5 Questions, Buffs-Red Raiders Revisited

Inside, five questions revisited following CU's 30-6 win over the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

1) 1) Can Colorado's running game take another step forward?

The Buffs didn't best last week's rushing yardage, pounding out 228 yards vs. Texas Tech after putting up 276 on Baylor. However, Colorado was very good on the ground Saturday. Hugh Charles had his fifth 100-yard game as a Buff (119 yards on 17 carries for a 7.0 ypc average). He would have had more yards but couldn't quite stay in bounds on a jaunt down the sideline in the second half.

Mell Holliday was effective running between the tackles, and picked up 55 yards on 15 carries. Bernard Jackson added 54 yards.

Overall, the Buffs needed to establish the run against Texas Tech, and they did.

2) What will the Buffs do to try and slow Tech's potent passing attack?

Though they didn't blitz as much as perhaps expected, and TTU quarterbacks Graham Harrell and Chris Todd had plenty of time to throw Saturday, the Colorado linebackers and secondary played extremely well. TTU quarterbacks threw for 245 yards, but the Buffs kept Texas Tech out of the end zone until the fourth quarter. It was the first time the Red Raiders had failed to score in the first three quarters since a game vs. Texas in 1999.

When TTU did complete passes, Colorado displayed sure tackling. And the Buffs came up with big plays, including two interceptions by Ryan Walters on key drives. Thaddaeus Washington had a late pick, as well.

3) Will Bernard Jackson shake off last week's poor passing day?

While Jackson wasn't perfect, he was much improved in this department. He ended the game 11 of 17 for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. Receivers dropped two catchable balls Jackson threw, and he also had to throw two out of bounds to avoid the sack.

Jackson read further through his progressions than he had in previous outings, a good sign. The throws to Maurice Cantrell were the third option. However, Jackson missed an opportunity for a touchdown pass when he overthrew a tailback on a screen that looked like it would have gone for a score.

4) Will we see improvement on CU's special teams?

Mason Crosby finally got involved in a game. He hit all three of his field-goal attempts (including bombs from 56 and 53 yards). Matthew DiLallo averaged 44.3 yards per punt. Stephone Robinson coughed up a punt return, but Terry Washington recovered it. The Buffs didn't allow much in the return game, and actually made two excellent open-field tackles, one in kick and one in punt coverage. This may have been the best the team played on special teams this year.

5) Who will be the next Colorado receiver to break double-digit catches?

Wide receiver Alvin Barnett joined tight end Riar Geer as the only Buffs to catch 10 or more passes, by hauling in two on Saturday. Patrick Williams dropped two catchable balls, or he would have joined Geer, as well.

The good news, redshirt-freshman Jarrell Yates saw his first action at receiver and made an excellent play on a 29-yard touchdown reception.

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