The less said about last weekend’s debacle in Columbia the better. The Buffalos were beaten in every phase of the game which seems to be a common occurrence for the Buffs on the road this year. The Two games in hostile territory (no, The Rocky Mountain Showdown doesn’t count because it was on neutral turf) have produced a whopping seven points for the Buffs. Roughly seven more points than I put up on the road this year and I don’t play college football. The good news is CU is at Folsom Field Saturday night (5:00 pm MST) where they will square off against a solid Baylor Bears (4-2, 0-1 Big 12) squad. Sitting at 3-2 overall and 0-1 in the Big 12 one could argue that this is a must win game for the Buffs. A loss would put what looks like a potential Bowl season in jeopardy and erases any hope of competing for a Big 12 North title.
This game is very winnable for the Buffalos. Both teams looked strong against inferior competition and were dominated by good football teams. The Bears looked strong against Buffalo, Kansas and Rice but were blown out by TCU and lost a heartbreaker last week to Texas Tech on a neutral field. The Buffs manhandled Colorado State and Hawaii but were run off the field against Cal and Missouri. If CU hopes beat the Bears they will need to follow my three keys to victory:
1) Run the ball and stop the run:
In Baylor’s four wins this year they have averaged over 200 yards a game on the ground and in two losses the Bears ground game was held under 90 yards a game. A strong ground game is also the key to CU’s attack as the Buffalo’s average over 200 yards a game on the ground in their three wins and a meager 68 yards per game in two losses.
2) Contain quarterback Robert Griffin III:
Griffin has accounted for close to 2000 yards of total offense in six games. This dual threat artist is Baylor’s leading passer who is coming off consecutive 300 plus yard passing games including a 384 yard 2 td performance against Texas Tech last week and he is the team’s second leading rusher. He has accounted for 19 touchdowns (13 passing, 6 rushing) in Baylor’s spread attack.
3) Eliminate mistakes and penalties (especially on special teams):
A blocked punt, missed field goal, blocked field goal and a successfully executed fake punt by Missouri won’t get it done against Baylor and neither will 8 penalties for 66 yards.
These are two relatively even matched teams that need a win and have one goal in common: Bowl or Bust. The Buffs can secure that much needed win if they play fundamentally sound football and use their new found home field advantage on Saturday night.
About the Author
Written by Matthew Stiles