at Folsom Field • Sept. 2 • 1:30 p.m. (MT) • No TV
Head Coach: Mike Kramer (7th year)
2005 Record: 7-4/5-2 Big Sky
The Bobcats are a "throwing team that runs." They like to begin their spread offense out of the shotgun, and — like the Buffs — will be playing with a first-year starter at quarterback, junior Cory Carpenter. Even though no receivers on the current roster caught a ball in 2005, the strength on offense is at wide out. MSU will try and stretch the field to set up Evan Groves, a 5-8, 187-pound scatback, out of the backfield.
Player to Watch: WR Josh Lewis is a speedy receiver who had 1,500 yards last year at Los Medanos junior college.
Montana State uses a three-man front, either playing in a 3-4, or 3-3-5. The Bobcats return seven starters on defense, including two at linebacker, probably the strength of the defense. Former Buffalo Tyrone Henderson isn't expected to start Saturday, but will play as the team's nickel back. It won't be long, however, before Henderson is starting, as word is when the head coach saw him run his first drill in a Bobcat uniform, he said he was the best defensive back on the team.
Player to Watch: Senior OLB Clive Lowe is a load at 6-3, 243 pounds. He can run a little, and is one of the main reasons the Bobcats moved permanently to the 3-4 defense last season.
The Bobcats have not allowed a punt or kick return for a touchdown in 32 games.
MSU Statistical Leaders (returners)
PASSING: Cory Carpenter 3-2-51
RUSHING: Evan Groves 94-435/4.6, 6 TD
RECEIVING: Elliot Barnhart 19-190/10.0
TACKLES: Ryan Force, 82
SACKS: Bobby Daly, 3
INT: Andre Fuller, 2
Prediction: This is a dangerous game for the Buffs. They're not in danger of losing to Montana State. They'll blow out an overmatched Bobcats squad on Saturday. The danger arises for the Colorado players from getting a false sense of themselves with an easy win prior to a real test Sept. 9 at Invesco against an always-ready Colorado State team. But more on that next week.
The CU offense will find it's much easier putting the ball in the end zone against MSU's first-team defense than its own, as it failed to do in two August scrimmages.
Colorado 54, Montana State 3