Colorado Buffaloes (1-0, 0-0) vs Eastern Washington (0-1, 0-0)
September 6th, 2008 1:30pm
Radio - 850 KOA / TV - None
So we have detailed the Eastern Washington Eagle Offense and Defense. We all know the implications of this game and how it is important for the Buffs to have a solid performance and not let this team hang around like Texas Tech did a week ago. The Eagles have enough playmakers to challenge the Buffs cornerbacks but I expect the defensive line to get pressure on the quarterback. The linebackers should be able to roam free with EWU looking to pass as their first, second and third choice with a weak rushing performance last week. As I said in the offensive preview, the Buffs have too much size and talent to not have an explosive day. If the Buffs don't put up 40+, this game will be close. I will be at the game so I will try to keep you as updated as possible. Woodrow will be running the live game thread from home tomorrow so stop by and discuss the game like last week.
Here we go...
CU's Keys to the Game (and what EWU should try to do to pull an upset)
- Punish the Eagles Early and Often - The offensive and defensive line have a big size advantage in this game. The Buffs should not attempt to get in a shoot out with these guys. Pound the ball on offense and on defense, get after the quarterback. That is the quickest way to deter any production.
Make EWU Even More One Dimensional - the CU offense needs to jump out to a lead and the defense needs to frustrate the Eagles early. If the Buffs can eliminate the running attack like Tech did last week, EWU becomes very predictable.
Clean It Up - No turnovers, limit the penalties and fix the shotgun snap. Don't give the Eagles second and third chances. They are capable on offense to pull the upset if we drop them 3 or 4 turnovers or have 18 penalties for 169 yards like Tech did last week.
- Let the Playmaker's Play - I used this last week and will continue to use it. We saw in the CSU game that we have some playmakers. Keep feeding the ball to Josh Smith, Scotty McKnight, Rodney Stewart and Darrell Scott. Big things happened when these four got the ball last week.
- Play with a Chip On Your Shoulder - Avenge for Montana State, the corner backs can prove that people should no longer question them, prove this is a new team. The Buffs have the built in incentive to come out and be motivated. Good teams come to play every week. We will find out how mature this time is this week.
This Week's 5 Impact Player's
CB Jalil Brown - I like this kid, he is a playmaker and he will have a large role this weekend. I think the corner back trio steps up and has a good game. Look for Anthony Wright, if healthy, to have a productive outing as well.
DE Maurice Lucas - I am giving him another shot. He wasn't very impressive against CSU but he should be able/needs to put pressure on the quarterback this week.
RB Darrell Scott - If there is one week on the schedule that you could look for an offensive explosion, it would be this one. The Buffs have a large size advantage on the offensive line. Expect the Buffs to get Scott more touches in preparation for West Virginia. I see Scott's first 100 yard game in the works. Buffs will have a big day on the ground.
WR Josh Smith - What can Josh Smith do for an encore? He has to be looking at the 536 yards passing that Texas Tech had and start salivating to run through Eastern Washington's defensive backfield.
- QB Cody Hawkins - See Josh Smith's explanation.
Before we get to the Buffs game, lets look around the college football landscape at some other games this weekend. I have to admit this is not a great weekend to be picking games. It is probably the low point in the college football season. Big choke job by South Carolina last night. I think I am going to call Steve Spurrier and see if he needs a quarterback. Last week I went 4-2 thanks to Tennessee choking against UCLA and Western Michigan getting killed by Nebraska. I did pick Clemson to win but I had Alabama and the points.
I've decided for this little weekly segment I am going to let all of you watch me lose all of my money and tell you who I am actually putting money on for the upcoming weekend (Monopoly won of course... although The Ralphie Report enthusiastically endorses gambling). Irish will add his thoughts on the weekend's big games below (and the guy has earned himself about 2 weeks of credibility after predicting the score of the CU game last weekend).
Miami (FL) +21.5 @ Florida
Texas Tech -10.5 @ Nevada
Northwestern -6.5 @ Duke
Marshall @ Wisconsin -21
San Diego St @ Notre Dame -21
Louisiana Tech @ Kansas -20.5
UNLV @ Utah -21
Toledo @ Arizona -23
Uggghhhhh.... What's my deal with 21 point spreads? I'm going to get killed.
Woodrow's definitely going with some big numbers there. How about the Northwestern-Duke game? You know your a gambling degenerate when you...pick two schools that would be better to watch compete over a lab class than on the football field.
So here are my picks, I would go after Woodrow's weak selection of games but there are not many games to pick this week.
The one game that will have the Buffs attention will be West Virginia @ East Carolina. Was East Carolina's win a product of a bad Virginia Tech offense? The game has dropped from 8.5 to 7.5 in favor of West Virginia. I'll take West Virginia (-7.5) only because I want them to be over-confident coming into Boulder rather than pissed off after a loss.
Other games I like:
San Diego St @ Notre Dame -21 - Chuck Long could be fired after this one
Texas Tech -10.5 @ Nevada - would have liked to get this at 8.5 points.
Miami (FL) +21.5 @ Florida - the hurricane has pushed away and it will be sunny. No bad weather to help Miami now. Remember, there will be no hold back from Urban Meyer as this is also a recruiting battle game in the Swamp. Florida by 4 touchdowns
BYU -9.5 @ Washington - did you see the Oregon - Washington score last week?
And now for the big one. Colorado v. Eastern Washington. Luckily, there isn't a line on this one since EWU is an FCS school. Short and simple, the Buffs need a dominating, clean performance on both sides of the ball heading into the bye week. We need answers at every position, not question marks. This game will serve as a confidence booster for the next 4 weeks of tough competition if the Buffs can play a complete game. The coaching staff will have the Buffs ready to go and the players should respond. The Buffs are stronger, bigger and have more talent than the Eagles. Buffs 42, Eagles 20, 2 - 0 going into the bye week.