November 2, 2006

The game up close: K-State at Colorado

Kansas State sits just one win short of bowl eligibility at 5-4 overall, and the Wildcats' first chance to earn that much-needed sixth victory comes this weekend at struggling Colorado (1-8, 1-4). For K-State to qualify for its first bowl berth since the 2003 season the Wildcats must break some trends, however, as they haven't won in Boulder since 2000 and have lost seven straight Big 12 road games overall.

The Game Up Close: Kansas State (5-4, 2-3) vs. Colorado (1-8, 1-4)

Saturday, Nov. 4, 2:30 p.m. kickoff (CST)
Folsom Stadium, Boulder, Colo.
FSN Midwest

Colorado rush offense vs. Kansas State rush defense
The numbers:
KSU rush defense: Allowing 122.9 yards per game, No. 7 in the Big 12, No. 47 overall
CU rush offense: Averaging 157.8 yards per game, No. 7 in the Big 12, No. 37 overall

The breakdown: Colorado's offensive difficulties have been well publicized - CU ranks 108th in total offense and 109th in scoring offense - but the Buffaloes have proven capable of running the football against most anybody. Despite dealing with some key injuries along the offensive line CU has still found a way to get nice production out of Hugh Charles. Charles, a back K-State coach Ron Prince likened to current NFL starters Kevin Jones and Frank Gore, averages 5.3 yards per carry despite being the focal point of opposing defenses. The Buffaloes also have a very legitimate rushing threat at quarterback with Bernard Jackson, who's run for 486 yards and four touchdowns. K-State has struggled at times to contain teams who run the ball well, but CU might be a bit easier to defend on the ground because of its inability to do much damage through the air. Zach Diles and Brandon Archer will play a major role in the outcome of this game. If K-State can stop the run, CU will have a very hard time scoring. If not, the Buffaloes will have a chance to control the clock and the game.

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