Buffaloes today

It's game day. The Buffs are hoping to go 4-0 for the first time since 1998. A look at the nuts and bolts of today's matchup.

WHO: CU vs. Florida State

WHERE: Jacksonville's Municipal Stadium

WHEN: 1:30 p.m. MDT


What's at stake

Colorado is looking for its first 4-0 start since 1998. A CU win would likely vault the Buffs into the top-25 for the first time since 2005, the final under former coach Gary Barnett. A victory would also be the first signature road win of coach Dan Hawkins tenure in Boulder. The Buffs have gone on the road and come close at Georgia. They have won at places like Texas Tech and Baylor, but this would be a much more significant victory. And, yes, even though it's on a neutral field, this is basically a road game.


Can the Buffs run the ball with any consistency. If the CU offense has as much trouble as when these teams met last year, it could be a long afternoon. Quarterbback Cody Hawkins must be efficient and take care of the football. Turnovers as always will be a huge part of the game. The Seminoles are coming off a seven-turnover outing. The Buffs need to confuse sophomore quarterbacks Christian Ponder and D'Vontrey Richardson. Those two combined to throw five interceptions last week. The kicking game also could make a huge difference. The Buffs need another big return or two from Josh Smith.


Colorado outside linebacker B.J. Beatty is questionable as he continues to recover from a fractured bone in his lower leg. Florida State has six players who previously have been ruled out for the season because of significant injuries.


How tough is the Florida State defense? Three opponents this season have combined to convert only eight of 42 third-down situations. The Seminoles were good on third downs last year, too. Opponents converted just 33.8 percent of the time in 2007. The Buffs have to stay out of long-yardage third down situations.


A win today could be the kind of victory that could propel the Buffs to an eight, nine or 10-win season.

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