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Colorado Buffaloes Vs. Oregon State Beavers: Keys to the Game

What needs to happen for the Buffs to move to 3-0?

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Logo
2-0, 0-0
NR (Coaches Poll)

September 28th, 2012
Colorado Buffaloes vs. Oregon St. Beavers
Where: Reser Stadium - Corvallis, Oregon
When: 1:00 p.m. MT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: AM 850 KOA
Rain, high of 63
Line: Colorado +12
Tickets: Tickets Now

Tennessee Logo
3-1, 0-0
NR (Coaches Poll)

The Buffaloes are 2-0 on September 28th. They may not have gotten there by conventional means but the fact remains, Colorado heads into Corvallis with a decent opportunity to move to 3-0. Who would have thought? Here's what needs to happen for the road win.

Colorado_mediumGet Christian Powell rumbling
It's going to be wet. It's going to be windy. That much is fact. The Buffaloes probably have a lot practice playing in wet, slick situations over the past couple of weeks right? The wind is going to play havoc with both passing games and whichever team can get their struggling ground game going will have the best chance to win. In two games Powell only has 64 yards on 21 carries but he is the perfect type of back for this kind of weather. He's healed and near 100% now and if he can start eating up decent chunks of yards it would be a huge advantage for the Buffs.

Colorado_mediumFrustrate Sean Mannion
The Buffs are averaging a 1.5 sacks a game while the Beavers are only allowing 1 a game. Not exactly a recipe for success today. But the Oregon State offensive line is reeling, with injuries and banged up linemen, especially on the right side. In a wet sloppy environment everything is going to take just a bit longer in the passing game which will allow more time for the Buffs pass rushers, especially Chidea Uzo-Diribe to get to the quarterback and disrupt Mannion's rhythm. If Colorado can't put pressure on the Beavers quarterback the Buffs will be in trouble.

Colorado_mediumQuit with the special teams gaffes
Colorado improved in stopping the return game from Colorado State to Central Arkansas but the missteps against the Rams still loom large. Special teams have been a big focus for the Buffs in the nearly three weeks since they took the field but we need to see actual improvement on the field today. Oregon State has struggled in the return game through their first four games but they have athletes that could cause a lot of problems if the Buffs aren't technically sound.

Colorado_mediumOwn the fourth quarter 
The Buffs have outscored the competition 39-10 through their first two games, but those were in Denver and Boulder, not exactly a harsh road environment. Even so, last years team would have folded in the fourth quarter. I saw a stat this week that showed that the Buffs were outscored something like 120-30 (I can't find the actual numbers right now) in the fourth quarter last season, usually playing against the other team's 3rd or 4th stringers. Through four games the Beavers are outscoring the competition 50-37. Assuming that this game will most likely be within reach for both teams in the final quarter (turnovers not withstanding) means that it will be crucial that Colorado continues playing composed football when it matters most.

What are your keys to today's game?

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