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Colorado State Rams Return Experience on the Offensive Line - Buff Bites

Colorado_mediumThe Quad Countdown: No. 73 Colorado State - The Quad Blog -
A solid writeup by the New York Times on the Colorado St. Rams.

Season breakdown & prediction: Two keys for the Rams: find a quarterback and a running game. If Fairchild can identify playmakers at these two spots, this offense will hum. This is mainly because of a very good offensive line, which has the depth and experience to be the best in the Mountain West. If C.S.U. can get similar offensive production to a season ago, there is no reason to think the Rams won’t be bowl participants in 2009. But can the Rams challenge for the conference title? No, I don’t think so. Beyond the offensive question marks, C.S.U. does not return enough on defense to think it will be able to stop teams like Utah and B.Y.U., who have the offensive firepower to simply outscore the Rams. Best case? The Rams find capable starters on its defensive line, the secondary prevents the big play and Sisson tackles everything in sight. Worst case? Due to its losses in the front seven, C.S.U. is again abysmal against the run, and teams are able to exploit both that and a secondary forced to step up into the box. If the best case occurs, the Rams can win eight games; worst case, Colorado State may not reach five. I don’t think either is likely to occur: I have the Rams matching last fall’s six-win total, with four wins coming in M.W.C. play.

So the obvious weakspots/question marks on this CSU team going into 2009 is replacing five of the seven starters up front on defense as well as finding a starting quarterback and replacements for running backs Kyle Bell and Gartrell Johnson III. The Rams do have some players coming back including four senior offensive linemen, a strong wide receiver in Rashaun Greer and a decent secondary. So what does this mean for the Buffs, looking out a couple months and briefly summing up the match up:

Offensively, at first glance, the Buffs should throw no more than 20 times in the game with a depleted front seven coming back from last year for the Rams. It should be the Darrell Scott, Rodney Stewart, Demetrius Sumler and Brian Lockridge show. I am not completely sold on the Rams' cornerbacks Nick Oppenneer and Gerard Thomas but a healthy Klint Kubiak at safety immediately upgrades the secondary. Considering our passing game, it should be a solid dose on the ground. If the Buffs are really that dominant on the offensive line and at running back like we think they are, I see no reason why their shouldn't be a special performance on the ground with huge numbers.

Defensively, the Buffs will need to be aggressive. The Rams offensive line should be good. How good you ask? Well, if offensive line experience says anything, the Rams should be the best in the country as they return 129 starts in 2009, tops in the nation.  I am not worried about Rashaun Greer going off, put Jimmy Smith on him and let's go focus elsewhere. That elsewhere is a healthy mix of 3 - 4, 4 - 3 and 3 - 3 - 5 fronts that will confuse the new quarterback and keep the offensive line on its toes. If the Rams get in a groove with the running game against an unknown defensive line, the Buffs could be playing with fire early. We should know a lot about the front seven after this game considering the experience that returns on the defensive line for Colorado St.

Colorado_mediumThe Quad Countdown: No. 72 Texas A&M - The Quad Blog -
The Quad also detailed Texas A&M, who they expect to finish 72nd in the NCAA this year, one spot ahead of Colorado State.

Colorado_mediumGame against CU tough to fit in AFA schedule - The Denver Post
Air Force Falcons athletic director Hans Mueh talks about the potential of renewing the Colorado - AFA football rivalry:

"I'm willing to discuss it, but it's not one of those things I will spend a lot of time on," Mueh said. "A home-and-home rivalry just wouldn't fit in our schedule. We have only two openings each year, and we have to take advantage of those opportunities (eight conference games + two services games guaranteed each year)."

"We've agreed that for the first five years of coach Troy Calhoun's term as coach that we would attempt to play an opponent where we're favored to win in the Parents Weekend game," Mueh said.

It is very hard to see this game happening and to tell you the truth, that is fine with me. The Buffs already have a Mountain West conference opponent on the schedule where a home and home is schedule every two years. I also think Air Force is an extremely tough matchup year in and year out because of the offense they run. It is like Larry Walker sitting out when Randy Johnson pitches, trying to prepare for the option and then playing in the Big 12 is polar opposites, which causes confusion. And looking at it from Air Force's point of view, they are very limited with only two games they can schedule every year and while it may be tough to swallow when their athletic director basically says we need to find a cupcake to win against in one of the two, that is the nature of college football these days.

Colorado_mediumAggies running back could make sudden impact -
Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune takes an educated guess at which newcomers — true freshmen, redshirt freshmen and eligible transfers — will make an immediate impact this fall in the Big 12. He features Nick Kasa at #9 and notes OT Bryce Givens in the honorable mention category.

9. Nick Kasa, DE, Colorado: CU hasn’t won much under Dan Hawkins, but the guy can recruit. He managed to get Kasa, the country’s third-ranked defensive end, to drop his verbal commitment to Florida and sign with the home-state Buffs. The true freshman could be an instant upgrade to CU’s defensive line.

Colorado_mediumCollege recruits show their stuff at Nike camp - Boulder Daily Camera
The University of Colorado hosted one of the many Nike Football Training Camps which attracts some of the best high school football players in the country. The Boulder Daily Camera talks about some of the prospects and how they did. 6/19 Roundtable - The Most Underrated Teams
Pete Fiutak of College Football News labels Toledo as one of his five most underrated teams:

5. Toledo - The Rockets aren't going to play any defense right away, but the offense is about to be jump-started. It could be the most effective in the MAC and good enough to be a major pain in non-conference play.