Let me start off by saying that I am very excited about the win. I mean, 38 - 17 was exactly the score that I predicted in my review of the game last Friday so I have to be satisfied. I was very impressed with the defense as they technically didn't allow any long touchdown drives. The only touchdown allowed was after a tipped screen pass that gave the Rams the ball deep inside the Buffs territory. And the defense did one hell of a job on Kory Sperry, which was one of my keys to the game. He was visibly frustrated and ended the game with an unimpressive 2 receptions for 11 yards. Plus, the Buffs got to Farris 6 times. I'll talk about the secondary later. Overall, the Buffs are bigger and faster on both sides of the ball and it showed in the second half where coaches made great halftime adjustments and really put a stranglehold on the game.
But my biggest concern coming out the game was how the Buffs ran the no huddle offense last night. For the first game, I know there will be growing pains but I think their are some innate issues with the way CU is running the offense that aren't due to growing pains. The Buffs didn't give up a sack due to Cody's pocket presence and relatively strong offense line performance. They had 367 yards of offense 153 of which were on the ground. So you are asking what is wrong with that? Nothing, but our rushing game consisted of two plays last night, dive right, dive left or Cody fumbled snap. The Buffs fumbled or mishandled snaps 4 times last night that really sputtered the offense. The times when the Buffs were deep in their own territory, they didn't have a power set that allowed them to get tough yards. Maybe they were trying to be vanilla in the first game but we have to get better at a few things.
First off, plain and simple, Cody needs to be able to get under center and let Scott or Sumler or Stewart running student body left with pulling guards to keep the defense honest. It is a must. They have to add that hybrid because sitting back and running the option running game with a non-running option quarterback doesn't open a lot of things up and against a good, strong defensive line. Second, I know it is a no huddle but the Buffs need to slow it down. Remember it is not a true no huddle, it is a contained no huddle with reads and formation changes at the line. A lot of times, Cody snapped the ball before players were ready or set resulting in penalties. Third and this is probably something that will come over time, but there was not a strong rhythm to the offense. There wasn't that one dominating drive without any penalties or miss snaps that got you feeling great about the offense. There was glimpses though.
WR Josh Smith (J Fly) and WR Scotty McKnight showed glimpses of being a great 1-2 punch. Darrell Scott will now be the starter after the extensive work he got and he looked good doing it. We will always remember the 14 yard run with multiple broke tackles as the day we knew he was going to be special. I will have my game grades up soon so check out commentary on all the positions but overall, good win. Eastern Washington will be tougher than CSU next week because they are stronger in the passing game. Hopefully we can get someone from Double-T Nation, the Texas Tech blog, to write us a "what to watch for" from EWU.
Picture of Darrell Scott, courtesy of Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post