Colorado Preview

The AP 22nd ranked Sun Devils hit the road for the first time this season. Boulder, Colorado is the site of the first ever meeting between Arizona State and Colorado. After a slow start to the season that was marked by a home loss to D-1AA Montana State, the Buffs will be looking to rebound against a familiar face in Koetter.

Saturday will mark the first contest between ASU skipper Dirk Koetter and his former associate at Boise State, Dan Hawkins, now in his first year as the Buffaloes' head coach. Former ASU quarterbacks and passing game coordinator, Mark Helfrich, has also moved on and now serves as the CU offensive coordinator under Hawkins.

COLORADO BUFFALOES
Head Coach: Dan Hawkins
2006 Record: 0-2


Conference Catwalk : The ASU vs. Colorado match up will be one of four games on the day pitting the Pac-10 against the Big 12. The others include Baylor at Washington State (Seattle), Oklahoma at Oregon, and Nebraska at USC.

Last Week : Colorado lost to in-state rival Colorado State by a score of 14-10. The Buffs have dropped six straight games, the longest losing streak since 1980.

OFFENSE
*Projected Starters

WR Patrick Williams, So.
LT Tyler Polumbus, Jr.
LG Brian Daniels, Sr.
C Mark Fenton, Sr.
RG Daniel Sanders, So.
RT Edwin Harrison, Jr.
TE Dan Goettsch, Sr.
QB Bernard Jackson, Jr.
TB Hugh Charles, Jr.
FB Samson Jagoras, Jr.
WR Alvin Barnett, Jr.

All 20 of the Buffs points this season have come in the first half. Shaking things up at quarterback last week, Hawkins gave the starting nod to quarterback Bernard Jackson, a mobile junior. Jackson has gained 70 yards on the ground, good enough to be the team leader in rushing, but 35 of those yards went for a loss. The junior is 8 of 13 in passing attempts and has thrown for 70 yards. Splitting time with Jackson under center is James Cox. The senior has completed 9 of his 24 attempts for 111 yards. The two Colorado touchdowns on the year have come by way of both quarterbacks on the ground.

The Colorado rushing game, averaging just over 90 yards a game, has been shouldered by a trio of upperclassmen. Senior Mel Holliday is the Buffs leading rusher with 59 yards. Juniors Hugh Charles and Byron Ellis have a combined 85 yards in the first two games. Charles was recently named as a Doak Walker Award candidate.

The receiving production has not been there in the first two games. Sophomore Patrick Williams has paced the Buffalo receivers with only 7 catches and 88 yards. The second leading receiver, Alvin Barnett, has just 3 catches. Blake Mackey, a senior, is back from an ACL injury that sidelined him last season but has yet to catch a pass.

DEFENSE
*Projected Starters

DE Abraham Wright, Sr.
DT George Hypolite, So.
NT Brandon Nicolas, So.
DE Walter Boye-Doe, Sr.
SAM Brad Jones, So.
MIKE Thaddaeus Washington, Sr.
WILL Jordon Dizon, Jr.
FS Ryan Walters, So.
SS J.J. Billingsley, Sr.
CB Lorenzo Sims, Sr.
CB Terrence Wheatley, Jr.

However early it is in the season, the Buff defense has done a nice job of stuffing the run. Opponents are averaging only 32.5 yards on the ground against this front seven. Defensive end Abraham Wright has been a menace in the backfield, collecting 4 sacks already. Opposite Wright is senior Walter Boye-Doe, who has notched 1 1/2 sacks. At the nose spot, Brandon Nicolas has collected 10 tackles.

The front seven is solidified with a pair of linebackers capable of making big plays. In the middle, Thaddaeus Washington returns from a strong 2005 campaign, leading the Buffalo defense with 112 stops. Last week against CSU, Jordon Dizon, a starter since his freshman year, collected 12 of his 25 tackles this season to go along with 2 sacks. Both players were named to the 2006 Butkus Award Watch List.

Strong safety J.J. Billingsley anchors a secondary that has given up quite a few yards in the air in the Buffaloes first two games. The CU secondary, still looking for their first interception of the year, has allowed an average of 235.5 passing yards per game. Billingsley, a senior, has combined with sophomore free safety Ryan Walters for 26 stops. Junior cornerback Terrence Wheatley is back from wrist surgery that forced him out of action last fall and hoping to regain form from a solid sophomore campaign in 2004.

SPECIAL TEAMS

P Matt DiLallo, RS-Fr.
PK Mason Crosby, Sr.
KR Stephone Robinson, Jr.
PR Stephone Robinson, Jr.

Colorado placekicker Mason Crosby is among the nation's finest. The senior was a unanimous first-team selection to every notable preseason All-American list. Crosby successfully converted on 21 of his 28 field goal attempts last season and is capable of nailing the long ones. He is 9 of 14 in his career on attempts of 50 yards or more. Matt DiLallo is averaging just under 42 yards on 8 punts this season after redshirting last year. Junior receiver Stephone Robinson has returned 5 kicks and 5 punts on the young season and his most notable gain came on a 36 yard punt return.

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