The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Outlook

Colorado got a road win in its Big 12 opener at Stillwater Saturday, shutting down Oklahoma State 34-0. Inside, some thoughts about the win.

The Good: For the first time since 1992, Colorado has notched two shutout victories. What's most impressive is that No. 2 came on the road at a Big 12 South team that beat CU in Boulder a season ago.

• Defensive end Abraham Wright, playing in his home state, had three big plays. He batted down a pass, intercepted a pass and hit OSU quarterback Bobby Reid as he was throwing late in the game, which allowed linebacker Marcus Burton to scoop up the errant pass and race 99 yards for a touchdown, preserving the shutout.

• Burton is turning into a playmaker much earlier in his career than anyone expected last February when he signed a Letter of Intent to play at CU. The true freshman had a quarterback sack to go with his interception return. Incidentally, Burton's pick-six ties for the second-longest in team history (three players have returned interceptions 100 yards; one other player, has a 99-yard return).

• Colorado was 0 for its last nine games against Big 12 South opponents. Barnett said before the season the North team that does best on the road and vs. the South has the best shot of winning the division title. The Buffs killed both those birds today.

• More defense: The Buffs, ranked No. 7 in the country in run defense going into the game, held the Cowboys under 100 yards rushing. That's the third time in four games Colorado has not allowed an opponent to reach triple digits on the ground.

• Some big props to the offense, too. Oklahoma State came into the game thinking highly of itself on defense. It had allowed just 23 points in three games, and was taking a liking to its new attacking style defense under new coordinator Vance Bedford. Of course, those 23 points were by two Division 1-AA schools and Florida Atlantic. Hugh Charles introduced the OSU defense to a Big 12 tailback when he went 74 yards for a touchdown on CU's first play from scrimmage. He ended with 132 yards. Joel Klatt was steady, throwing for 151 yards, a touchdown (to Joe Klopfenstein), and no interceptions.

The Bad: Gary Barnett said he would take care of the Colorado penalties after the Buffs committed 16 at Miami. Unfortunately, he didn't take care of them until halftime of the Oklahoma State game. The Buffs continued to shoot themselves in the foot today with six first-half penalties. Without those, Colorado would have had more than a 10-0 lead at the break. The good news: They played nearly mistake-free on offense in the second half.

The Ugly: It's not a surprise, but Oklahoma State's offense gets put in this category today. It takes more than a season to go from a successful power running game to a successful spread attack (just ask Nebraska), much less three games against the likes of Montana State, Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State.

The Outlook: There's nothing anyone can do to take the impressiveness of this win away. It was decisive. It was a statement. Thing is, that statement can be muffled if CU doesn't beat Texas A&M in Boulder Saturday.

Now that they've taken one step forward, Colorado needs to take another one. Before the season, it appeared the Aggies would be a contender for the Big 12 title, and certainly a formidable foe Oct. 8. Texas A&M needed overtime to beat Baylor 16-13 in College Station today. The Bears held Reggie McNeal and the Aggies to 15 first downs. Obviously, Texas A&M is beatable.

Can we get greedy and ask, not only for a CU win, but another dominant win against a South squad? Heck yeah!


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