Colorado Buffaloes Vs. Charleston Southern Buccaneers: Key Match-Ups

Christian Petersen

The Buffs return home in hopes to avoid their fourth straight loss

After losing three consecutive games, the Buffs look to get back on track against a Charleston Southern team that, according to Mike MacIntyre, is better than Central Arkansas, the other FCS team on CU's schedule. Sefo Liufau will get his first career start against the Buccaneers, which should be a nice warm-up for the rest of Pac-12 play, compared to the trial by fire he experienced (and handled fairly well) in Tempe.

Offense:

  • Sefo Liufau's Pocket Presence vs. Charleston Southern's Pass Rush - In his weekly press conference, MacIntyre raved about Liufau's ability to stay cool under fire. "He doesn't see the rush, he doesn't feel the hits. He kind of gets in his own zone, which I think a good quarterback does," said MacIntyre. The Buccaneers have had a solid pass rush, recording 19 sacks through seven games, but they will be without the services of Will Hunt, who has five sacks on the season.
  • Colorado's Running Game vs. Mediocrity - The statistics are underwhelming. 3.05 yards per carry just isn't going to get the job done, especially against the upper crust of the Pac-12. However, it's fair to say we've seen moments of - if not brilliance - then at least competence from Christian Powell and Michael Adkins. If the running game is around three yards per carry on Saturday, Liufau will have a lot of work to do to bring home a win.
  • Paul Richardson vs. Inconsistency - Richardson's Pac-12 season has been somewhat of a roller coaster. His performance against a speedy Oregon defense was nothing short of excellent, while Arizona State and Oregon State managed to shut down the speedy receiver out of Los Angeles. Liufau seemed more than able to find options other than Richardson against ASU, but I'll venture a guess and wager that an available Richardson would make Liufau's job a lot easier.

Defense

  • Colorado Front Seven vs. Christian Reyes - Reyes, Charleston Southern's starting running back, averages over 100 rushing yards per game for the Buccaneers. He leads his team in touchdowns, finding the endzone six times in seven games. Addison Gillam and Co. will have their hands full with CSU's star JuCo transfer.
  • Entire Defense vs. Charleston Southern's Option Attack - The Buccaneers run the option out of the pistol formation. The Buffaloes' defense will have to stay disciplined and patient, or risk getting burned.
  • Colorado Secondary vs. Momentum-Swinging Plays on Third Down - Arizona State couldn't have really started any worse if you're a CU fan. But the Buffs almost had a huge third down stop, but ASU's Taylor Kelly managed to scramble for a first down. The very next play Kelly found Jaelen Strong for a 69-yard touchdown. The Colorado defense can't afford to get frustrated, and they need to take advantage of more opportunities to end drives.
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