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.
Colorado Buffaloes @ Kansas Jayhawks - Lawrence, KS - 12:00 No TV
October 27, 2007. The Colorado Buffaloes defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock to notch the last road victory of the Dan Hawkins regime. On Saturday, Hawkins will have what is most likely his last legitimate chance to end the streak before his time with the program could come to an end.
The Buffaloes head to Lawrence to take on a Jayhawks team that is also winless in the Big 12 and is struggling under first year head coach Turner Gill. Kansas followed up a disappointing loss to D-1AA North Dakota State by upsetting Georgia Tech, allowing for some optimism amongst the fan base who hoped that maybe the first game was an aberration. It's been all down hill from there though as they have only managed one more victory this season, against an awful New Mexico State program. Currently, the Jayhawks are ranked 112th in points scored and 100th in points against, numbers that help to tell the story that is the futility of this Kansas team.
For Colorado to end the road streak as well as the current four game losing slide, they will need to stay aggressive and win the turnover battle. The Ralphie Report says it all starts with attitude:
Always be the Aggressor - Whether on Offense, Defense or Special Teams, be aggressive and make them play your game. Don't ever stand back and wait for the Jayhawks to do something. Take the play to them. This requires constant mental toughness and confidence. It doesn't mean go out of your assignments, it just means execute those assignments actively and aggressively every time. And on special teams, go for it with a fake at least once in the game if under appropriate circumstances.
Thrive on being the Enemy - When you're on the road, you have to enjoy the role of villain. Circle the wagons and carry a chip on your shoulder, but don't just do that, because it always puts one in a defensive posture. Do it in an aggressive way. You have to be the invaders, there to sack, destroy and terrorize, and then steal and bring back the victory. You're the Buffaloes, in town to trample and pillage!
Air Force Falcons @ Army Black Knights - West Point, NY - 10:00 CBS College Sports
Air Force -6.5
Air Force heads to West Point hoping to solidify their first Commander-in-Chief's trophy since 2002 and the Falcons 17th trophy overall. Their hot start has cooled off somewhat after arriving at a very difficult portion of the schedule, losing the last three games.
Army enters the game at 5-3, thanks to a strong running game that has carried the team throughout 2010:
The offense for Army is practically identical to Air Force's approach, as the Black Knights head into this meaningful contest averaging 281.4 ypg. Army, which is producing 30.4 ppg, has scored 26 of its 30 touchdowns via the run. Jared Hassin is currently leading the team with 669 rushing yards, and has also scored eight touchdowns, while quarterback Trent Steelman has rumbled for 499 yards and a team-best nine scores.
The last time Army was in action the team punished VMI for 316 yards and two rushing touchdowns. One of those scores was claimed by Hassin, who rumbled for 158 yards on just 14 carries. Patrick Mealy added 97 rushing yards, while Steelman contributed 42 yards to go along with one touchdown. Because Army relies heavily on its ground game it is very rare that Steelman has to throw the football. In the win over VMI the quarterback threw for just 64 yards and has just 568 yards and four scores on the season.
As improved as the Army attack this season has been, Air Force has been even better, and the Falcon triple option attack should give the Black Knights fits.
Falcons might fly, but these Falcons stay grounded and use their ground game to abuse their competition. Air Force, which is averaging 29.1 ppg, has dominated its opponents for an outstanding 313.6 ypg and out of the 35 touchdowns scored by this unit, 27 have come via the run. Asher Clark is currently leading the team with 735 yards on 5.8 yards per attempt, while quarterback Tim Jefferson has contributed 570 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns. Clearly the Flacons do not pass much, which means Jefferson is rarely called upon to air out the football, which is for the best, because when under center the signal caller has completed just 50.4 percent of his throws. In nine games the quarterback has thrown just seven touchdowns against six interceptions.
Colorado State Rams @ San Diego State Aztecs - San Diego, CA - 8:00 The Mtn.
Colorado State +17
A Colorado State team that hasn't been able to win on the road (I'm sensing a theme here) travels to San Diego to take on the resurgent Aztecs.
If not for a pair of three-point setbacks to nationally-ranked Missouri and the BYU Cougars, the Aztecs would be one of the premier teams in the nation. As it stands, the squad has earned nine votes in the most recent AP poll and sits in third place in the MWC standings with a 3-1 mark. Already eligible for postseason play, the Aztecs had a bit of a fight on their hands last weekend against Wyoming on the road, but managed to pull out a 48-38 victory. The 38 points allowed were the most this season by SDSU, yet the squad still captured its fourth win in five tries.
Colorado State was able to dominate New Mexico last Saturday thanks to Leonard Mason and the Ram rushing attack as Mason piled up 124 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Pete Thomas had another strong game as well, completing 17-of-25 passes for 256 yards and a score. Unfortunately, these offensive outbursts by Colorado State have only game at home against some pretty terrible teams and we shouldn't expect to see the same in San Diego. Still, it's nice to see some life out of this Ram team.
Other Games Of Note:
#21 Baylor @ #17 Oklahoma State - Stillwater, OK - 10:30 Fox Sports
#3 TCU @ #5 Utah - Salt Lake City, UT - 1:30 CBS College
#6 Alabama @ #10 LSU - Baton Rogue, LA - 1:30 CBS
#18 Arkansas @ #19 South Carolina - Columbia, SC - 5:00 ESPN
#15 Arizona @ #13 Stanford - Palo Alto, CA - 6:00 ABC
Other Games Of Note:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons - Atlanta, GA - 11:00 NFL Sunday Ticket
San Diego Chargers @ Houston Texans - Houston, TX - 11:00 NFL CBS
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders - Oakland, CA - 2:15 CBS