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CU Football Week 3 - Epic Game vs Texas A&M, looking ahead to Minnesota

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CU Football Week 3 - Epic Game vs Texas A&M, looking ahead to Minnesota
By TrevMon • Issue #5 • View online
The CU and Texas A&M game was a defensive master class. It’s been awhile, probably 30 years since CU has logged this high of defensive performance against a top ten opponent (91 Orange Bowl, CU 10- Notre Dame 9). Chris Wilson (DC) and his staff have the Buffs defense looking like one of the best in the nation.

Hot Takes
  • Epic performance by the defense held the A&M running attack to under 100 yrds; lowest score from top-ten opponent since the 1990 Orange Bowl win for national championship
  • Excellent pass pressure with 15 hurries and 2 Sacks (Lang, Rodman); LBs Thomas, Wells, Montgomery, Barnes brought the heat
  • No Fly Zone - A&M receivers were not a factor, no reciever had more than 19 yrds receiving. Mekhi Blackman, Christian Gonzalez, Nigel Bethel joined forces with S (Lewis, M Perry) and LBs (Q Perry, Robert Barnes) in lock down coverage, and to hold all-american TE Wynermeyer in check
  • Top individual performers were Nate Landman LB (78.8 pff rating; 10 tackles, 3 QB hurries); Mekhi Blackman CB (72.9); Christian Gonzales
  • Texas A&M involved speedy running backs in the passing game. Isaiah Spiller (5/56, TD); Achane (3/24)
  • CU offense plan and execution was good early - the scheme looked more multiple with WRs involved in the running game, opening lanes with routes, motion and blocking for QB Lewis
  • Buff blew some chances with missed field goal, and (failure?) to convert on 4th down inside the 10. It was the right call
  • Buffs Measured-up KD called this game a measuring stick. Up against elite talent, we learned the Buffs have a championship caliber defense, and we have a ways to go offensively
Check-on on the season outlook
  • Defense is a top ten contender: PFF: 13 best run defense according to PFF (89); Currently #5 scoring defense.
  • Lock-down corners can play man (Blackmon, Gonzalez)
  • Physical and talented DL that should get better and deeper with Mustafa
  • In the running for the best linebacking unit in Buff history
  • Split decision on offense - 10th Running (83); 88th Passing (68);
  • Turley factor is real - Buffs look are in terrific shape, no major injuries
  • Nice Surprises: Quinn Perry, Montana Lemonius-Craig, Chris Miller; Nate Landman looks as good, possibly better than ever, the return of Mustafa Johnson
  • Disappointments: La'Vantae Shenault,
  • Challenges going in QB: Average depth of target 6.8; 50% of his throws are between 0-10 yds; Adjusted Comp % 68.6; Running looked good, but need to keep him healthy;
  • Bright side he takes care of the ball; needs to anticipate, throw it on time, where it needs to be;
  • Challenges going in at Tackle: position firming up; Wray started at LT, graded high in pass blocking; low in blocking (49.4); Jake Wiley (RT) run blocking (62); pass blocking (27); expecting Filip to return soon
Minnesota - At a Glance
Top Lines:
  • Colorado favored by 2, Head Coach: PJ Fleck, Row the Boat,
  • 1-1, FBS rank 86th Power Ranking, (80.73) (below 60 is poor)
  • Return lot’s of production, 10 starters on both sides of the Ball
Characteristics and Tendencies:
  • Look for offense to establish the run, see play action, RPO schemes
  • O-Line is their strongest rated unit (Winning Edge); Led Blaise Andries (96. VGA rating) and monster Daniel Faalele (6-9 380). They also line-up an OL at TE position (Ko Keft)
  • Defense does not yet have a sack, but expect them to crowd the box to stop the run, and challenge to make CU throw the ball downfield
Players to watch
  • QB Tanner Morgan (#2) is a something of a dual option threat, although their QB running and passing game has been less than spectacular early
  • WR Chris Autman-Bell is expected to return (#) and Dylan Wright (#16) is a big target who had 73 yrds and TD last week before leaving after a hit
  • Boye Mafe (#34) is stand out on DL (93 VGA rating)
  • Injuries: All Big Ten Mohamad Ibrahim is out for the season, although in capable hands with Terrance Potts (#3) who emerged with 178 yrds and 2 TDs last week; WR Chris Autmen Bell, Dylan Wright (probable); Jordon Howden (S, Probable)
CU Keys to Game
Minnesota style of play is comparable in many respects to Texas A&M, albeit without the high-end athletes. For me, the keys to the game will be to rinse and repeat last weeks script.
  • Prime the passing game, use creative, high percentage calls to get the ball in the the receivers hands early. Use more plays for TE and fullbacks involved. Maybe we see more from Jayle Stacks, or Christian Fauria in passing game.
  • Multiple look scheme borrow some plays from Oregon’s option game to establish the run, liked what I saw last week with the sweep fakes and blocking from WR crew, borrow from A&M to get the ball in the RBs hands
  • Grinding, physical drive in late 3rd early forth - this was the one thing that did not play out last week, but we have a conditioning and altitude advantage, let’s use pace and conditioning to our advantage an wear out their big fellas.
  • One step forward in the passing game - more anticipation and timing, get more success targets beyond 10 yds, keep the ball in our hands
Parting thoughts
I plan to attend this game. Sounds like the student section will be in white out mode, but the team will be back in black and gold.
You can also follow me on Twitter: @trevmon28.
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