To be honest I had not seen a lot of Colorado, so I sat down and started working through film. What I saw did not inspire a lot of confidence in the matchup Stanford is headed into.
While Colorado has played some teams that are not exactly top tier, I see you Idaho State, but they also are 2-1 in the PAC-12 and played with a very talented Michigan team. Do not underestimate this team. Let us look back to the teams that did have close games in the PAC-12 and played weaker teams, Washington and Washington State both clobbered Stanford. So no more taking teams lightly.
Against Idaho State the Buffaloes first four drives lasted under a minute and a half, and in five of their first seven games they put up 40 or more points. This is a very high powered offense that likes to go very up tempo. They like to get the ball to their running backs out in space an then take shots, and lots of them. They also get into the red zone a lot, 34 times to be exact which is second in college. They have scored on 31 of those trips. When they get down there they rush for 16 touchdowns and seven passing touchdowns along with eight field goals. This team will take shots and then roll over defenses in the red zone on the ground. That is a credit to Phillip Lindsay, the running back for the Buffaloes who has 30 total yards and 10 total touchdowns.
Senior quarterback Sefo Liufau will make his first start since his ankle injury on September 17th, against Michigan. This will mean that the quarterback with the best knowledge of the offense and best rapport with the receivers. And they boast a great receiving core.
Shay Fields averages 18.9 yards a catch, Devin Ross averages 12.5 yards a catch and Bryce Bobo averages 13.5 yards a catch. These three also combine for 12 touchdowns. They are all explosive and are averaging first downs, and Stanford only has one Quenton Meeks.
On the defensive side Colorado has two very good defensive backs in Ahkello Witherspoon and Afolabi Laguda. Witherspoon has an impressive 10 passes broken up while Laguda has recorded 39 tackles. Both also have recorded interceptions. These two will be playing the passing game of Stanford all night.
The linebackers for this team are also very talented. Rick Gamboa has 35 tackles on the season and a pick six. Jimmie Gilbert has 8.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. He also has recorded five forced fumbles. Kenneth Olugbode has 54 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a pick. Addison Gillam has tallied 18 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble. These guys generate a lot of this defense’s negative plays and turnovers. They are the backbone of the defense and will be coming after the Cardinal all game.
In conclusion, Stanford has their work cut out for them as they are up against a very good set of linebackers and corners to combat the receiving core and running backs of the Cardinal. On offense there are just too many weapons for the Cardinal to shut down this explosive offense.
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