(Sports Nation) - Colorado will try to corral its first league win when the Buffaloes host the Baylor Bears this Saturday evening in a Big-12 Conference bout at Folsom Field.
The Bears head to Boulder after dropping a 45-38 decision against Texas Tech, snapping a two-game win streak. It was the second loss on the year for Baylor, which also fell to TCU earlier this season by a 45-10 margin.
As for the Buffs, they also had a two-game winning streak snapped this past weekend, as coach Dan Hawkins' crew was defeated by Missouri, 26-0. Both of Colorado's wins this year have come at home, as the team defeated Hawaii (31-13) and Georgia (29-27) at Folsom Field.
This will be the 16th meeting between Colorado and Baylor, and the last as conference foes. The Buffs hold a slim, 9-6 edge over the Bears and five of those victories have come in Boulder. However, Baylor's last trip to Colorado was successful, as the Bears grabbed a triple-overtime, 34-31 victory.
The success for Baylor's offense runs through the arm of quarterback Robert Griffin III. The sophomore has been one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and comes into this game with 1,735 yards and 13 touchdowns against only two interceptions. Although Griffin is still young in his college career, he clearly makes smart decisions and that is proven by his 64.4 percent completion rating. Not to be overlooked is the quarterback's ability to run the football, as Griffin has found the end zone six times on the ground.
The Bears fell to Texas Tech this past weekend, but coach Art Briles' quarterback did everything he could to lead Baylor to a victory. Griffin, who completed 31-of-42 passes, finished the game with 384 passing yards and four touchdowns (two passes and two rushing).
Kendall Wright was the main target in the loss, as the wide out hauled in 11 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown. On the season, Wright is pacing the team with 33 receptions and 449 yards, but Josh Gordon is leading the way with five touchdowns and is also averaging an amazing 22.3 yards per catch.
Griffin's outstanding performance against Texas Tech was wasted mainly because the defense was atrocious, allowing 635 total yards. Baylor's secondary was no match for the passing attack of the Red Raiders, as the Bears were torched for 462 yards and four touchdowns.
Defending the pass has been an issue for coach Briles' defense, which is surrendering 229.0 ypg. However, at the same time, opponents only have seven touchdown passes against Baylor, and have been intercepted six times.
Through six games Byron Landor is pacing the squad with 53 tackles, while Tevin Elliott has collected five sacks, to go along with 20 stops.
Not much went right for the Buffaloes this past weekend, as the team was shut out behind a mediocre 311 total yards of production. Cody Hawkins and Tyler Hansen both saw time under center, but neither were very effective.
Hawkins threw for 133 yards and was intercepted once, while Hansen finished with 117 yards and was sacked three times. Hansen has been the main option under center for coach Hawkins', but the signal caller has been a bit erratic, throwing five touchdowns against five interceptions.
The main success of this offense has been the ground game, which is averaging 147.6 ypg. However, in the loss to Missouri, the Buffs were unable to find many holes and finished with just 61 yards on 2.3 yards per attempt. Rodney Stewart led the way with 91 yards in the setback and now has a team-best 492 yards.
The defense for Colorado was not overwhelmed by Missouri, but with no support by the offense, the defense's lack of success did not matter as much as it normally would.
Where this unit really had problems against the Tigers was against the pass, as the secondary was torched for 226 yards and three touchdowns. That was not surprising however, considering Colorado's defense is allowing 234.0 ypg through the air on the year.
The Buffs had trouble against Missouri's passing attack, so one can only imagine what Griffin and company will do to coach Hawkins' secondary. If Baylor's defense can make a few plays than Griffin can take care of the rest and lead the Bears to a win on the road.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Baylor 38, Colorado 24
Saturday, October 16th, 7:00 p.m. (et)