at Stillwater • Oct. 1 • Noon (MT)
Head Coach: Mike Gundy (1st year)
2005 Record: 3-0
Last Meeting: 2004, Oklahoma State 42, Colorado 14 (Boulder)
The Cowboys went through a wholesale coaching change in the offseason. They've committed to the spread offense under new offensive coordinator Larry Fedora. But the offense is still very much in a transition stage.
In OSU's first three games — wins vs. Montana State, Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State — they've used several offensive formations. They've run the ball twice as much as they've thrown the ball, but those numbers will probably get closer to evening out as the season moves along and redshirt-freshman quarterback Bobby Reid gets more comfortable. Reid took over the starting spot from last year's starter Donovan Woods in Game 3. Woods has moved to the defensive secondary.
D'Juan Woods is a big-play receiver, while redshirt-freshman tailback Mike Hamilton is averaging nearly 5 yards a carry.
Player to watch: Junior D'Juan Woods is following in the footsteps of his older brother Rashaun, a standout Cowboys receiver in recent years, and OSU's all-time career leading receiver with 4,114 yards. D'Juan (also Donovan's brother), at 6-1, 215 pounds has caught at least one pass in his past 13 games.
Matchup to Watch: CU front seven vs. Bobby Reid. The young quarterback is talented, but the Buffs think they can take advantage of his inexperience if they can put pressure on him, or confuse him with their defensive looks.
KEY for COLORADO
Play Colorado's Game
Oklahoma State will probably continue its trend of using several different formations. The Buffs can't get too caught up in second-guessing what the Cowboys are up to, but instead must make OSU account for what Colorado is doing.
Oklahoma State has moved to a more traditional 4-3 defense. They like to blitz, and CU players and coaches compare the way OSU blitzes to what Colorado State does.
The Cowboys have collected 13 sacks and 30 tackles for loss in their first three games.
Strong safety Jamie Thompson is a good one. He leads OSU with 24 tackles and also has two sacks. But the Cowboys have just one interception through three games.
Player to watch:Strongside linebacker Paul Duren, a senior, had two interceptions against the Buffs in the '04 game. He's got 36 starts under his belt and has been in on 14 tackles this fall.
Matchup to Watch: CU Running Backs vs. OSU Linebackers. Colorado may try and establish its running game early vs. the Cowboys. OSU's tendency to be aggressive with pressure may also set up screen pass opportunities to the CU backs.
KEYS for COLORADO
Get Hugh Charles Loose
When you take opponents' yards lost on sacks out of the equation, OSU has given up 459 yards on the ground in three games. Two of its opponents are Division I-AA schools. CU sophomore speedster Charles could have a big day if the Colorado offensive line creates some room for him to run.
Bruce Redden has been perfect on five field goals, including a 52-yarder. McLemore is no Darrent Williams, but he's potent as a return man.
OSU Statistical Leaders
Passing: Bobby Reid, 13-33-217, 0 INT, 1 TD
Rushing: Mike Hamilton, 50-246/4.9, 0 TD
Receiving: D'Juan Woods, 8/176, 2 TD
Kickoff returns: Daniel McLemore, 3-80/26.7 0 TD
Punt returns: Daniel McLemore, 5-51/10.2 0 TD
Punting: Matt Fodge, 17/38.5
Tackles: Jamie Thompson, 24
Tackles for loss: Nathan Peterson, 3.5
Sacks: Nathan Peterson, 2.5
Interceptions: Calvin Mickens, 1
Did You Know?
Mike Gundy is the youngest head coach in Division I-A.
Prediction: Colorado 31, Oklahoma State 13