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Colorado Football Weekend - Buffaloes Take On Baylor, Air Force Heads To San Diego, Jets Come To Denver

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SB Denver previews all of the big college football and NFL games this weekend.

Every Friday through the end of the seasons 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.

College Football:

Baylor Bears @ Colorado Buffaloes - Boulder, CO - 5:00 FCS
Colorado Pick
Buffaloes fans had high hopes last weekend as Colorado headed to Missouri with hopes of getting past the road losing streak and moving to 4-1 on the season. Unfortunately the game against the Tigers followed a familiar script with the Buffs getting shut out and looking inept on offense and the defense having to try and hold off the Mizzou attack for as long as they could.

While last weekend was a huge disappointment that lost most of the good will that the win over Georgia had garnered, this time is still right on schedule with most optimist's projections. This opening schedule was not an easy start, in fact it was probably one of the hardest first five games in the country. Georgia will still end up being a solid bowl team when all is said and done and Hawaii is rolling with an offense that looks to be nearly unstoppable. 

In order to stay on track for a bowl appearance, Colorado will have to take care of a better than expected Baylor Bears team in Boulder on Saturday. Many expected the Bears to better this season with the return of Robert Griffin III, but the Baylor offense has proven to be even better than advertised, putting 55 and 38 points in their last two games against Big 12 competition. The CU defense held the Hawaii offense to 18 points less than their next lowest output this season and a similar performance will be needed against Baylor. 

The Buffaloes offense, possibly rattled by the goose egg in Columbia and the quarterback shake-up that took place, will need another solid home effort with at least 28 points probably needed for the win. Rodney Stewart will need to run hard and stay healthy (with backup running back Brian Lockridge out for the season)  and quarterback Tyler Hansen has to get the ball to wide receivers Toney Clemons and Travon Patterson. 

For the Buffs, this game could determine whether or not they are traveling or sitting at home this bowl season.

Air Force Falcons @ San Diego State Aztecs - San Diego, CA - 6:00 CBS College Sports
Air Force -1

The rising Falcons are about to enter a crucial four game stretch in this seasons schedule as they hit the road to take on a vastly improved San Diego State squad. Next weekend the Air Force will travel to Fort Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs followed by visits from Utah and a trip to Army. 

For the Falcons to be successful in San Diego they will need a much better effort than the 285 yards they allowed last week against Colorado State, a team that hadn't had any success on the ground prior to the match up with Air Force. SDSU true freshman running back Ronnie Hillman combines with quarterback Ryan Lindley to form a very formidable offense that is getting better every week.  

On the other hand, the Aztecs also have to try and stop a Falcon triple-option attack
that is one of the best in the country. 

 

Of course, the goal for San Diego State is also to stop the run. Air Force is running the triple option extremely efficiently this season behind Tim Jefferson, who also has become a threat to throw it when necessary. 

BYU gouged San Diego State for 271 yards on the ground last week, but defensive coordinator Rocky Long said there is nothing that can be taken from those numbers because the run schemes are so different. He also pointed out that BYU carried the ball 62 times for a 4.4-yard average. 

But what he does want to see is better tackling, which slipped against the Cougars. Coach Brady Hoke wants his team to be more physical at the point of attack, something that was also lacking against BYU.

UNLV Rebels @ Colorado State Rams - Ft. Collins, CO - 12:00 The Mtn
Colorado State -3

Well what do we have here? The Colorado State Rams are favored to win a game for the first this season. The Rams welcome the UNLV Rebels to Fort Collins that could be could be a big momentum builder in head coach Steve Fairchild's third season. 

The Rebels are a 1-4 squad (just like CSU) whose only win came against an awful New Mexico team and who lost 30-7 to an Idaho team that gave the Rams their only win of the season to date. 

Also encouraging for Colorado State is an offense that seemed to finally be close up putting together the pieces last weekend against Air Force. For the last two seasons the Ram ground game has been virtually non-existent until they put up a whopping 285 yards against the Falcons. The CSU offense put up 27 points in that game, the exact same that #6 Oklahoma managed to score against the Falcons at home. The Rams offense will succeed as freshman quarterback Pete Thomas succeeds and the re-emergence of the running game will make his life much, much easier for the rest of the 2010 season. 

Other Games Of Note:

#21 Missouri vs Texas A&M - College Station, TX - 10:00 FSN
Texas  @ #5 Nebraska - Lincoln, NE - 1:30 ABC
#12 Arkansas @ #7 Auburn - Auburn, AL - 1:30 CBS
#1 Ohio State @ #18 Wisconsin - Madison, WI - 5:00 ESPN
#19 Nevada @ Hawaii -Honolulu, HI - 9:30 ESPN3

NFL:

New York Jets @ Denver Broncos - Denver, CO - 2:05 CBS
Broncos +3

When Broncos fans first saw their 2010 schedule they knew that the start of the season could be some pretty rough sledding, and that was before we knew that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be a one-loss, much improved team at this point. Knowing what we know now, a 3-3 start to this season would be an outright success and would make the Broncos future look pretty bright when you consider that the West looks to once again be the weakest division in the AFC. 

Denver has one last tough game before the schedule eases up a bit (although the Broncos haven't exactly taken care of the division opponents that they should have over the last two season) with the 4-1 New York Jets heading to town on Sunday. The Jets have won four straight games since an opening week loss to the Baltimore Ravens behind a much improved offense that has just recently added wide receiver Santonio Holmes to the mix. 

Mile High Report says that the Broncos defense must play well as a unit (and they will be without three defensive starters on Sunday) to defeat the Jets.

 


Here's the thing about the Broncos defense. It's a team sport and this team has yet to play in sync except against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2. If you look back on the last three games, you will find the Broncos defense played extremely well for long periods of each game. The problem was, the offense consistently failed to get anything going during those long stretches of good defensive play. Then once the defense began to falter, the offense would suddenly get things going again. Teams are supposed to feed off each other at the same time, but the Broncos appear to feed off each others failures. The offense fails, the defense steps it up...the defense fails, the offense steps it up.  How about you guys both step it up and put your collective boot heels on Rex Ryan's throat, eh?  

Against the Indianapolis Colts, the defense held the line at 13-10 late into the third quarter, but failure after failure by the offense to execute and the Broncos defense finally got burned on two drives by Peyton Manning.  Broncos lose. 

Against the Tennessee Titans, the defense struggled in the second and third quarters, but the offense was on a roll. The defense stepped it up in the fourth and the offense finally kept things going. The Broncos come back to win.

Against the Baltimore Ravens, the defense struggled early and dug themselves in a hole, but stepped it up late in the second and through the third quarter, while the offense fails to capitalize and both units get dominated late. Broncos lose.

When Denver has the ball they will be desperately hoping to improve on a pitiful run game that could allow quarterback Kyle Orton even more room to shine. The Broncos could be helped by the possible absence of All-Pro Jet cornerback Darelle Revis. Who's status at the time of this story is not yet known, although it has been reported that he will travel with the team.

Other Games Of Note:

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots - Foxboro, MA - 11:00 NFL Sunday Ticket

Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles - Philadelphia, PA - 11:00 Fox 

Dallas Cowboys @ Minnesota Vikings - Minneapolis, MN - 2:15 NFL Sunday Ticket