That's why coaches pay attention to their opponent's injury list and depth chart.
Taking its cue from Kansas State, which never releases an injury update under head coach Bill Snyder, the injury status of CU's players aren't made public this week. However, four players were banged up in last Saturday's win over Kansas. They included S Ryan Walters, shoulder sublexation; DE Walter Boye-Doe, shoulder sprain; DE Alex Ligon, knee sprain; OL Edwin Harrison, ankle.
Gary Barnett said on Monday "everything is a game day decision."
Harrison and Ligon appeared not to practice Monday.
As it stands, Kansas State will have to prepare to face Abraham Wright at one end, and one of a number of players at the other defensive end .
It could be Ligon:
Ligon, who was wearing a knee brace Monday, said he expects to play vs. Kansas State. Ligon sustained his injury when he took on a double team and a player ran into his leg which was planted firmly in the turf at Folsom. He said it's a similar injury he had on his other knee earlier in his career. Ligon hadn't yet had the results from his MRI interpreted by a doctor.
It could be Maurice Lucas:
The true freshman played the entire second half in Ligon's absence.
"He's going to be a great player," Ligon said. "He's a big kid and he's really strong. He's got some freakishly long arms and some crazy strength. He takes coaching really well and likes to learn."
Gary Barnett said Monday Lucas played better against Kansas as the game went along.
"He got into the flow and started making some plays," Barnett said. "That's what happens with young guys. There's nothing like (playing in) games, so that was great for him."
Defensive line coach Bill Inge liked what he saw from Lucas, as well, saying Lucas' deficiencies were "very correctable."
"There were some things effort and intensity wise that lets you know he's ready," Inge said. "It's just some shining and polishing on some of the fundamentals (that needs to happen).
"He played 60 snaps in the Kansas game, so we have confidence in him."
It could be Boye-Doe:
Boye-Doe said Monday his shoulder was feeling better, and he too expects to play vs. Kansas State. The two defensive end positions mirror each other on CU's defense, Inge said, and Boye-Doe — who typically backs up Wright — could move over and play the other end.
It could be James Garee:
The former end, who's played at tackle this season, could get some reps on the edge this week in case he needs to move out there.
"We're weighing our options," Inge said. "The one thing we want to guarantee is that we'll have our four best guys out there."
It could be George Hypolite:
Coaches had thought they'd use Hypolite as a No. 2 DE after Alonzo Barrett went down two weeks ago, but decided to leave him at tackle and burn Lucas' redshirt instead. Hypolite has been progressing at defensive tackle, and the best-case scenario leaves him there rather than throw another position at him. But Barnett said using Hypolite at end this weekend is a possibility.
Bottom line, "It's who practices well and who understands everything," Inge said about who plays at end opposite Wright.
The fake field goal that went for a 21-yard gain and first down against Kansas was the first "alert" the team had called all season.
The Buffs go into every game with a fake field goal they've designed for that week, keeping the opponent's tendencies in mind. Coach Barnett calls an alert from the sidelines, then it's holder Nick Holz's job to call the fake once he team is lined up. The last time CU ran a fake field goal was 2003 vs. Oklahoma. It didn't work, but OU was called for a pass interference, so the chains moved.
On Saturday, Holz said he saw Kansas stacking the left side of the line, leaving just three defenders on the right side, so he called the fake. Then it was off to the races.
"It happened so fast, I didn't have time to get nervous," Holz said.
Holz nearly scored, but was tackled at the 4. What he didn't expect was that kicker Mason Crosby would be near him trying to throw a block. The play calls for Crosby to follow through with the fake kick, then stay and seal off the backside. But Crosby, who played free safety as well as kicker, in high school, said there wasn't anyone to block in the backfield so he took off down field and tried to spring Holz into the end zone, barely missing Holz's tackler.
Holz took a jab at Crosby Monday: "It would have been great if he would have helped me out — I've helped him out so much."
Asked if the debut significant to his team, Barnett said, "It doesn't mean a thing."
Yates Out 6 Weeks
True freshman wide receiver Jarrell Yates said Monday he will be allowed to start running again in six weeks, after undergoing a second surgery on his patella tendon last week. A surgeon cleaned up the top side of his patella this time after cleaning up the back side the first time earlier this fall, Yates said.
CU-Missouri Game on TV
ABC has opted to wait until Saturday evening/Sunday morning to select which Big 12 Conference game it will televise on Nov. 5. It is one of its standard 6-day options built into the TV contract. If ABC selects the CU-Missouri game, it will have a kickoff of 1:30 p.m.; if its does not, then Fox Sports Net will select the game, and it will kick at 5 p.m.