Hang in there, Buff fans, we may be in for a long season. I checked with the NCAA, and there are no mulligans, do-overs, “we weren’t ready yets”, or “just kiddings”. Colorado and their fans have to live with the 0-2 record, with very few (realistically) winnable games left on the 2009 schedule.

Fortunately, this Saturday gives the Buffs one last chance for redemption before taking on a much tougher stretch.

Here are this week’s “T.I.P.S.” …

T – Talent

Enjoy this Saturday, as it will be the last week in a month that the Buffs will be the team with the most talent on the field. For all of our despondency, it is important to remember that Wyoming is coming off a 4-8 season, with a new quarterback and a new offense.

In 2008, the Cowboys were ranked 108th in total offense. After two games of the 2009 season, the Cowboys are ranked 76th, with 707 yards of total offense (five yards ahead of the Buffs, who are ranked 78th with 702 yards). Quarterback Robert Benjamin has completed 24-of-52 passes for 207 yards in the first two games, rushing for an additional 85 yards. The rushing duties have been divided between Benjamin, Darius Terry (99 yards against Weber State; only 18 against Texas), and Alvester Alexander (81 yards against Weber State; 24 yards against Texas).

On defense, the Cowboys are almost as bad as the Buffs – and that is saying something. Wyoming has given up 63 points; 41 to Texas last weekend. Wyoming did have the 39th ranked defense in the country last season, and returns eight starters from 2008. Wyoming did hold the Longhorns to 13 first half points, but Texas posted 28 second half points in pulling away to a 41-10 win. Overall, Wyoming is ranked 115th in passing defense, giving up over 335 yards per game.

We’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating. For the third straight week – Colorado has more talent on offense, and is playing against a defense which has proven vulnerable. For the third straight week – Colorado has more talent on defense, and is playing against an offense with few weapons.

For all of our sakes, talent better win out this week, as the Buffs will be in the underdog role for much of the rest of the season.

I – Intangibles

History favors the Buffs, who hold a 23-2-1 all-time record against the Cowboys (the best winning percentage against any team the Buffs have played more than 15 times). It bears noting, though, that all but five of those games were played before 1948. Since then, the Buffs are 4-1 against the Cowboys, with the lone loss coming in a 24-10 Wyoming win in Boulder in 1982. The last game was in 1997, a 20-19 Colorado victory (see the archive game of the week for highlights from this game).

Still, this category favors the road team. Wyoming struggled against Weber State, but did pull out the win. The Cowboys did get routed by the #2 Texas Longhorns in the second half last weekend, but held a 10-6 late in the second quarter. Colorado does not have any “buts” in their first two losses. Colorado lost to Colorado State, at home, and looked bad doing it. Colorado lost to Toledo, a MAC team, on the road, and looked bad doing it.

Colorado players and coaches are saying all the right things this week about keeping their heads up, staying focused, and preparing to fix the “little things” that kept the Buffs from victories in the first two weeks. Wyoming coaches and players can lay low, saying nothing, all the time salavating about the opportunity to knock off the bad boys down the interstate. Another chance for a Mountain West team to defeat a Big 12 team on the home field of the favorite.

The Cowboys have everything to win and nothing to lose. The Buffs have to fight through self-doubt and a home crowd which will be booing if the home team struggles early.

Not the best scenario.

Preparation / Schedule

The Buffs did play on a Friday, which would normally give Colorado a slight advantage in this category. However, the Toledo game ended well past midnight, and was on the road. The Buffs did not get home until Saturday. Wyoming played Texas at home on Saturday afternoon. Timing here is really a wash.

Colorado should also have the advantage looking forward. Playing in their first Saturday game of the season, there is no reason for the Buffs not to focus all of their attention on the Cowboys, as Colorado does not play next Saturday (with a bye before the Thursday, October 1st, match-up against West Virginia). Wyoming returns home next weekend to face UNLV. The game against the Rebels is a Mountain West Conference game, and the Cowboys lost to the Rebels, 22-14, last November. If either team is looking forward, it would be Wyoming …

But not enough to be much of an advantage for the Buffs.


This is a category that neither team’s fans can look at without grimacing. Wyoming ranks 90th or worse nationally in no fewer than six categories, including scoring offense (94th), scoring defense (99th) and total defense (107th). The Buffs, for their part, rank 90th or worse in nine important categories, including rushing offense (109th), rushing defense (112th), scoring defense (107th) and total defense (111th).

Any positive stats? Well, Wyoming is tied for sixth nationally in turnover margin, but that is thanks mostly to the five interceptions the Cowboys lassoed in the Weber State game. Colorado is ranked 18th in the nation in passing offense, with 289 yards per game, but that is due mostly to … well, you know.

Again, Colorado should have the advantage here. But how that will all come to pass on Saturday remains to be seen …

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