Tight Ends- Colorado has two tight ends that play a major role in their passing game. The combined efforts of these two Seniors 6-6 Joe Klopfenstein and former Johnston High School player 6-7 Quinn Sypniewski have caught 43 passes and eight touchdowns. Klopfenstein averages sixteen yards per catch and Sypniewski has a whopping 16.7 yards/catch average. These two not only are effective catching the ball but with their size, it makes is hard for the linebackers to break through to get a shot at QB Joe Klatt.
For Iowa State, the play of Walter Nickel and Ben Barkema has improved from both and will need to continue in this huge game. The Buffaloes linebackers from all three positions were the leading returning tacklers from last year's squad. Barkema had a great catch against Kansas St. last week, but I believe the blocking will be more important for the Cyclone success to allow Meyer to hit the deep ball, rather than dumping underneath. Which team has better play from the tight end position will win this game as they are too evenly matched.
ISU's "Shaggy" vs. CU's Mason Crosby- Can Crosby kick or what. A 56 yarder last week against Missouri, you've got to be kidding me. No, just another day at the office for Mason. If he continues to kick like this, next year he will go second round for sure, maybe first. Bret Culbertson needs to make redemption for the Cyclones after last year in Boulder. I'm afraid if it comes down to the kicking game, the Buffs win this one, but the Cyclones cannot miss golden opportunities like last year. Right now this game isn't as big as the Missouri game of last year because the Conference Championship isn't in our hands and slipping away. This game is Colorado's to lose and for the Cyclones to make a statement. Come on Shaggy, show up that All American and let's hope the wind will be howling when Crosby lines up to kick. This isn't Boulder.
ISU's Jason Berryman, Cephus Johnson and Shawn Moorehead vs. CU's offensive line-
I didn't name Nick Leaders as I know he will show up for this game as too Brent Curvey. Last week these other three guys stepped it up and look what happened. Turnover city. Joel Klatt has only thrown four interceptions this year compared to throwing fifteen last year. If pressured enough, he can get happy feet and force some passes. This defense needs to put the pressure on much like last week and earlier against Iowa. The crowd really feeds off aggressive line play and would love to see Klatt on his back because if he's getting sacked that means Crosby may be out of field goal range. This Buffalo offensive line is young and can be exploited.