The Colorado Buffaloes don’t have an easy matchup on Saturday for their homecoming game as the physical Oregon State Beavers will be making their way to Folsom Field. CU will have to be at its best for what’s shaping to be a huge recruiting weekend for head coach Deion Sanders.
This game has always been one that I thought would be challenging for the Buffs, mainly because Oregon State plays a brand of football that is tough for any team to contend with, and Colorado’s O-line will once again be challenged.
Below are five areas of concern for the Buffaloes’ homecoming game against Oregon State:
The Beavers have balance on offense
I am envious of the Beavers’ offensive system. It reminds me of CU’s power-running game of the early 2000s but with a modern twist. It’s close, but as of right now, Oregon State has called more running plays than passing plays (279 to 231). This allows the Beavers to beat up on the opposing lines while setting them up for the big play downfield.
Oregon State has great trench play
OSU can rely on its run game because of the outstanding play it gets out of its offensive line. The OL has powered the run game to average more than five yards a carry and the Beavers have only allowed nine sacks on the season.
On defense, it’s much of the same story. Opposing teams only get about 3.6 yards an attempt on the ground, and the Beavers have accumulated 26 sacks. Given CU’s woes on its lines, the Beavers should have an advantage in both areas.
Is Shedeur Sanders healthy?
Colorado’s offensive line struggles this season came to a head during the UCLA game as quarterback Shedeur Sanders was battered in the face of an outstanding Bruins pass rush. Sanders was walking with a noticeable limp during the game and needed a few extra days to get healthy. The Buffs need Sanders if they want to win.
The Beavers don't turn the ball over
Colorado’s defense has allowed yardage this season, but it has also been able to force turnovers. The Buffs must make the most out of its opportunities because OSU has done a great job protecting the ball. Coming into this game, the Beavers have only thrown four interceptions and lost two fumbles.
Will the offensive line respond?
Offensive coordinator Sean Lewis, O-line coach Bill O’Boyle and the Buffs’ offensive line have all taken a bunch of heat for what happened at UCLA. But Coach Prime is confident that his O-line will respond. I’m hopeful that he’s right, but I’ll remain skeptical until I see it.