After starting the year 3-0, the Buffaloes have had a rough start to conference play, losing all three games to Pac-12
opponents. The Buffaloes allowed 413 rushing yards in last week’s 48-45 loss to Arizona, including 327 yards on 14 carries
from Wildcats quarterback Khalil Tate.
Meanwhile, Oregon State has had a tumultuous week, as the school and head coach Gary Andersen parted
ways. Interim coach Cory Hall will take charge as the Beavers look to improve on their 1-5 start to the season, including
an 0-3 record in the Pac-12.
Saturday is only Colorado’s second road game of the season, the last one a close 27-23 loss at UCLA in Week 5. It’s
the first of back-t0-back road games to Pac-12 North schools, as the Buffaloes will travel to Washington State in Week 8.
Colorado-Oregon State keys to the game
Keep the running game going
Overshadowed by Tate’s dazzling rushing effort against the Buffs was what Phillip Lindsay did for Colorado. The senior
ran for 281 yards on 41 carries, scoring 3 touchdowns in the losing effort. Oregon State’s defense has allowed 1,195
rushing yards in its six games so far, meaning Lindsay could have another big day on the ground.
Fix the rushing defense
Conversely, Oregon State has had trouble running the ball all season, picking up less yardage as a team (773) than Lindsay
has had on the season individually (810). The Beavers average 128.8 yards per game on the ground, which is 102nd out of 130
teams. It’s just about the perfect opponent for the Buffaloes to face the week after being gashed on the ground by Arizona.
Thinking about December
Halfway through their regular season, Colorado may have been hoping to be at a better spot than 3-3, especially as the
back-half of their schedule includes road games at Washington State and Utah, plus a home game against USC. After winning
the Pac-12 South last season, Colorado suddenly finds itself at risk of not making a bowl game at all if they fall to the
Beavers. While the Buffaloes could get into a bowl at 5-7 based on their APR score, it’s not a guarantee. A win in Corvallis
on Saturday would make the rest of the season look a bit more manageable in terms of striving for 6 wins.