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Stanford vs. Colorado: Q&A with Ralphie Report

We could see a little Toby Gerhart in one of the Buffs' running backs. Ah, memories.

William Mancebo

Big thanks to Jon Woods of SBN's Buffaloes blog, Ralphie Report, for answering a few questions about today's game. Here are my answers to Jon's questions.

1. If you were Jon Embree, who would you start at QB this week and why?

It wouldn't be Jordan Webb, that's for sure. We've seen time and time again what he can do and it's time to give one of the other guys a shot so that we have an idea what they can do heading into next season. I've always been a Connor Wood fan but from everything I have heard he just doesn't have the mental side of the game down yet. I'd give the ball to Nick Hirschman for a full game and let him try and lead this offense to some success.

2. Who's been the biggest bright spot for the Buffs on offense this season?

Hands down it has been true freshman running back Christian Powell. A late steal from UCLA, Powell came into the Colorado program as a fullback who had very little experience running the ball. He's still picking up some of the nuances of carrying the football, but his speed and footwork for a guy his size are eye-opening. Against the Ducks last week he finished the game with 121 yards and 2 touchdowns with 6.1 yards per carry. He's racked up 471 yards and 5 touchdowns this year and we should see that number continue to grow. Cardinal fans will see a little bit of Toby Gerhart in the way he runs on Saturday.

3. Who are a couple of defensive players that Stanford fans should look out for?

Senior defensive end Will Pericak has had a fantastic season amid The Nothing that is the Colorado defense. He moved from his natural position of defensive tackle earlier in the year to let some talented young tackles get some more playing time and he hasn't missed a beat. On the season, he has totaled 22 tackles, a sack, 4 forced fumbles and 3 quarterback hurries and has been the one guy to be able to get consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback.

4. What are the biggest reasons for Colorado's struggles this season? Personnel? Injuries? Coaching? A little bit of everything?

Youth, youth and more youth. There have certainly been some questionable coaching decision and strategies, more so on the defensive side of the ball, but the fact of the matter is this a program with no depth and very little upper-classmen leadership and there are a ton of guys learning on the fly. The secondary has started 2-3 true freshman every single game and these guys, while talented needed some more experience around them to be able to step right in and play. The one unit that had experience that has been a huge letdown are the linebackers. We expected a lot more from a unit that we thought heading into the season would be the strongest on the team.

5. What will it take for the Buffs to pull of the upset (or at least cover the four-TD spread)?

The Buffs will have to win the turnover battle and convert in the redzone. I think that's all it will take to not only cover the spread, but keep the game extremely close. That sounds relatively within reason for most teams, but these Buffaloes have given us no reason to believe that's something to expect on Saturday.