It really is the "Battle of the Bads" this week and the truly interesting story line is what will give. Yes, these are statistics and they don't represent the quality of the opponents that CU or Kansas State has played but this chart perfectly sums up the inadequacies of each team...and there are a lot of them. The average ranking of the Buffs is 8.5 in the Big 12 while Kansas State averages out to about a 7.6. Really doesn't mean anything other than the two teams taking the field Saturday are rather mediocre at best. Read more analysis after the jump.
|6||59||120.94||Pass Effic. Defense||136.77||95||10|
|6||T-68||5.5||Tackles For Loss||5.5||T-68||6|
If there was ever a game for the CU offense to get on a roll, Saturday at 5:00pm will be the day. As deficient as Kansas State is against the rush (96th), they are just as bad against the pass (105th). The Buffs offense is just as putrid as the Kansas State defense. What do you do when you are struggling on offense? Get back to basics and run the ball. I really think that CU will run the ball 50 times this week and how great would that be? Part of an effort to keep Freeman off the field and keep the overall Kansas State offensive rhythm stunted. Nothing is better for a team that scores 43 points a game than a string of three and outs by the opposing team's offense. That being said, time of possession is an overrated statistic when you don't put points on the board.
Back to my point about running the ball 50 times. This has to be a day where CU plays Darrell Scott or Darrell Scott doesn't get hurt. A straight forward attack that will try to break the will of the Kansas State defense early. A healthy dose of Stewart's speed and Scott's power is need for an effective running game and to keep Kansas State honest. I would be dishonest if I didn't think that Kansas State was going to stack the line so Cody will probably have to make 3 - 4 big throws in the first half that will shake up the Kansas State defense.
The offensive key to the game in my opinion is not to make Saturday a shoot out. We have seen the Buffs defense get worn down by the last three teams and completely dominated in the second half.
As for the defense; hope you can catch Freeman on an off day. Kansas State is going to get there points. You don't average 43 points without being good. It's the CU offense's job to limit KSU's opportunities while capitalizing with touchdowns not field goals attempts. The defense needs to do something they have not done in the last three games either. Stop the run. From the discussion with Bring on the Cats, they expect Kansas State to try and take advantage of the 85th ranked CU rushing defense to open up the play-action pass for big results. If the Buffs D can stymie the 'Cats rushing game and the CU offense can get a 14 point lead in the first half, the Buffs have now made an impatient and erratic Kansas State team one dimensional. Both teams know they need to have this one and don't expect Prince to stick with the running game if he is down with one of the best quarterbacks in the nation.
It's fundamental football this week for the Buffs. Nothing fancy just win the battle in the trenches. Don't turn the ball over and don't make special teams play a reason you lose the game. Nothing fancy, just take care of assignments and follow the game plan. The patchwork offensive line for the Buffaloes has had three complete practice weeks together and two games. They should be much more comfortable with eachother by now.
If the coaches won't say it, I will: This is a must win game for the Buffs.