All fall camp, the Buffs practiced in intense heat through the “dog days” of July and August in anticipation of some hot weather games early on in the schedule. But with the forecast on Saturday afternoon in Lincoln calling for temperatures in the mid 60s, overcast skies, and a roughly 20 percent chance of rain, it doesn’t look like they’ll be tested in these conditions just yet. In fact, this type of weather is very untypical for a late summer game - and thus hard to prepare for at the start of the season.
However, the team has taken the possibility of unideal conditions in stride - preparing for the worse and expecting the best. Although not everyone on the roster got to participate in spring ball, that chillier weather is something that helped them get ready for their first cooler game of the season.
“All spring, we practiced when it was cold and rainy outside - we never went inside, to make sure we had [that type of preparation],” Coach MacIntyre said.
One of the hardest parts about playing in sloppy weather is the domino effect it has on the wet, slicker, football that is hard to grip - and therefore throw and catch. Because of this, the team has spent ample time in practice getting ready for these conditions for both on Saturday, and whenever else they may arise.
“We’ve been doing wet ball drills all week. Balls have been wetter than they’ll be in the game, and so we’ve worked on that, and we do that periodically during camp too.”
Regardless of the weather, one can only expect that the entire state of Nebraska will show their colors at Memorial Stadium. Grey skies, brisker than normal air, and a little wetness won’t be a excuse for either sides play on Saturday. Now it’s up to the Buffs to go out and use their preparation for it as an advantage.
Similarities Between Playing Style
In the Rocky Mountain showdown, the Buffs new look, quick-paced offense was on full display. Their first two drives lasted under two minutes, and play caller Darrin Chiaverini put an emphasis on getting to the line quickly and getting the ball snapped. On film, MacIntyre has noticed many similarities between the Scott Frost’s offensive attack at Central Florida and his own teams. He also sees a commonality in the fact that they play a 3-4 scheme similar to theirs.
Just like preparing for the wet conditions, Colorado has spent ample time in practice getting ready for the up-tempo offense they’re set to face by having their own offense play at a similar pace. This is something that could keep them both on their heels early on, and more ready for the Cornhuskers offense from the opening possession.
“[Playing against a similar type of offense] in practice should help us,” MacIntyre said. “We do a lot of fast periods where we’re going as fast as we can with offense against defense, so I’m hoping that’ll help us - but they’ll go really fast there also so we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for that.”
Collier Expected to Return
After being forced to leave Friday’s season opener with a shoulder injury, linebacker Jacob Collier is expected to play against the Cornhuskers. However, he is questionable and it looks like his status will be a gametime decision between the coaches and training staff.