Straight off of a tough road win in Eugene, Colorado is riding high, confident with a 3-1 record and two strong showings away from the altitude and friendly confines of Boulder. As they face the Beavers, where do they stack up position by position with the Mid-Valley’s finest:
Sefo Liufao vs. Darell Garretson
Assuming Liufao plays, he was an over 70% passer on the year for 768 yards with 6TD’s and 0 INT. He also had ran for over 124 yards and a TD.
On the flip side Darell Garretson is passing for just hair under 60% for 453 yards with 3 TD’s and 1 INT. He also has 26 yards and 1 TD rushing.
Liufao is one of the top rated passers in the nation and against Michigan in Ann Arbor he got hurt passing for the go ahead TD while amassing 350 yards on 64% passing for 3 TD’s and 0 INT’s. Sefo is a decent runner and can hurt you if left alone, he is also similar to Ben Rothlisberger at 6’4” and 230 lbs.
Phillip Lindsey vs. Ryan Nall
Lindsey has rushed for 246 yards (4.6 ypc) for 5 TD’s this year. He has also caught 9 passes for 63 yards (7 ypc).
For the Beavers, Ryan Nall has rushed for 174 yards (4.4 ypc) and 3 TD’s. He has also caught 12 passes for 86 yards (7.2 ypc) on the year.
Ryan Nall as a runner is very important to the Beavers for his powerful running and hands in the screen game. Lindsey is also a great runner but is more of a scat back. While vastly different, both are key cogs in each other’s offense..
Devin Ross/Shay Fields/Bryce Bobo vs. Seth Collins/Victor Bolden/Jordan Villamin
The trio of receivers for Colorado have amassed over 860 yards and 8TD’s on the year. Each one has a reception of over 50 yards.
For the Beavers, their top three receiver targets have combined for 370 yards and one TD on the year.
While this looks like a landslide difference, the support staff for Colorado has played far superior to the support staff for the Beavers. But I also think that outside of Bolden and Collins, OSU has really struggled all season at receiver, and even those two have had issues with separation.
Colorado’s offense has only given up 8 sacks in 138 pass attempts. That is a sack every 17.8 pass attempts. They also have amassed 2090+ yards this year of total offense and are averaging 4.3 yards per carry on 846 yards and 10 TD’s on the ground.
For the Beavers, they have given up 13 sacks on 117 attempts, or a sack every 9 attempts. They have managed just over 1000 yards all season and are gettign 3.9 yards per carry for 430 yards and 5 TD’s on the ground.
The Beaver line has been under fire all season. Colorado’s has done exceptionally well.
Colorado’s defensive line has been stout this year for the 18th ranked defense in the nation. They have the 55th ranked rush defense giving up 143.5 yards per game.
The Beavers have the 63rd ranked defense in the nation and are the 90th ranked rush defense giving up 183 yards per game.
Colorado has played two of the better rushing teams in the nation and done decent against them, holding the 29th ranked rushing attack of Michigan to 40 yards below their average per game rushing total and the 8th ranked rushing team from Eugene to 60 yards below their average. Both were also held far below (the latter held almost 2 full yards per rush under their average.)
Colorado has 3 senior linebackers on their squad that have done quite a bit this year. Against the Ducks they were responsible for 26 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 pass break-ups and one sack.
Both Colorado and OSU had their top linebacker out of the game. If Hungalu can come back for the Beavers, I think that goes a long way to helping out this defense.
Colorado has the 11th ranked Pass Efficiency Defense. They have only given up 4 TD’s all season through the air
Oregon State’s secondary is the 7th ranked Pass Efficiency Defense and they also have 4 INT’s on the year.
I think this is OSU’s strength on their team (outside of special teams) and give them the nod in this category.
Advantage: Oregon State
Colorado has struggled on special teams all year, at least in their return and coverage units.
Oregon State is ranked 4th in kick returns in the nation and has had exceptional special teams all season. .
This is easily an OSU lean and will probably be responsible for at least one TD this game.
Advantage: Oregon State
I am leaning Colorado. They have been a great offensive team against bad teams and good ones. They have also been solid on defense all year long. The Beavers are going to probably struggle in the trenches and that will trickle down to the other players. Special teams are the X Factor to me.
If the Beavers can get some field position advantages or even get some special teams scores, it will cover a lot of sins in the other position groups. I am not sure they keep Colorado under 44 points, so it will require Oregon State's best offensive game of the year by far. Unfortunately Colorado might have the best defense that the Beavers have played. I will reserve my pick for the staff picks, but OSU will have to make major strides across the board on offense and in the defenisve front seven. We will see.