Colorado Game Notes
Colorado Buffaloes (3-6) (2-3)
1. The Buffs kept bowl and Big 12 North chances alive with 35-34 victory over a good Texas A&M team last week. Colorado had 437 yards on offense which is their second best total of the season
2. Colorado is 2-17 on the road under Dan Hawkins and currently have a 10 game road losing streak. The Buffaloes are 0-4 this season.
3. CU is the 4th most penalized team in the nation with 82 on the year.
4. Colorado gave up 8 sacks and a kick return for a touchdown in the victory over A&M.
5. The Buffaloes are last in the Big 12 and 111th in the country in total offense, averaging 303 yards per game.
6. WR Markques Simas had a breakout game and career high 7 catches for 135 yards last week.
7. The Buffaloes are last in the Big 12 in both punting categories (net punting and punt return yards)
8. RB Rodney Stewart averages 85 yards/game which is 5th best in the Big 12. He had 118 yards and two touchdowns last week.
Iowa State Game Notes
Iowa State Cyclones (5-5) (2-4)
1. ISU’s top three players on offense are all back from injury, Alexander Robinson (groin), Austen Arnaud (hand) and Reggie Stephens (appendectomy), and should be closer to full strength this week.
2. The home team has won the last 5 games in this series.
3. The Cyclones are #1 in the nation in punt return yards allowed (1.55/punt). Which is a huge credit to Michael Brandtner, who gets great hang time on his punts and allows the coverage team to get in position to make the tackle.
4. Iowa State’s rushing offense fell from first to third in the conference after a poor effort (54 yards) against Oklahoma State.
5. The Cyclone offense has managed just one touchdown a week for the last three weeks.
6. Senior Jesse Smith leads the conference in tackles with 112 stops.
7. It is the final home game for 23 Cyclone seniors. The group includes 11 starters (7 on defense, 3 on offense and Michael Brandtner).
8. Iowa State is second in sacks allowed in the conference. On the other side of the ball ISU is getting little pressure on quarterbacks, with the least number of sacks in the Big 12.
Keys to Cyclone Victory
1. Offensive Production – Iowa State needs to play with more confidence and a sense of urgency on offense. The Cyclones have a huge advantage in the running game and they need to establish it early. Once the running game is going the Cyclones should be able to get the passing game working. I would love to see a fast paced offense as it seems to give us rhythm and poise.
2. Win Special Teams – The Cyclones have the ability to win every phase of special teams and they need to do it. The return units should have opportunities to make plays.
3. Stop the Run – Iowa State needs to make Colorado one dimensional on offense. The Buffaloes have rushed for 140+ yards in all three of their victories. Stop the run = Win the game.
Players to Watch
1. Josh Lenz – I am calling a shot this week. Josh Lenz will return either a kick or punt for a touchdown this week. Mark it down.
2. Christopher Lyle – Colorado gives up 4 sacks a game which is very close to the worst in the country. ISU hasn’t pressured the quarterback all season, but could and should Saturday. Look for Lyle to get pressure and maybe even knock a ball loose in the process.
3. Alexander Robinson – ARob is healthy, the offensive line is back together and Colorado struggles to stop the run. Sounds like the right combination for a huge game. ARob gets 150 yards and a couple scores.
The goal since the beginning of the season has been to get to a bowl game and win it. Iowa State has a huge opportunity to accomplish that goal and they need to go get it. The Cyclones have been tired/beat up the past couple weeks and it showed in their performances. The excuses should be over now as the offense is back at full strength. Iowa State didn’t match up well with the two teams from the South, but there shouldn’t be a mismatch this week.
The Cyclones will pound it on the ground and control the clock. The defense will concentrate on stopping the run and make Tyler Hansen try to beat them. The special teams will have their best game of the year and get a score. Colorado hasn’t played well on the road and that trend continues.
Iowa State Cyclones 31 Colorado Buffaloes 21
Iowa State vs Colorado Week – Player Interviews
James Smith, Fred Garrin and Rashawn Parker – Cyclones.com
Derrick Catlett, Reggie Stephens and Marquis Hamilton – Cyclones.com