Hey guys, I'm a UCA alum who just recently moved to Colorado. I went to the CU vs. CSU game tonight so I thought I'd give my take on CU.
Several things that the box score and a stat sheet might not tell you.
#6 - Paul Richardson is definitely their big-play guy. A lot of his yards came off of a busted coverage on CU's second offensive play. Quarterback gets pressured, starts to scramble, looks up field, and there isn't a CSU defender within 25 yards of Richardson. Easy 82 yard touchdown. The 75 yard reception was on a wheel route - he got a couple of steps on the defender and was gone from there.
The quarterback, Connor Wood, seemed pretty decent. Definitely had the arm strength to make the throws. He was very good on 3rd down. He converted several big third downs. Isn't terribly fast, but definitely knows how to avoid pressure.
The CU running attack wasn't very impressive. There was a bigger back and then a shiftier guy. Neither of them seemed very scary. Even when they went power with a fullback or two tight ends, they weren't very productive. They ran a few read option type of plays, but not enough to really have to worry about. Especially since Wood isn't a huge running threat.
Defensively, it's hard to say . CSU didn't seem to have any big-play threats at all. I think CSU's low offensive numbers were definitely more about CSU being bad on offense than CU being good on defense.
CU's kick coverage unit and punt coverage unit were flat out awful. CSU had a punt return for a touchdown and kick return that went down to the 20 or so. Every kick return was almost broken for a touchdown. They finally started squib kicking in the fourth quarter. Hopefully, they will have to spend quite a bit of time working on that this week.
CU's fanbase isn't anything special. CSU's student section was definitely louder and more involved than CU's. I wouldn't expect a full stadium next Saturday, and they won't be very loud consistently. A lot of CU students are only going to be there for the social aspect.
The altitude - this worries me a little bit. Some people feel it more than others. I think they'll be alright for the most part because if you're in shape, you're in shape. I do worry about altitude sickness. This seems to be fairly common over here. Hopefully it doesn't affect too many of our players.
The trade-off for the altitude will be the weather. It may be hot before game time, but it'll cool off quite a bit during the game. Most days, rain showers will roll through the Boulder area in the afternoon. This has happened pretty much daily since I've been here. Typically, it doesn't rain a lot, and it cools down afterwards. Also, very little humidity.
I'm hoping they'll come in over-confident, and looking past us. Either way, I think we have a very good chance to pull off the upset.
There won't be coming in over-confident. We're coming off a 1 win season. Beating CSU, a series CU leads 62-21, hardly leads to cockiness just yet!
CU's Folsom Field gets quite loud. Comparing Denver to Folsom is a big mistake. The CSU game in Denver has the whole NFL stadium feel. Utterly different from the rocking atmosphere of a college on-campus stadium.
This was an encouraging win for CU. We're relieved to have found ourselves a QB. Paul Richardson is as elite as ever. Defense was impressive. The one point of complaint is the kick coverage, that needs to be fixed this week.
CU's bruiser running back got a bit dinged up and didn't play in the second half, which stalled the running game. It doesn't seem to be anything too serious, but I'll fill you in if that changes.
Our players are fully aware of Central Arkansas and solid you guys are, let alone after a loss to FCS Sacramento State last year and the events of this weekend with 9 FCS victories over FBS schools.
Looking forward to it, guys.