had his biggest game as a Buffalo and Gerald Thomas continues to improve. If Webb is on point like he was in the 1st and 4th quarters in Pullman and the coaches can continue to get the tight ends more involved we should see the Colorado passing attack get better and better.
Keep the passion and confidence rolling
It's going to be a beautiful day in Boulder today and fans will be treated to a team playing it's first decent opponent (we'll ignore the results of the game against a non-decent foe) at Folsom Field. Hopefully the win over the Cougars will provide for a strong crowd today that will help the team keep their confidence and passion high. Remember the composure that you had on the road, Buffaloes. Come out proud, start fast and take down the Bruins.
What are your keys to today's game?