The players on this Colorado team are chagrined about what happened against Montana State. But there's a danger in getting too amped up at the beginning of a game, especially against an in-state rival. You can't spend all your cash in the first quarter if you expect to have some for the fourth. Fortunately, this is a veteran CU team, with 30 upperclassmen in the current two-deep.
2) Will we see more than James Cox under center?
While the MSU loss certainly wasn't the senior quarterback's fault — he can't throw AND catch the pass, nor can he block for himself — the CU offense needs a jumpstart. If Cox fails to move the chains, it may be time to put someone else in the driver's seat and see what he can do.
3) If Colorado is behind late in the game, will they fold or fight?
Hawkins said on Tuesday something that was plain to see last Saturday. Against Montana State, the players seemed to be waiting for someone to step forward and make something happen, rather than make it happen themselves. Translation: The team needs some playmakers.
Plenty of these Buffs have been playmakers in recent seasons, especially on defense. On offense, Hugh Charles has been a playmaker, and Mell Holliday looks like he's ready to prove himself in that category, too. The receiving corps, including the tight ends, have plenty of candidates, as well.
Now is the time.
4) Can the Buffs win the field position battle?
Colorado State punter Jimmie Kaylor could be among the best in the nation this year. Meanwhile, the Buffs are still looking for consistency from the punting position, and even used three — Matthew DiLallo, Isaac Garden and Mason Crosby — in last week's game. Mason Crosby becomes a weapon once the Buffs cross midfield. But in the third quarter, CU went three-and-out three times in a row.
With Kaylor able to pin the Buffs deep on occasion, and CU's punting situation still uncertain, the CU offense will have to make something happen when it has the ball.
5) Will we see another nail biter?
The Colorado-Colorado State series has produced four great games in a row, all of which came down to the final moments to decide. The Rams won last in 2002 at Invesco, with the Buffs taking home the Centennial Trophy each of the past three seasons.