First big test for secondary

The Colorado defense was opportunistic against an overmatched Colorado State team in the season opener last week. Now they face a slew of playmakers at Cal who can score from anywhere on the field. Get inside for more.

Colorado's duo of senior cornerbacks Jalil Brown and Jimmy Smith were hardly tested in the first outing of the season, but that will certainly change this week as they face a speedy Cal offense with a freshman sensation in Keenan Allen, who might remind some of former Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

"They have a couple of good receivers in No. 21 (Allen) and No. 1 (Marvin Jones)," Brown said. "I think they are going to try to test us and throw the ball up. So this is going to be a good chance for myself and Jimmy to go ahead and try to make a play on the ball."

Brown and Smith were viewed in the preseason as one of the best cornerback tandems in the Big 12 Conference. Brown came up with an interception against CSU, but making those kinds of plays on the road against a BCS level team would go along way toward enhancing their preseason reputation.

While Allen is the most dynamic threat for the Bears, there are a handful of other players who will be on the field and will be capable of burning the Buffs for big plays. Having senior quarterback Kevin Riley distributing the ball only makes the Bears more difficult to defend.

"They're real fast on offense," CU safety Anthony Perkins said. "We've got to clean all our stuff up and get ready for them cause they're a real great offensive team."

One matchup the Bears might try to exploit early is getting a speedy receiver matched up against nickel back Travis Sandersfeld, who will start in place of Parker Orms.

Sandersfeld made a clutch interception last week after coming on after Orms suffered a torn knee ligament ending his season. But the Bears have a much more electric offense.

"They're fast and they're quick," Sandersfeld said. "They're faster and quicker than CSU. They will present some problems, but we've just got to get film and see what comes Saturday."

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