IT's Colorado game picks

IT's Michael Pearle and Clendon Ross give you their picks, and the reasoning behind those picks, in this week's game between Texas and Colorado.

IT's Picks:

Pearle -- You have to respect the job Barnett has done this season with the Buffs. Their back-to-back wins over A&M and K-State, and their earlier stomping of recent thorn-in-their side Colorado State, prove they are well on their way back to being a contender in the Big 12 North. But as tough as Barnett has CU playing, I still don’t think they have the stallions to run with Texas. I believe Carl Reese will have the Texas defense harrying young Ochs all day, forcing him into costly mistakes. The key defensively for Texas will be its ability to stuff the run, and judging from the Longhorn D's performance the last two weeks, this is an order Cory Redding & Co. are only too happy to fill. Offensively, again, we’ll have to see if Davis opts for the "we’ll take what they give us" approach, which could mean a run-pass ratio similar to what we saw against OU, or elect to stay balanced and pound the Buffs with a steady diet of Ced as Chris Simms stretches them with strikes to Roy, BJ, Bo and Sloan. I suspect after the success Texas enjoyed against OSU on the ground and the confidence the coaches must surely have gained in Benson’s ability to shoulder the load, we’ll see a balanced attack. This attack should wear Colorado down, resulting in some break-away runs late and some big-hitters to the dangerous Horn wideouts. And remember, Texas hasn’t lost at home since October 2, 1999 against K-State, a streak that is now 10 games and counting. DKR has become a snakepit for Horn opponents. I think Texas wins this one handily. I’m going Texas 31, Colorado 17.

Ross -- The Colorado team that travels to Austin this Saturday will be the best team the Horns face the rest of this regular season. By disposing of the (surprisingly pesky) Aggies in Boulder last Saturday, the Buffs moved to 5-1 overall. If you saw CU's opener with Fresno State, which is still undefeated and currently residing in the top 10, you know that Colorado's record probably should be 6-0 and it should be in the top 10 rather than FSU. With the ball inside the 10, needing just a field goal to win, Craig Ochs threw an INT that ended the Buffaloes' comeback hopes. If that ball falls incomplete rather than into the hands of a Bulldog player, we'd be talking right now about a match-up between two top 10 teams. Rankings aside, Colorado is playing at a top 10 level, and the Horns, even in the friendly confines of DKR, will need a top 10 effort to beat the physical Buffs. CU is going to pound, pound, pound the Texas defense, and when the UT safeties cheat to the line of scrimmage, Ochs will look to throw over their heads. The Horns haven't faced a power running team in a long, long time, and they'll do so Saturday with some question marks on the run-stop ability of the DL. But take heart, Colorado's D allowed Air Slocum's boys to gain 300-plus yards through the rarified Rocky Mountain air last weekend, and A&M's offense, while solid, does not have the weapons of the Texas offense. If utilized, those Longhorn weapons should create a cushion that the UT D, while surrendering lots of ground yards between the 20s, will not allow to be breached. Texas 35, Colorado 20.


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