Mizzou week. Most fans circled this game as the most difficult challenge that faced the Buffs this year on the schedule. After two loses and a #1 Texas team, that thought process has been changed...sort of. Although I am officially off the Chase Daniel and Missouri bandwagon for the "not focused enough for the matchup with the #1 team" excuse they have been throwing out there with this new 5:30 mantra, it doesnt make this week any easier for the Colorado Buffaloes.
Read more after the jump...
|National||Big 12||Actual||Category||Actual||Big 12||National|
|47||4||116.75||Pass Efficiency Defense||136.63||10||95|
|T-81||7||5.14||Tackles For Loss||8.14||2||7|
The Buffs are 22 point underdogs and although the Buffs' defense has been playing relatively well the past couple of weeks, CU only scored 14 points against the 111th ranked defense last week at home. Fourteen points isn't going to get it done in this league, not against the Colt McCoy's, Sam Bradford's or Chase Daniel's of the world. Even though the nation is down on Mizzou after the last two weeks, this Tiger team is still very talented with Daniel, WR Jeremy Maclin and TE Chase Coffman on the offensive side of the ball. And all Buffs fans remember the 45 - 0 onslaught the two Chase's put on Colorado in Boulder last year after the leading 10 - 7 in the second quarter.
That being said, the blue print to beat Missouri has been laid by Oklahoma State and Texas. The Buffs might not have the talent to pull it off but improving on the 55 - 10 shellacking last year is possible and a must. First of all, the Missouri defense is ranked 10th in the Big 12 and 100th in the nation giving up 287 yards/game through the air, not much better than the Kansas State Wildcats. The problem for the Buffs offense is that they are deficient especially in the passing game, ranked dead last in the Big 12. With new freshman quarterback Tyler Hansen clearly operating on a limited playbook, the Buffs might not be able to expose the secondary. Missouri is middle of the road against the rushing attack but Mizzou has shown they are vulnerable the last two weeks against the run:
|Missouri Defense||Rushing||Passing||Total Off.|
|SE Mo. St.(52-3)||28||84||3.0||-||53||26||1||250||5||-||81||334|
Are the Buffs as talented as OSU or Texas? Certainly not but Mizzou's defense isn't Texas, Florida State or even Kansas. This is the game where playing a tough schedule pays off. The Buffs offensive line has seen a lot and been through a lot of top talent so they shouldn't be surprised by anything Missouri throws at them. Controlling the line of scrimmage would be one way for the Buffs to stay in the game. And Coach Hawk needs to let the kid throw the ball this week. The Buffs had a great game plan against Kansas State last week. Against Missouri, the Buffs can't be conservative. They need to let Hansen throw it around. CU has nothing to lose. Establishing the run is first priority, getting the ball in Josh Smith's and Scotty McKnight is number two. The Buffs have totally forgotten the screen pass game and the quick hitters. Having Hansen in the game should enhance and improve those two facets of the game with his stronger arm and ability to scramble. Honestly the Buffs aren't supposed to win this game and probably won't but might as well take a shot.
On defense, the blueprint is to flat out get pressure on Chase Daniel from snap one without having to bring eight defenders. Yes, I know, duh, but CU has to get pressure on Daniel like they did with Freeman last week. The corner backs need to keep playing the way they have played all year. The player that scares me most in this game is TE Chase Coffman. I fear him more than WR Jeremy Maclin in that I don't know who the Buffs can put on Coffman. I don't like the way S Daniel Dykes or S Ryan Walters match up against him. Maybe S Anthony Perkins will have a bigger role as I think he would offer the best match up at the safety position. The Buffs would hate to put LB Brad Jones on him because he is needed for the pass rush. This is a glaring problem not only for the Buffs but the whole nation. Ask Texas how hard Coffman is to cover on his way to 12 catches for 140 yards. The Buffs can't lose him off the line of scrimmage.
Again the key for the defense is pressure and forcing turnovers. Hey if the Buffs can get a few turnovers and score early, you never know. Missouri's offense has shown the propensity to abandon the run in tough situations as shown below in the Missouri offensive game stats:
|Southeast Mo. St.(52-3)||36||256||7.1||3||33||26||0||336||10.2||3|