5 Questions, Colorado — Nebraska

Inside, 5 questions about Friday's Colorado-Nebraska matchup.

1) How much will the Watson Factor play into Friday's game?

Nebraska tight ends coach and former CU offensive coordinator Shawn Watson doesn't know CU's offensive schemes, but he knows the Buffs' personnel. Watson downplayed the situation in a newspaper story in the Rocky Mountain News last week. Of course, that probably NU defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove has bent Watson's ear plenty the past 10 days.

2) What kind of game will B-Jax bring?

No question the fourth-year junior is a better quarterback today than he was in Game 2, when he was the surprise starter vs. Colorado State. He's coming off his best game — the win over Iowa State — but Jackson has been inconsistent in the past four games. The Buffs need him to play well Friday.

3) Which team can create turnovers?

Both Colorado and Nebraska have been good in the turnover department this fall. Both teams are +6 in turnover margin. Nebraska quarterback Zac Taylor has thrown just four interceptions this season. But Nebraska has lost 12 fumbles. Turnovers could very well play a big role in this game.

4)Which running game is most effective?

No question the Nebraska passing game is better than CU's. But the game could come down to which team establishes its ground game best. We know Nebraska is going to try and force CU to pass. If the Buffs can hit some big rushing plays, it'll cause the Cornhuskers to re-think that strategy.

Coming in, Nebraska averages 182 yards per game on the ground, and Colorado averages 173. The Buffs have the edge in rushing defense, giving up 105 ypg, while Nebraska's opponents have averaged 123 ypg.

But here's the real eye-opener. Nebraska has been outgained on the ground five times this season. Three of those were losses, and the other two, Nebraska won in overtime and on their final offensive play of the game.

Play better than Nebraska in the ground game, and you've got a chance to beat them.

5) How does the series rivalry play into the game?

Typical Nebraska fans say publicly the game is not a rivalry, and get their corn silk ruffled when CU fans say it is. But with a new staff in Boulder, it doesn't feel the same from Colorado's side as it did the past several years with Gary Barnett as CU's head coach. Then again, some old CU players have been piping up of late, reminding the current team of the importance of the game. And there are plenty of Buffalo veterans on this squad who want nothing more than to quiet 80,000 Midwesterners wearing red on Friday. Think Thaddaeus Washington doesn't want to break some Cornhusker teeth in his last game in the black and gold?

BuffStampede Top Stories