How did the Buffs perform against The Ralphie Report's keys to the game? In four out of five, the Buffs hit it out of the park.
Stop the Kansas State Rushing Attack: Summary -The stats don't lie on this one. Games where Kansas State has won: they averaged 188 yards on the ground. Games they have lost: 71 yards.
I didn't think this "key to the game" would be the one to sum up the game but it does. The Buffs held Kansas State to only 23 rushes for 128 yards. Kansas State still averaged 4.87 a carry but chose to throw the ball 41 times which was their second highest output of the season while rushing for the second fewest amount this year. Other than a 22 yard run and a 17 yard touchdown run by Josh Freeman, the Buffs dominated the line of scrimmage with blitz pickups and good front four pressure. And as we indicated, for this key to work, the Buffs needed a good performance on offense to chew up clock and put points on the board. The Buffs didn't put the points on the board but overcame that with 14 more minutes in the time of possession category. I never felt the KSU running game as a threat and thought the Cats should have used the quarterback draw a little more throughout the game
BUFFS GRADE: A
50 is the Magic Number: Summary - 50: The number of rushes the Buffs should attempt this Saturday.
Boom...57 carries for 243 yards and a touchdown. Like I said in the first key, the Buffs had 14 more minutes in TOP. The placement of Tyler Hansen into the offense really helped the Buffs effectively get to 57 rushes with strong results. Great game plan on offense. Down the road it will be about converting field goal attempts (and misses) to touchdowns. The Buffs can't settle for field goal attempts anymore.
BUFFS GRADE: A
No More Three Man Rush: Summary -The Buffs need to stop the run and get pressure on Freeman. I am fine with a three man rush if we are flexing and blitzing linebackers to try and create confusion up front.
The Buffs are hitting The Ralphie Report's Keys to the Game out of the park so far. The story of the game (okay maybe it was Tyler Hansen) was the Buffs ability to pressure QB Josh Freeman and force him to be a mediocre passer. Freeman completed less than 50% of his passes and held him to one touchdown. The defensive performance was stellar. Before this game, Freeman averaged 4 touchdowns/contest, the offense averaged 43 points/game and 418 yards of total offense. The Buffs shattered all of those marks on defense plus forcing two costly turnovers.
BUFFS GRADE: A
Learn From Last Year: Summary - Last year the Buffs were 1 - 12 on third down, had 4 turnovers and threw the ball 41 times. Do that again, it will be a repeat blow out. The rushing game will solve a lot of these problems. Last year, the Buffs rushed for 5.2 a carry.
I will let the chart doing the talking for the vast improvement over last year!
|CU Buffs vs Kansas State|
|2007 Comparison vs 2008 Comparison|
|Stat||2007 CU||2008 CU||Grade|
|3rd Down Conversions||1-12||7-17||B+|
|# of Passes||41||25||A|
|# of Rushes||36||57||A|
|Time of Possession||29:19||36:21||A|
BUFFS GRADE: B+
Dominate on Special Teams:
The Buffs did not dominate on special teams and it is quickly becoming apparent that changes need to be made here. Buffs kicker Aric Goodman got one field goal blocked (not his fault, horrible protection) and he missed another 40+ yard field goal. Luckily, Kansas State's kicker got a case of the shanks and went 2 - 4. Still an issue that needs to be improved badly. Maclin will hurt the Buffs if they don't sure up this aspect of the game.
BUFFS GRADE: C-