For a defense that hasn’t played solid so far this season the Colorado Buffaloes can say one aspect of D.J. Eliot’s scheme has gone right. The depth and potential competition of the secondary was questionable going into the season. Having lost a number of talented players to the NFL along with starting cornerback Anthony Julmisse being dismissed from the program, there were no clear expectations for whoever started opposite of Isaiah Oliver.
That player by default was Trey Udoffia. At 6’1” and 185 pounds, CU’s redshirt freshman defensive back had to learn his position on the fly, but he’s done everything asked of him by Eliot and the rest of the coaching staff. After an injury, Udoffia’s return to the starting lineup will be a much needed boost as the Buffaloes prepare for the Cougars high-paced offensive attack.
Colorado will need every bit of help they can find. Washington State Cougars quarterback Luke Falk is fifth in the nation for passing yards, averaging 7.5 yards per attempt and tied for second with 19 touchdowns. The most impressive stat for WSU’s senior quarterback is his completion percentage of 70.8 with an average of just over 43 passing attempts per game. It’s nothing new for Falk, who’s been among the top five passers in college football the past three seasons.
Not to take away from the Buffaloes’ secondary and the job they’ve done against other elite quarterbacks this season. In the first seven games, Colorado has battled against three of the nation’s top 30 passers while holding each of them to some their worst games.
CU vs. Top 30 quarterbacks (2017): 63-of-113 | 55.7 % Comp. | 841 yards (280.3 avg. per game) | 2 TD | 4 INT
A key for Saturday will be the pressure applied by CU’s defensive front and the secondary capitalizing on the mistakes on the back end. Washington State has allowed the second most sacks in the nation on Falk with a total of 28, pushing the offensive efficiency to the bottom half of the Pac-12. Not to mention, Falk will be trying to rebound after throwing five interceptions last week vs. Cal, the most for a game in his career. Hopefully, the Buffs can play that to their advantage and force the Cougars into a bigger slump.