Every Friday through the end of the season we will be breaking down all of the local football games of the week and highlighting a few of the other games of note for the weekend. We won't be predicting the outcomes here, we will leave that for all of you in the comment section.
Kansas State Wildcats @ Colorado Buffaloes - Boulder, CO - 12:10 No TV (Watch online at cubuffs.com)
The Colorado Buffaloes are back on track after the first game of the post Dan Hawkins era lead to a dominant Colorado win over Iowa State. Now, the Buffs look to keep riding high and stay in contention for a bowl berth as they take on the Kansas State Wildcats in the last Big 12 game ever to be held at Folsom Field.
The Wildcats enter this weekend's game at 6-4 and only a very winnable game against North Texas following the contest with Colorado. Kansas State stumbled last weekend at Missouri, but they feature one of the top running backs in the country in Daniel Thomas. At quarterback, the Wildcats aren't giving any hints on who may be starting:
I have no idea who to tell you to expect at quarterback this weekend. Last weekend, I was certain I'd see Collin Klein take the field from my perch in the stands at Faurot Field. That didn't happen. Given CU's relative weakness at stopping the passing game, I wouldn't be surprised to see Coffman start, because he is the better passer of the two. If it works and he helps the team put up a couple of early scores, you will probably see him for the rest of the game. But if he struggles early, Snyder will have a quick hook and we'll see what Klein can do.
The Buffaloes will look to repeat the success they had on offense against Iowa State with a heavy dose of Rodney Stewart and timely passes from Cody Hawkins to Paul Richardson. The Wildcats have one of the worst run defenses in the country and Colorado should be able to take advantage if the offensive line plays to it's ability:
2. Keep our running game going. As mentioned above in Myths 1, the running game needs to be the predominant force on offense. I'm just not sure whether Speedy can do it this week all by himself. Getting Jefferson in there more often to throw off the defense's tackle-timing could produce a big play while giving Stewart a rest. Since the Wildcats will be keying on the run, it may need to be tweaked a bit, with quickly executed plays like last week mixed with some misdirection. One thing for sure is CU definitely wants to test the 112th-rated rush defense in the country with everything it has.
Colorado State Rams @ Wyoming Cowboys - Laramie, WY - 12:00 The Mtn.
Colorado State +2.5
This weekend the Rams head to Wyoming for the annual border war and the smack talk has already begun:
Colorado State and Wyoming have been playing against each other in football for 102 years with the winner getting the coveted Bronze Boot. With every rivalry comes the smack talk and Colorado State has fired up their first zinger:
"You could go ahead and quote it. I will be the first person to grab the boot after winning this game. It's my last game. What the heck?"
That came from Ram linebacker Ricky Brewer, who did not play in last year's loss to Wyoming due to an unspecified year-long suspension.
The 3-8 Rams seek to make sure that their rivals to the north are unable to get a conference victory this season and they will need a much better offensive performance in order to get the team's first road victory of the year in their final contest:
The offense for the Rams was nowhere to be found on Saturday afternoon, at least not until Pete Thomas tossed a 22-yard touchdown to Raymond Carter with 3:07 remaining in the fourth quarter of a 39-point setback in the final home game of the season. Thomas finished the outing 28-of-42 for 292 yards and the score, but he was also sacked twice and intercepted two times. Trailing from the very beginning, the Rams could not afford to waste time and effort running the ball, which is why they finished with just 83 yards on 24 attempts. The efforts of the running backs this year for the Rams have been under-whelming thus far, averaging just 117.4 ypg to rank sixth in the conference and 99th in the nation.
Air Force Falcons @ UNLV Rebels - Las Vegas, NV - Played 11/18
Air Force 35 - UNLV 20
Other Games Of Note:
#9 Ohio State @ #20 Iowa - Iowa City, IA - 1:30 ABC
#16 Virginia Tech @ #24 Miami - Miami, FL - 1:30 ESPN
#6 Stanford @ California - Berkeley, CA - 1:30 Fox Sports Net
#13 Arkansas @ #21 Mississippi State - Starkville, MS - 5:00 ESPN
#8 Nebraska @ #19 Texas A&M - College Station, TX - 6:00 ABC
Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers - San Diego, CA - 6:30 (Monday) ESPN
The Denver Broncos responded to a disastrous loss to the Raiders and an uninspired effort against the 49ers in London, by coming out and destroy the Kansas City Chiefs last weekend, 49-29. After a four game losing streak seemingly ended any playoff hopes, last weekend's divisional upsets may have made that outlook a bit more optimistic:
The Broncos are far from out of the race. The rest of the division has a handful of games that could result in losses. Most important to the Broncos playoff hopes are the 4 remaining divisional games. They must take advantage of those games and get 4 victories. Those victories will go a long way in helping the Broncos climb the standings. Although there are a guaranteed total of 3 losses that will be tallied between the Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders because they must play each other one more time before the end of the season.
In order to stay alive in the race, the Broncos will need to go on the road on Monday night and stop a Chargers team who's offense has been rolling along all season.
After yet another terrible first half of the season, the Chargers will be looking to finish strong; a tendency that is a recurring theme for them. San Diego has been beaten up at the Receiver position, but still manage to lead the league in Passing. They have also taken a beating at Inside Linebacker, but rank rather well defensively too. They have been missing their starting kicker for a month and 2 key Special Teams players are gone for the season. The Bye week will be a restorative for most of the health issues, but improvements have been put on hold because of them. The Chargers Pass Defense isn't the strongest and they are having trouble getting Turnovers. They're 0-for-2 in the division so far and can't afford to have any Special Teams miscues on Monday Night or the Broncos will take advantage of them. And if last week's impressive performance against the Chiefs doesn't scare San Diego, they've got another thing coming.
Other Games Of Note:
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings - Minneapolis, MN - 11:00 FOX
Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots - Foxboro, MA - 2:15 CBS
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles - Philadelphia, PA - 6:20 NBC