The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Outlook

Notes and observations from Colorado's 41-12 win over Missouri Saturday.

THE GOOD
Bottling up The Brad MU QB Brad Smith entered the game averaging 112 yards rushing and 198 yards passing. Colorado held Smith to 160 through the air and a season-low 16 yards rushing. The combined 176 yards is 129 yards less than his season average.

As well, the Buffs allowed Missouri just 59 yards rushing. That's the seventh time this season the Colorado defense has not allowed the other team to rush for 100 yards, most in school history.

Linebackers Shine Jordon Dizon had two sacks and two tackles for loss. His backup, Akarika Dawn, had nine tackles, while fellow linebacker Thaddaeus Washington once again led the team with 12. Dizon credited the play of the front four, who tied up Missouri's blockers and allowed CU's linebackers to fill gaps and make stops.

SR at WR. It appears that bringing Stephone Robinson back to receiver (after he played CB his redshirt-freshman season and the early part of this season) is a very good move. Saturday he had his first career reception in the first quarter when Klatt threw him a naked wide receiver screen near the west sideline. Robinson, with no blockers, made his defender miss and gained nine yards on the play. He made 11 on the same play in the third. Then there was the 24-yard gain on the reverse. Robinson ended with a team-high five catches for 50 yards.

No other receivers have shown they can make those kind of plays this fall. But some credit needs to go to Shawn Watson. He had seen how the Missouri cornerbacks played well off the line of scrimmage and thought the Buffs could get Robinson in a one-on-one situation on the edge.

Best sign of the day. A couple touting "Crosby 4 Heisman." The Colorado junior kicker didn't disappoint. His 56-yarder (from the right hash mark) was the ninth 50-plus yarder of his career, and third this season. He amassed 11 points on the day (two field goals, five PATs), and moved into third place on the CU all-time scoring list with 215 points, passing Bobby Anderson along the way.

LV Career High With starter Hugh Charles ailing (ankle) and backup up Byron Ellis not terribly effective early, senior Lawrence Vickers got the majority of the rushing carries. He answered the bell with his highest output in his career — 85 yards on 18 rushes (4.7 average). He also had four touchdowns. Ellis rushed for 32 yards on 15 carries (2.1 ypc).

Less Yellow Finally, the Buffs got through a game without a rash of penalties. CU came into the game averaging just over 10 penalties per game, but had just four for 21 yards Saturday.

Attendance: 49,196. At halftime, fans, including boy scouts, helped unfurl a large U.S. flag over the field. The flag nearly stretched from sideline to sideline, end zone to end zone.

Best Quote When offensive assistant Darian Hagan was asked at what point he knew Robinson would make the kind of impact he did Saturday, Hagan said, "I knew that he could make an impact when he was at Mullen (High School)."

THE BAD
Missouri moved the ball at times, but allowed Colorado to make two crucial turnovers. Lorenzo Sims stripped RB Tony Temple of the ball on one play, and Gerett Burl intercepted Chase Daniel on another. A roughing the kicker penalty on MU also helped keep a CU drive alive, as well, once on which the Buffs eventually scored.

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel said, "Against a good football team like this, if we make mistakes, they're going to take advantage of every one. I think they did."

THE UGLY
Maybe Nebraska coach Bill Callahan was signaling to his own team when he made the throat slash on the sidelines last week. Nebraska looks like a choking team. They lost to Kansas 40-15 Saturday and are eliminated from the Big 12 North race. At 5-4, Nebraska must win one of its two remaining games (vs. Kansas State or at Colorado) to become bowl eligible. Last season, in Callahan's first in Lincoln, Nebraska didn't play in a bowl for the first time in more than three decades.

THE OUTLOOK
Showdown in Ames Colorado can clinch its fourth Big 12 North division title in five years Saturday at Iowa State. If the Buffs should falter, they could still take the division with a win Nov. 25 vs. Nebraska.

Early weather forecast for Saturday looks pretty good (70s during the daytime). That's probably good news for the Buffs, who've relied heavily on their passing game to move the ball, as weather can turn ugly in Ames in November.

Movin' On Up? Colorado entered the game ranked No. 25 in the AP, No. 24 in the Harris and Coaches polls, No. 22 in the BCS poll. Expect the Buffs to climb a position or two in the AP, Harris and Coaches polls after several teams in the top 25 of those polls lost Saturday. It's a little trickier to project what the BCS poll will do since it includes six computer rankings in its tabulation. Saturday's losers who were ranked in the BCS top 25 were Cal (No. 23 BCS), Boston College (19), Wisconsin (14) Florida State (9), UCLA (7) and Virginia Tech (3).

NOTES
The Buffs opened on defense with Maurice Lucas, Vaka Manupuna and James Garee as three down linemen. DE Abraham Wright moved back as a linebacker/spy in the look, one they used some on first down throughout the game, trying to slow Brad Smith.

Injuries
Charles played just one play after tweaking his sprained ankle during warm-ups. He is questionable for Iowa State. Jordon Dizon (stinger) is probable. Defensive ends Alonzo Barrett and Alex Ligon (both with knee injuries) are listed day-to-day.


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