C.U. Running Game Will Test Black Shirts

Don't expect to see anything too different from the Colorado Buffaloes offense on Friday when they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The CU coaching staff said Tuesday that the running game is what has not only defined this team but has got the Buffs where they are today.

There are certain players that love to play against certain teams and Sr. RB Cortlan Johnson loves to run against the Big Red. And when you look at the success he has had against Nebraska the past two seasons you can understand why. Johnson ran wild last year in Lincoln; gaining 156 yards on 26 attempts and three touchdowns. He faired pretty well in 1999 as well, gaining 135 yards on 25 carries. Johnson is on a select list of players who have twice gained over 100-yards rushing against Nebraska. Others who have accomplished this feat include CU's own Rashaan Salaam (165/134) in 1993-94, OU RBs Billy Simms (153/247) in 1978-79 and Steve Davis (112/130) in 1974-75. Davis is one of the few who did it three times when he ran for 114 yards in 1973. The Senior from St. Louis, MO. is playing some of his best football of his career. He was named National player-of-the-week after he became the first player in CU history to rush for and receive over 100-yards in a single game. Johnson finished with 172 -yards rushing and 105 yards receiving. But even with his steller play of late, expect to see RB's Bobby Purify and Marcus Houston as well. The Buffs look to continue their success running the ball against Nebraska Friday. CU netting 197-yards rushing against NU last season and 166-yards in 1999. Coach Barnett couldn't really explain why CU has had this success against one of the better defenses nationally, but has enjoyed the results. "I can't tell you why we've had that success. I don't know whether we've had good plans, whether we've executed or if Cortlan was just hot those games, I don't know what to tell you". "It's more who we are this year than any other year and so its going to be more critical to keep the run alive". But the success of the CU running game will only come if they can keep the NU secondary honest and make some plays passing the ball.

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