The Buffaloes will play without starting quarterback Joel Klatt, who injured his throwing (right) shoulder last weekend against Washington State. Inexperienced sophomore Erik Greenberg, who has not started a college game, will take Klatt's place.
Greenberg completed 19-of-30 passes for 199 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions last week in relief of Klatt.
"I am feeling pretty good about the defensive line, but every week we are going to have to step it up another level," said defensive end Eric Moore, who was credited with 2 ½ of FSU‘s seven sacks against the Yellow Jackets. Moore also forced a fumble and recovered another fumble.
"Colorado is going to be another good test. Traditionally, they are known for running the ball and they are going to be much bigger (than Tech). So, we have to come out ready to play. It's going to be a challenge."
The Buffs also have injury concerns. Starting tailback Bobby Purify is not expected to play, which will not help the team's paltry rushing average of 95.7 yards per game.
FSU defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews has challenged his unit to show improvement on third downs -- Tech converted 5 of 17. The Buffaloes have converted 5 of 6 third-and-1 situations in three games. FSU rover Jerome Carter says better tackling could help.
"We all need to get better in that area," Carter said.
"Speaking for myself, I need to work on my tackling, stop trying to hurt somebody every time I hit him. Just make the sure tackle. We all need to keep getting better because you can never be too good at tackling. That's why Colorado will be a good test for us. They are big and strong and that quarterback hits his targets pretty good. His three-step (drop) is pretty quick."
Sophomore free safety Pat Watkins says the Seminoles are looking forward to playing against a drop-back passer.
"This is probably going to be our first real good (passing) test," Watkins said.
"We haven't played a team that throws as much as Colorado will. It's going to be fun to see how our secondary does. We've been looking forward to a challenge in the secondary. We have a quarterback who is a real good drop back passer and we have real good cornerbacks in Bryant (McFadden), Stanford (Samuels), Leroy (Smith) and everybody. It should be real fun."
Watkins, who helped seal last Saturday's victory with an interception on Tech's final fourth-down play, has found himself on the field at the same time with fellow free safety B.J. Ward in the Seminoles' nickel package. The pair is known for its size and quickness.
"That's giving us a new look in nickel," Watkins said.
"It's something that coach Andrews came up with, and it's working really well right now. It's easier for us to cover the field in halves than thirds. In that nickel coverage, we separate at the hash marks and we are able to cover both sides of the field. It's working well."
While the Seminoles' defense continues to click, FSU's offense -- mainly its receivers -- are also looking for a quick start. The unit was plagued by drops against the Yellow Jackets.
"It's a different kind of scheme," receiver Chauncey Stovall said of the Buffs' defense.
"They play four linebackers and four down linemen, with one safety and two corners. Sometimes they'll mix it up, but basically, they're used to the run. We're a passing team. We can run the ball, but we've been known for the pass. It should be interesting."
Stovall also believes the Seminoles' dramatic rally against the Yellow Jackets served a valuable lesson.
"That really made us open our eyes and say that we've got to come out in the first three quarters and play football," Stovall said.
"If we wait until the last quarter, we can be down by three or four touchdowns and not come back. That just opened our eyes and told us to play Florida State football like we know to play."