Colorado vs. Ohio State preview

Colorado tries to end its 19-game road losing streak today at Ohio State.

Here we go again.

Another road game. Another battle against the streak.

CU plays at Ohio State today. If that wasn't tough enough, the Buffs bring a streak of 19 straight road losses (counting out-of-state neutral site games) into the game.

The streak dates back to 2007, and until the Buffs end the streak, they'll hear about it.

"It'll be a great relief to get a road game win; a big road-game win, at that," said Buffs running back Rodney Stewart. "It'll definitely build the confidence we need to go get plenty more."

Trying to break the streak in Columbus, Ohio, won't be easy, but the Buffs are hoping this is the day it finally happens.

"It's going to take a team effort," quarterback Tyler Hansen said. "We're going to have to play together as a whole team -- offense, defense and special teams -- and we're going to have to create our own energy."

The game will be a homecoming for Stewart and linebacker Doug Rippy, who both grew up in Columbus, Ohio. Defensive back Deji Olatoye is also from Ohio.

"I'll probably be looking for my friends and my family," Stewart said. "I'll try to spot them and see where they're at."

Despite growing up in Columbus, Stewart said this will be the first time he's witnessed a game at Ohio Stadium.

A look at today's game ...

Colorado (1-2) at OHIO STATE (2-1)

When/Where: Today, 1:30 p.m., at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio

The series: Ohio State leads 3-1, but the Buffs are 1-1 in "The Horseshoe," getting that win in 1971. The teams have not met since a 13-10 Ohio State win on Sept. 20, 1986 in Columbus.

Last week: Colorado defeated rival Colorado State 28-14. Ohio State suffered its first loss of the season, 24-6 at Miami (Fla.).

Last year: CU finished 5-7. Ohio State was 12-1, finished No. 5 in the country and beat Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

Protecting the ball: Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen has avoided big mistakes. In 111 pass attempts, he has thrown just one interception. He has seven touchdown throws. "My biggest goal is to take care of the ball and so far I've done a pretty good job of that," he said.

Moving up the ranks: CU running back Rodney Stewart ranks fourth in school history with 2,967 career rushing yards. He needs 50 more to pass Bobby Purify (3,016) and 91 more to pass Rashaan Salaam (3,057). Eric Bieniemy ranks first, with 3,940. Stewart also has 66 career receptions, which is the third highest total ever for a CU running back. Lee Rouson (86) and Lawrence Vickers (68) are the only backs with more. Stewart needs to 51 receiving yards to set a new CU record for running backs (he has 675; Herchell Troutman is first, with 725).

Buckeyes reeling: A lot has changed at Ohio State since last year. Because of NCAA violations, the Buckeyes vacated all 12 wins from last year; head coach Jim Tressel resigned; star quarterback Terrelle Pryor was suspended and subsequently left for the NFL; and several other players were suspended. OSU still has four players that will sit out today's game because of suspensions. On top of all that, the Buckeyes dropped out of the national rankings this week for the first time since November of 2004 -- ending the nation's longest streak of being ranked.

Reversing the trend: CU has just 18 wins in 69 tries against the Big Ten (not counting 67 games against former Big 12 rival Nebraska, which joined the Big Ten this year). CU is 18-49-2 against the other 11 teams in the league. Ohio State is 55-26-2 against the Pac-12.

Buckeye to keep an eye on: QB Braxton Miller -- The freshman makes his first start, as he replaces struggling senior Joe Bauserman, who completed just 2-of-14 passes against Miami. Miller has completed 10-of-16 passes for 152 yards this season.

. Buff to keep an eye on: WR Toney Clemons -- The senior finally had a big game last week, snagging a big touchdown pass in the win over Colorado State. A former Michigan player, Clemons will be juiced up in going against Ohio State for the third time in his career.

Did you know?: The Buffaloes are 7-for-8 in red zone opportunities this year, with three touchdowns and four field goals. CU's opponents are 11-for-11, however, with eight touchdowns and three field goals.

This and that: CU has not played on a the road against a Big Ten school since a 27-3 loss at Michigan in 1997. The Buffs' last game overall against a Big Ten came was a 31-28 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the 2002 Alamo Bowl. ... CU has just one turnover -- one of just nine schools that only one. ... CU has never played three straight games without a turnover. ... Punter Darragh O'Neill changed his uniform number from 90 to 8. ... The Buffs started a different left tackle in each of the first three games. ... Clemons has four touchdown catches as a Buff, with the average length of those being 41.5 yards. ... After having 11 plays go for negative yards in the opener against Hawaii, CU has had just four of those plays in each of the past two games. ... Buckeyes tight end Jake Stoneburner has four TD receptions this year, including three in the opener against Toledo. He's the first tight end in school history with three TDs in one game. ... In four games all-time against Ohio State, CU has a total of just 239 passing yards (59.8 per game).

How the Buckeyes can win: Put the Buffs on their heels early. Ohio State struggled against Miami last week, but returns home against an opponent that could get down on itself real quick. Quarterback Braxton Miller needs to move the chains, with the help of solid running backs Carlos Hyde (74.3 yards per game) and Jordan Hall (87 yards against Miami). Meanwhile, the defense needs to keep doing what it has been doing, as the Buckeyes rank 14th nationally in yards allowed (263.7 per game) and 28th in scoring (15.3 points allowed per game).

How the Buffs can win: Block out the atmosphere and just play ball. The Horseshoe is one of college football's most famous stadiums and, with over 100,000 fans in the stands, it could be easy for the Buffs to be overwhelmed. If coach Jon Embree can settle his troops and get them to simply focus on the task at hand, CU may have a shot. It'll be critical for the Buffs to get the run game going and to keep the Buckeyes defenders off of quarterback Tyler Hansen's back.

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