The lowly Bears beat Colorado 42-30 in a game that still leaves a bad taste in the mouths of those in and around the Buffalo football program.
That's the same Baylor team that highlighted North Texas' 2003 non-conference schedule. UNT shellacked Baylor 52-14 at home just weeks before Colorado stumbled in Waco.
Dabdoub stressed that Colorado's season is just beginning, and the team can't afford to overlook anyone. He also reminded that, just as they are now, Colorado was 2-0 in 2003 before losing six of its next seven games.
UNT opened its 2004 season losing at Texas (65-0) at home vs. Florida Atlantic. So far, it doesn't look like the same quality of team that has won the Sun Belt Conference the past three seasons. And, the Mean Green's star running back, Patrick Cobbs, will reportedly miss Saturday's game with a knee injury.
Still, "We're going to stay focused and not underestimate our opponent," linebacker Joe Sanders said. "We can look back as close as last year and what happened at Baylor. I don't know if we prepared as hard as we could have for Baylor. We all know what happened there. We're not going to make that same mistake twice. We're definitely going to prepare for North Texas like we're going to prepare for Nebraska, or anybody else."
Iwuh Listed Day-to-Day
Junior Buff Linebacker Brian Iwuh is listed as day-to-day heading into Saturday's game at home vs. North Texas. He sustained a high ankle injury in the win over Washington State.
Head coach Gary Barnett said Monday after practice that Iwuh's playing availability will "probably be a game day decision."
Immediately following the WSU game, Barnett thought Iwuh might be out a couple of weeks. But things turned for the better Sunday.
"He was better Sunday than we thought (he would be)," Barnett said. "He was pretty good today. He was dressed, but we didn't run him."
Whether or not Iwuh plays vs. North Texas, Iwuh said on Monday that he is confident he'll be back for Missouri on Oct. 2.
In Iwuh's place Saturday, redshirt-freshman Joe Sanders played 39 snaps against WSU, making three tackles, including one for a loss. But his big play came on a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second half.
"It's a versatile (position)," Sanders said of the Buff Linebacker spot. "We have to cover, we have to watch for the run, we have to blitz. We're the utility guy on the field; we do a little bit of everything.
"I'm ready to do my job," he said. "I'm ready to come in and not lose a step from where Brian left off."
Sanders was named Tennessee defensive player of the year by a Nashville newspaper as a senior at Hillcrest High, where he played linebacker and tight end. He played tight end last year at CU, his freshman campaign, but was moved to linebacker in the spring.
Interestingly, Iwuh gave his replacement a tip on the sidelines before Sanders made the interception.
"I was telling him they were running the slants before he went out there," Iwuh said. "They had run one earlier, and I was telling him if he just stepped back into it, he'd pick one off. And it happened for him."
Cell Phone Fun
Sanders had 25 missed calls on his cell phone when he got back to the locker room at Qwest Stadium in Seattle Saturday. The CU win over Washington State was televised by ABC, and shown in the western part of the country. In Tennessee, folks were watching the Georgia-South Carolina matchup. However, friends back home saw Sanders 51-yard interception return for a touchdown.
"Apparently right after that (interception return for a TD), they cut to that clip," Sanders said. "All my friends were watching that Georgia game and saw (the TD). They were going crazy."
Other Injury News
Sophomore running back Brandon Caesar will likely have season-ending knee surgery as early as next week, Barnett said on Monday. Caesar injured his knee during preseason practices, and has not been in pads since.
"It's a tendon issue in his knee," Barnett said, adding that Caesar's injury was unlike other knee injuries the team doctors have seen in recent years.
Starting safety J.J. Billingsley, who's had a sore knee the past two weeks, and is recovering from August arthroscopic surgery, could play Saturday vs. North Texas if he had to, but will sit instead.
"He actually feels pretty good, but we want to be cautious and be sure he's ready to go," Barnett said.
Cobbs out for CU Game
An Associated Press report Monday said North Texas running back Patrick Cobbs would miss Saturday's game vs. Colorado in Boulder because of a left knee injury suffered in UNT's loss to Florida Atlantic last weekend.
Cobbs led the nation in yards per game (152.7) last season, and racked up four 200-plus yard games along the way. He has just 56 yards on 28 carries in his first two games of 2004.
Buffs No. 4 in Country in Run Defense
The good news: CU is ranked No. 4 in the nation in run defense through two games.
The bad news: CU is No. 115 in the country in pass defense.
Add it up and the Buffs are 91st in the nation in total defense. But Colorado is 2-0 heading into three weeks, thanks in very large part to its defensive unit, which has come up with timely interceptions and big goal line stands in CU's first two games.
CU has given up just two first downs, and 59 yards on 69 rushes. And, unlike in years past, when Colorado defensive backs always led the team in tackles, the top four tacklers so far — Jordon Dizon (21), Alex Ligon (13), Akarika Dawn (13) and Matt McChesney (12) — play in the front seven of the defense. This despite the fact CU has played two teams — CSU and Washington State — with prodigious passing games.
Ligon Big 12 Defensive POW
Speaking of Ligon, the sophomore defensive end was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
Ligon turned in a strong performance with seven total tackles, six solo, four TFLs, three quarterback sacks, a forced fumble, and no missed tackles on the coaches' tape review. He was the first CU player since Drew Wahlroos in 2000 to have three sacks in a game.
Both Perkins and Williams returned punts for touchdowns in their respective games over the weekend. But CU safety Tyrone Henderson was in contention for special teams honors after blocking two punts vs. WSU, one of which was recovered in the end zone for a Colorado touchdown.
Asked if he felt snubbed by not getting the weekly honor, Henderson said, "That's not a concern to me. Just getting the win means much more."