|6||21||102.1||Passing Efficiency Defense||154.51||105||11|
|10||92||5||Tackles For Loss||7.5||25||5|
Well this will be my easiest chart to make this season. Leave the Buffaloes numbers alone and adjust a few rankings and that side is good to go. I like (but I like seeing the Buffs take the field even more). Let's dig in...
It's actually kind of eerie how similar Oregon State is to the Fresno State team that the Buffs should have played two weeks ago. Bad ground game offset by a super strong passing attack. Defense that has struggled, especially against the pass, leading to high scoring games in each of their contests. Obviously the one big difference was that the Bulldogs were coming into Boulder, but we should be able to glean a lot about how the Buffs may have performed against Fresno from how they do in Corvallis.
Eek. The rushing offenses taking the field on Saturday are 10th and 12th in the conference. The Buffs have averaged 96.5 yards against some pretty weak competition while the Beavers are putting up a whopping 55 yards per contest on the ground. Now, the Buffs have had 20 days to rest Christian Powell and the rest of the backs while Oregon State will be missing leading rusher Storm Woods (wish my Mom had given me a first name this awesome). Advantage, Buffs.
While it may be the team that can finally run the ball that wins the game the attempts to slow these to quarterbacks are going to be fun to watch. Mannion has been on fire so far this season, throwing for 1,604 yards and 15 touchdowns to just 1 interception. His receivers run great routes, have above average hands and rack up the Yards After Catch. The Colorado secondary has been much improved through two games from the dumpster fire that was 2012, but this will be a HUGE step-up in competition.
Meanwhile, Connor Wood hasn't been too far behind Mannion after his two starts. The Beavers may have the nation's third best passing game, but Wood has led the Buffs to the seven spot to date. The Beavers are definitely going to have a ton of their attention directed towards Paul Richardson so there should be a lot of space for the other wide receivers to roam and they will have to take advantage.
Mannion has thrown one pick, Wood has thrown two (in two less games). Colorado is 5th in the conference in turnover margin with a +1 while the Beavs aren't too far behind at -.5. If one of the defenses can force the other to make multiple mistakes, it could (and should) be the game, but that won't be easy, especially for the Colorado defense. Forcing turnovers have played a huge part in the Buffs stronger start this year, but it's going to get a lot harder in Corvallis.
Thank goodness that OSU hasn't had the same success in the return game that the Bulldogs have had. Colorado has been awful defending returns this year and they cant' allow the Beavers to change the game on special teams. They have playmakers back returning their kicks so hopefully the time off has allowed the Buffs to shore up that weakness.
Oregon State has allowed one sack so far this year. Shit. That is all.