Four Questions, Game 1

Here are four questions about the 2005 Colorado football team that could be answered in Saturday's matchup between the Buffs and the Rams.

1. What is CU's offensive identity?
Is this a smash-mouth running team, where CU running backs platoon in and out of the lineup like the Buffs of 2001 and 2002? Will the passing game resemble 2003, when the Buffs threw for over 3,330 yards in quarterback Joel Klatt's sophomore season?

The answer is probably somewhere in between. And it's unlikely we'll have a crystal clear picture after Saturday. The offensive identity of this year's Colorado team may take a few games to emerge. Still, Saturday will provide the first glimpse.

How good can sophomore tailback Hugh Charles be?

2. Can Hugh Charles be the next big-time back in Boulder?
He's probably the fastest tailback CU has had since the early 1990s, is a freak in the weightroom and has the work ethic and personal drive coaches love. But will kids and adults be rushing out and buying up No. 2 CU jerseys in the coming weeks? They will if the true sophomore proves he can make people miss, break tackles, get tough yards when necessary and bust the big one. He'll get that chance Saturday.

3. How aggressive will Mike Hankwitz allow his defense to be?
Last season, the Buffs were still young in Hankwitz's philosophy. But all signs point to the Colorado defense being ready to become the kind of attacking defense Hankwitz likes to field. CSU quarterback Justin Holland is formidable when he has time to throw. Colorado will need to be in his face if the Buffs are to have success Saturday.

CU linebacker Jordon Dizon pressure's CSU quarterback Justin Holland in 2004.

4. Is this the last time we'll see the Rams at Folsom for a while?
Colorado and Colorado State are under contract to play in 2006 at Invesco Field in Denver. After that, there's an agreement to continue to the series that pits the two in-state schools against each other, but no contract.

Athletic directors Mike Bohn and Mark Driscoll have said they will meet in coming weeks to try and hammer out a deal, so we won't know the answer to this by Saturday night. Recent posturing by both sides suggest it may not be easy. At issue is Colorado's desire to play its home games in the series in Boulder, and CSU's desire to play each game of the series in Denver.

Four of the past five CU-CSU games have been classics — all decided by five points or fewer. From this corner, it'd be a shame to bury the annual matchup.

Fans carry CU punter John Torp from Folsom Field following last year's Colorado victory.

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