at Folsom - Sept. 18 - 5 p.m. (MT)
Head Coach: Darrell Dickey (7th year)
2004 Record: 0-2
North Texas has struggled on first down. In its first two games, UNT has run the ball 70-percent of the time on first down for just a 2.5-yard average. It doesn't help that running back Patrick Cobbs, who led the nation in rushing in 2003 (152.7 ypg), will miss Saturday's game with a knee injury. The Buffs don't know much about Cobbs' backups. Kevin Moore, a 5-9, 193-pound sophomore from Houston, will get the majority of the carries. He's rushed for 51 yards on 21 carries this season.
Center Andy Brewster is a veteran (40 starts) who anchors a line that features three first-time starters.
Senior H-back Andy Blount has emerged as a big target. Sophomore wide out Johnny Quinn is one of the better receivers in the Sun Belt Conference.
The unit lost a crucial team member in junior quarterback Andrew Smith, who was killed in a tragic car accident in August. The players and coaches wear the No. 12 on their helmets and shirtsleeves in memory of Smith.
Player to Watch: Senior quarterback Scott Hall has 22 starts under his belt. He's completed just 41-percent of his passes this season, but has yet to throw an interception in 39 attempts. Hall will also tuck the ball and run from the option look.
Keys for Colorado
The running game is the bread and butter of UNT's offense, and the Mean Green are struggling on the ground. CU needs to play aggressively, but not get fooled by some trick plays that a desperate UNT squad may have in store for the Buffs. If CU comes at UNT straight up, they'll outman this Mean Green squad.
The Mean Green play a 4-3 stacked defense, and like to pressure from the line of scrimmage. They are similar in size up front to Colorado's defensive front, but got pushed around by the Longhorns in Week 1.
On paper, UNT is similar to Colorado at linebacker in that they start a former safety on the outside, and a junior and a true freshman inside. But UNT's group has been much less effective than CU's unit. The North Texas secondary is experienced, led by vets Jonas Buckles and Walter Priestly, who will both be up for all-conference honors.
Player to Watch:Senior defensive end Adrian Awasom earned all-conference honors the past two seasons, despite missing spring ball each year while he played on the North Texas basketball team. The 6-5, 275-pounder had four sacks in 2003, playing beside Brandon Kennedy, who was cut by the Denver Broncos prior to the NFL season. So far this season, Awasom has a sack and seven tackles, but he's got the respect of the CU offensive line and coaching staff.
Keys for Colorado
This matchup is ideal for the Buffs in their current situation. While UNT has won 18 consecutive Sun Belt games, they've won just three of 15 non-conference games since 2001. Facing Colorado, North Texas is simply outmatched in terms of talent. Colorado must treat this game as one in which to fix what's ailed its offense the first two games. While the Buffs should be able to run the ball against UNT, it would be a mistake not go conservative and rely on the rushing attack too much. Quarterback Joel Klatt and his receivers, particularly the wide outs, need to work out the kinks on Saturday.
UNT tied the game at 13-13 vs. Florida Atlantic late in the fourth quarter, but North Texas allowed a 50-yard kickoff return that set up FA's winning score.
PASSING: Scott Hall, 16-39-243, 0INT, 0TD
RUSHING: Patrick Cobbs, 28-56/2.0, 0TD
RECEIVING: Andy Blount, 5-69/13.8, 0TD
SCORING: Nick Bazaldua, 2-3FG, 1PAT
KOR: Zach Muzzy, 8-156/19.5
PR: Johnny Quinn, 2-7/3.5
PUNTING: Brad Kadlubar, 18-752/41.8
TACKLES: Markeith Knowlton, 20 UT, 3 AT, 23 T
TFL: Eight tied with 1
SACKS: Two tied with 1