The Colorado Buffalos (4-6, 1-4) will host the Kansas State Wildcats (6-4, 3-4) in the last home game of the 2010 season at Folsom Field on Saturday. It will also mark the last time the Buffs host a Big 12 game before moving on to the Pac 12 next year and it is interim head coach Brian Cabral’s second game at the helm. The Buffs hope to take one step closer to respectability and a possible bowl game while the Wildcats are looking to secure a bowl game of their own after a disappointing loss to Missouri.
The Wildcats will try to get it done on the ground, led by bruising tailback Daniel Thomas who is a load at 6-2 228 pounds. His 1,168 yards and 11 touchdowns is the catalyst for a ground assault averaging almost 200 yards a game. K-State will also deploy quarterback Collin Klein who is coming off back-to-back hundred yard rushing efforts against Texas and Missouri. Carson Coffman is the other half of K-State’s quarterback tandem. Coffman is the better passer, although he has thrown more picks (12) than touchdowns (9) and Klein is the runner. CU will almost certainly see both members of the spotty quarterback tandem as Coffman will try to loosen up CU’s stout run defense.
K-States prodigious ground games will go up against CU’s defense that is only allowing 132 yards a game against the run and stifled a potent Iowa State attack last week. The Buffs pass defense is not nearly as proficient as they give up 267 yards per game through the air. K-State will try to exploit the porous pass defense but that is not what they do best and if CU attacks the quarterback like last week when they recorded 8 sacks K-State will not have much success in the passing game. My guess is K-State will test the veracity of the Buffs run defense early and often, if CU holds then the Wildcats will then resort to throwing the ball.
When the Buffs have the ball they should continue showcasing their balanced attack featuring the passing of Cody Hawkins and the running of Rodney “Speedy” Stewart but, we should see more of Stewart this week as CU will look to exploit K-States run defense that is dead last in the conference giving up 227 yards a game. K-State’s pass defense is much better, they only give up 216 ypg (2nd in the Big 12) but they don’t get after the quarterback very well having only accrued 10 sacks in seven conference games. I believe CU can exploit K-States porous run defense as well as their somewhat overrated pass defense. The Wildcat pass defense is overrated because when it’s so easy to run on them teams don’t need to pass the ball.
The Wildcats aren’t a great team, but they put points on the board (31.8 per game) and are well coached by the legendary Dan Snyder. The keys to a Buffs win are stop the run, maintain a balanced offensive attack, and most importantly play with the energy and enthusiasm they displayed against Iowa State. If they can do that interim Coach Brian Cabral will improve to 2-0 as the Buffs head coach.
The pick: CU 32 KSU 23
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Written by Matthew Stiles