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One Last Time: CU Edition E-mail
Written by Slim   
Friday, 08 October 2010 12:05

2bg

Chip and the Colorado co-eds haven't had much to smile about in recent games with Mizzou.

Sometimes we tend to out-think ourselves.  We see an improved Colorado team and start thinking this might be the year they knock off Mizzou.  We see an unpredictable Big 12 and start feeling insecure about this week's game.  We see a Colorado team coming off a solid win against a struggling, but still name-brand Georgia team and we start over-thinking things.  Most people expected the crew led by hapless Hawkins to get crushed by Georgia and when they didn't, we start to worry.

Before we get too worked up, let's look at some basic facts.  Colorado hasn't won a road game since October 2007.  Their last venture away from Boulder resulted in a 52-7 butt-kicking from a decent California team.  The Buff's last visit to Columbia resulted in a 58-0 butt-kicking, Missouri's biggest win over a Big 12 opponent under Gary Pinkel.  Missouri has beaten Colorado in their last four meetings and the average margin of victory in those games is something like +30 in favor of Mizzou.  Dan Hawkins has never beaten Gary Pinkel.  Throw in the fact that Missouri has had an extra week to prepare and the Tigers are playing at home and you should start to feel a little better about this one being a comfortable win.

However, anything can happen in college football so we might as well go over what the Buff's do well.

Colorado's only real strength is running the football.  Keep in mind that Missouri will be without DT Jimmy Burge (suspension) so the Tigers depth at the main run-stopping position is a little thinner than usual.  Aldon will also be held out of this one, much to the relief of Colorado.  Last year, Aldon tormented Tyler Hansen all day long to the tune of three sacks.

Anyway, Colorado has a solid one-two punch with running backs Rodney Stewart and Brian Lockridge.  Stewart has more than double Lockridge's carries, but together they've been good for nearly 140 yards a game on the ground.  Dan Hawkins has finally picked a permanent quarterback in Tyler Hansen.  Hansen's listed at 6-1, but when I saw him last year he didn't look nearly that big.  I'd compare him to a poor man's Sod Reesing.  He's little, he's a decent thrower and can make plays with his feet when he has to.  Ok, when I say poor man's Sod Reesing I mean more like a homeless man's Reesing, but that's the comparison that comes to mind.

The Buffaloes advantages pretty much stop there.  They have some nice receivers in the timeless Scotty McKnight (16 catches, 178 yards) and Toney Clemons (10 catches, 156 yards).  Clemons was the Big 12's preseason newcomer of the year (he transferred from Michigan) so the fact that he only averages about 40 yards a game receiving for Colorado has to be concerning.  Missouri's secondary should be able to shut these guys down.

As for Missouri, I think we all want to see a continued dedication to the running game.  Missouri leads the nation in yards per rush in the first quarter at 10.04 yards per carry!  That's an astounding number.  I'm not a fan of exclamation points, but that stat is so absurd I felt it was warranted.  The question is, will the Tigers go to the ground game enough to make it a factor?

As for intangibles, they're almost all entirely in favor of Missouri.  They're rested, they're at home, etc, etc... The only thing I can think of in favor of Colorado is that it's the 20th anniversary of the fifth down game and maybe they can catch another miraculous break from the football Gods once again.  Not likely.

For what it's worth, Charles Johnson didn't score on fifth down either.

Missouri is the nation's 24th ranked team.  It has it's sights set on moving much higher with that.  Teams that are serious about contending for a division or conference title don't lose at home to inferior teams.  Colorado is better than past versions, but still inferior.  It's easy to talk yourself into thinking this one could be close.  In reality, it shouldn't be.

Prediction: 41-20 Mizzou



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