NR (Coaches Poll)
NR (Coaches Poll)
The Buffaloes now sit at 0-2 after two losses to teams currently scraping the bottom of the barrel. Rams and Hornets fans don't want to hear Colorado talk about how bad they are after beating the Buffs, but losses to New Mexico State and North Dakota State kind of negate that whole win thing. Time to break down the keys that need to take place for the Buffaloes to get back in the win column.
Create at least two turnovers
Outside of a fumble recovery against Colorado State, the Buffaloes haven't had a single turnover through these first two games. Now, the offense has also been great about not turning the ball over, but it won't help this team very much if the defense isn't giving Eric Bienemy a short field at least once a game. Even with the extreme inexperience in some positions on defense, there is still plenty of athletic talent on display. The defense is going to have to take a few risks, and succeed, at least once, for the Buffaloes to be able to pull this one out.
Dominate the special teams battles
Another area of intangibles where the Buffs need to step up big today. Darragh O'Neill needs to continue punting the way that he has to start the season. Will Oliver has to make the most of his opportunities. The return teams have shown a bit of a spark in the first two games but haven't been able to make the one extra move to spring to freedom. A big return would be huge. A missed field goal from the Bulldogs wouldn't hurt either...
Pound and wear down the Fresno defensive line
With a high on the day of 102 degrees, the temperature on the field at the start of the game could still be extremely warm at 5 when the game kicks off in California. The temp should drop a good amount during the game, but the Buffaloes have an opportunity to come out and introduce the Bulldogs to Christian Powell. A steady dose of the hulking fullback won't help the Fresno defense later in the game when the tired legs begin to make an appearance. Pay close attention to how the Buffs adapt to the heat as well.
Requiring turnovers and special teams touchdowns in order to win a game sounds like a desperate team grasping at straws in the hope of an improbable win. The odds may look a bit long heading into this game, but take a quick stroll down memory lane and remember how you felt heading into last seasons game against Utah. Fresh off a 45-6 beat down in Westwood, the Buffaloes traveled to Salt Lake City as 22-point underdogs to take on a Utes squad playing for an opportunity to head to the Pac-12 Championship game in their first year in a BCS conference. Yea, we all remember how that turned out. This team is significantly better than what we've seen in the first two games. All it will take is a complete performance and a little bit of faith and the Buffaloes will get their first win of 2012.
What are your keys to today's game?