November 21, 2006

Breaking down the Colorado Buffalo offense

Who: Colorado Buffaloes
School Location: Boulder, Colorado
School Colors: Silver, Black and Gold
2006 Record: 2-9 overall, 2-5 in Big 12

Conference: Big 12 (North Division)
Head Coach: Dan Hawkins (UC-Davis, 1984): In first season at Colorado (2-9 overall, 0-0 vs. Nebraska)
Offensive Coordinator: Mark Helfrich

When: Friday, Nov. 24, 2006, 2:30 p.m. (CDT)
Where: Memorial Stadium, Tom Osborne-Field

TV: ABC
Radio: Host Communications
Series Record: Nebraska leads 45-17-2
Base Offensive Formation: Multiple Pro Sets

Field General: Junior Bernard Jackson (6-0, 195) has handled the No. 1 quarterbacking duties this season for Colorado, completing 74-of-153 pass attempts (48.4 percent) for 943 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions. Jackson is a threat with his feet as he ranks second on the team in rushing with 470 yards on a team-high 110 carries.

Running The Football: The Buffs' leading rusher is junior tailback Hugh Charles (5-8, 185). He's tallied 580 yards on 104 carries to produce a 5.6 yards-per-carry average. Junior Byron Ellis (6-0, 200) and senior Mell Holliday (5-8, 205) have combined for 466 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Catching The Football: CU has three players who have reached double digits when it comes to receptions. Junior wideout Alvin Barnett (6-0, 195) leads the Buffs with 17 receptions for 176 yards. Sophomore Patrick Williams (6-2, 195) has hauled in 16 receptions for 250 yards and freshman tight end Riar Greer (6-3, 235) has caught 15 passes for 165 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Dusty Sprague (6-4, 190) has nabbed seven passes and is averaging 19 yards per reception.

On The Line: Colorado has a mix of youth and experience on the O-line. The seniors are center Mark Fenton (6-4, 295), guard Brian Daniels (6-5, 300) and tight end Paul Creighton (6-5, 250). Tackles Tyler Polumbus (6-8, 280) and Edwin Harrison (6-4, 305) are juniors and guard Daniel Sanders (6-3, 285) is a sophomore.

Kicking The Football: Colorado's most dangerous weapon on offense is senior All-American place kicker Mason Crosby. Ranked No. 2 in the latest NCAA stats, he's converted 19-of-27 field goal attempts this season. If the Buffs reach the midfield stripe, they're in Crosby's range.

Return Game: The Buffs rank 94th (18.30) nationally in kickoff returns and 100th (6.05) in punt returns. Junior Stephone Robinson (5-9, 185) has been CU's primary return specialist in 2006.

Buff Quick Hits

***Offense has not been the strength of the Colorado football team this year. The Buffs are dead last in the Big 12 Conference in three major offensive categories - total offense (290.91), scoring (16.55) and passing (117.36).

***Colorado's two victories this season came at home over Texas Tech (30-6) and Iowa State (33-16).

***Only two CU teams have lost 10 games in a single season - the 1980 and 1984 squads.

***Nebraska hopes to end a recent trend in the NU-CU series on Friday as the visiting team has won the past four matchups. NU won last season in Boulder, 30-3.

***Friday is Senior Day at Memorial Stadium and 18 Huskers will make their final appearance on the turf of Tom Osborne Field.

Colorado Schedule
Sept. 2 - Montana State (L, 10-19)
Sept. 9 - Colorado State (L,10-14)
Sept. 16 - Arizona State (L, 3-21)
Sept. 23 - Georgia (L, 13-14)
Sept. 30 - Missouri (L, 13-28))
Oct. 7 - Baylor (L, 31-34 - OT)
Oct. 14 - Texas Tech (W, 30-6)
Oct. 21 - Oklahoma (L, 3-24)
Oct. 28 - Kansas (L, 15-20)
Nov. 4 - Kansas State (L, 21-34)
Nov. 11 - Iowa State (W, 33-16)
Nov. 24 - @ Nebraska

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