CU v. No.  Oregon State: “T.I.P.S.” for a late night Homecoming

… Related … If you prefer your predictions verbally (and from more than one voice), “CU at the Game Podcast: “T.I.P.S.” for CU v. No. 16 Oregon State, can be found at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or pretty much wherever you download your favorites. Or, if you would prefer, you can listen to this week’s Oregon State preview podcast here .

CU is 4-4.

Not the University of Colorado.

The other CU, Clemson, is also 4-4.

For the Buffs, being at the .500 mark as the calendar turns from October to November, is a rarity. (The last time CU had this many wins heading into November? … gulp … the 2018 season, when CU gagged against Oregon State, then let a 5-2 record become a 5-7 debacle).

For the Tigers, being at the .500 mark as the calendar turns from October to November is also a rarity, but not in a good way. Clemson hasn’t had this bad a start to a season since 2010, and the Tiger Nation is unhappy.

At a call in show on Monday, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was lit into by a fan, wondering if Swinney was earning his $11 million salary. Swinney listened for awhile, and then responded:

“I’ve listened to enough of you, Tyler. You can have all your opinions that you want,” Swinney said. “Alright, I don’t know how old you are. Don’t really care. Alright, but let me tell you something — we won 11 games last year. And you’re a part of the problem to be honest with you, because that is a part of the problem. It’s people like you that all you do is — the expectation is greater than the appreciation. And that’s the problem.”

The expectation is greater than the appreciation … that certainly applies to the other CU.

We were talking on the podcast Monday night about how the perceptions of Colorado were altered dramatically with the 3-0 start to the season, perhaps unreasonably.

If CU was 4-4 today, but had lost to TCU and had beaten Stanford, the expectations for the program would be different. The Buffs would have four wins over unranked teams and four losses to ranked teams. The aspirations for a bowl bid would be aspirations for an overachieving team, not an unforeseeable end to what is turning into a disappointing season.

The offensive line would still be subject to significant ridicule and the topic of many a message board discussion, but the Buff Nation might … might … be a little more understanding.

The game against another ranked team, in this case No. 16 Oregon State, would be seen as an opportunity for an upset, not another chance to watch the Buffs underperform.

Will the CU coaches and players respond, and once again spark optimism in the Buff Nation heading into November? … Or will another disappointing result bring about new round of criticism and critique?

Let’s find out …


This Week’s “T.I.P.S” for Colorado v. 16 Oregon State – Saturday, 8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN

T – Talent

Hard to pronounce; hard to forget.

Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalleilei has led the Beavers to a 6-2 record, including wins over two ranked teams – Utah and UCLA. For the season, Uiagalleilei has thrown for almost 1,800 yards, with 17 touchdowns and only four interceptions. In the Beavers’ last three games, Uiagalleilei has thrown nine touchdown passes, and zero interceptions. While not a running quarterback, Uiagalleilei has five rushing touchdowns this season. 

While Uiagalleilei is entrenched as the starter, look for No. 0, freshman Aiden Chiles, as a change of pace. In limited action, Chiles has completed 18-of-24 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns. Against Arizona, Chiles played only briefly, but completed two-of-three passes, including a 52-yarder. 

Be in Uiagalleilei or Chiles, the Beavers, averaging over 439 yards of offense per game, have many weapons … and they are familiar names to CU fans, as they have had their way with the Buffs in the past. 

The rushing attack is led by a human bowling ball, Damien Martinez. At 6’0″, 232-pounds, Martinez is a load, and already has 763 yards rushing this season (at a 6.4 yards/carry clip). If the name sounds familiar, it should … In last season’s 42-9 rout of Colorado in Corvallis, Martinez had 22 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Martinez runs behind not one, but two first-team All-Pac-12 offensive linemen, Joshua Gray and Taliese Fuaga.

The receiving corps is a three-headed monster, with speedsters Silas Bowlden (37 catches for 522 yards and four touchdowns) and Anthony Gould (29 catches for 501 yards and two touchdowns) causing matchup problems on the outside. Cover the wide outs … and get burned on the inside. Tight end Jack Velling could cause nightmares for the Buff faithful next Saturday night. Velling has 21 catches for 294 yards – with eight of those 21 catches going for touchdowns.

The Oregon State defense is giving up only 21.12 points per game (38th in the nation), and 346.1 yards per game (46th nationally). Linebacker Easton Mascarenas-Arnold leads the Beavers in tackles, 22nd in the nation, while the sack leaders for the defense (which CU needs to pay attention to) are linebacker Andrew Chatfield Jr. and defensive lineman Isaac Hodgins.

If it comes down to it, Buff fans won’t be able to count on OSU’s kicker missing. Kicker Atticus Sappington has made all 36 of his PATs, and is nine-of-ten on field goals, with a long of 48 yards.

Oregon State may not be a College Football Playoff contender, but has a very solid roster.


I – Intangibles

Pac-2 dreams die in the desert? … In the not so distant past – say, a month ago – the Orphan-Two of the Pac-12 were a combined 8-1, and both were ranked in the Top 15 in the nation. There were those who were cheering for Oregon State and Washington State to make some noise in the final season of the Pac-12, and thumb their noses at the Departing Ten.

Since then, Washington State has gone from 4-0 to 4-4, with a loss to Arizona State Saturday night the latest loss. Also late Saturday night, Oregon State absorbed its second loss of the season, falling to Arizona, 27-24.

Oregon State’s only previous loss had been to. The Beavers already had on their resume wins over two ranked Pac-12 teams – Utah and UCLA – with season ending games against Washington at home and against Oregon on the road. Games against Arizona, Colorado and Stanford were the only speedbumps between the Beavers and a chance to control their own destiny, not only for a Pac-12 title game berth, but a potential shot at the College Football Playoff.

That feel good story for the homeless Beavers – still without a conference or a schedule for the 2024 season – took a huge hit Saturday night in Tucson.

How will the Beavers deal with the blow?

It could be a factor late Saturday night at Folsom …

Not so Home Sweet Home … The Buffs will be playing before their ninth straight sell out crowd this weekend, with the record-setting streak to get to at least ten games next weekend against Arizona (CU plays Utah in the season finale, and the Utes regularly sells out their games, so the only game standing between CU and 12 straight sold out games is the road game against Washington State on November 17th. A Friday night game with a 7:30 p.m., MT, kickoff, the weather could play a role as to whether there will be an 11th straight sell out).

CU fans have been enthusiastic supporters of the Buffs since selling out the spring game, but the football has largely been cheer-worthy. The stunning meltdown against Stanford, and the anemic display by the Colorado offense against UCLA could lead to the boo birds coming out early if the Buffs continue to struggle on offense. If the running game continues to be non-existent, and Shedeur Sanders continues to run for his life … will the Buff Nation continue to be supportive? Or will the boos start raining down from the stands?

How will the CU players react when the home field advantage is not so advantageous?


P – Preparation/Schedule

Back-to-back road games … The Beavers will be on the road for their second straight game. The road trips to Tucson and Boulder are the two longest trips Oregon State can take for Pac-12 games.

In 2021, the Beavers came to Boulder as the second game of back-to-back Pac-12 road trips. Oregon State had lost on the road against Cal, 39-25, and came to Boulder with a 5-3 record. The 2-6 Buffs were able to come away with a bizarre 37-34 win in double overtime, when Oregon State kicker Everett Hayes – who had made a 60-yarder at the end of regulation to send the game in overtime – missed a 38-yard attempt.

CU has already played in two double-overtime games this fall … the CSU game (which kicked off at 8:00 p.m.) and against Stanford (which also kicked off at 8:00 p.m.).

The Oregon State game will kickoff at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday night.

Anyone up for yet another double-overtime game … if it results in a CU victory?

Road warriors? … Oregon State has been impressive this year … particularly at home. The Beavers have Reser Stadium wins over Utah and UCLA, both ranked foes.

On the road, however, Oregon State has defeated San Jose State (now 4-5), lost to Washington State (4-4), defeated Cal (3-5), and lost to Arizona (5-3).

The Beavers’ non-conference schedule didn’t include a Power Five team. The opponents – San Jose State, UC-Davis, and San Diego State – are a combined 11-14 (with wins over the likes of Cal-Poly, New Mexico, Utah State, Hawai’i, Texas A&M-Commerce, Southern Utah, and Weber State)

Oregon State is 6-2, and is a very good team. The Beavers deserve praise for beating Utah and UCLA, but … The Beavers still haven’t had a great result in games played on the road.

CU fans can only hope that trend will continue.


S – Statistics 

Why bother, Part II? … Last weekend, the biggest mismatch of the game was the Colorado rushing attack (126th in the nation) against UCLA rushing defense (No. 1 in the nation). The result? CU gained 25 yards on 24 carries in the Rose Bowl.

This weekend, one of the best rushing offenses in the country (OSU is averaging 187.1 yards per game) is pitted against the 96th ranked rushing defense (CU is giving up 165.0 yards per game). If the Buffs are going to have a chance against the Beavers … CU has to have a better result;

Discipline, please … The Buffs committed 17 penalties for 127 yards against Stanford. After the game, Coach Prime stated that cutting down on penalties would be a priority. The result: The Buffs committed seven penalties for 60 yards, including Shilo Sanders’ targeting penalty. Not much better … as CU is 128th in the nation, averaging 77.5 yards per game … Still work to do …

— Shedeur Sanders records watch … Shedeur Sanders is on pace to reset most of the single season passing in CU history, and is among the national leaders in many categories. As the season has passed the halfway mark, it’s time to track how Sanders is progressing:

The numbers to date …

  • Passing yards: 2,637 (3rd in the nation)
  • Passing touchdowns: 22 (4th)
  • Passing attempts: 346 (1st)
  • Completions: 246 (1st)
  • Completion percentage: 71.1 (T-10th)
  • Quarterback rating: 154.4 (19th)

Now take a look at how Sanders is faring against every other quarterback to ever wear the black-and-gold of the University of Colorado …

  • Passing yards: 2,637 … CU single season record: 3,200 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total is currently 10th on the list – after eight games)
  • Passing touchdowns: 22 … CU single season record: 28 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total currently tied for second)
  • Passing attempts: 346 … CU single season record: 498 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total currently 10th)
  • Completions: 246 … CU single season record: 325 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total currently 4th)
  • Completion percentage: 71.1 … CU single season record: 68.4 … Koy Detmer, 1995 … If maintained, Sanders will set a new school record
  • Total offense (plays): 432 … CU single season record: 567 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total is currently 10th)
  • Total offense (yards): 2,594 … CU single season record: 3,336 … Sefo Liufau, 2014 (Sanders’ total is currently 15th)


Prediction … 

A 4-4 record for CU in the first two months of 2023 is still impressive, but the way the Buffs have gotten to this point is disconcerting.

After making a huge splash in the season opener against TCU, the Buffs have been must-see TV for the last two months. A 3-0 start and a Top 25 ranking … for the Buff Nation is what like wandering the desert for years and then getting hit with a fire hose.

What’s bothering many Buff fans is not so much losing four games in the last five contests, but the way the Buffs have been losing. The epic meltdown against Stanford brought back way too many bad memories, and the impossible-to-watch effort by the Buff offensive line against UCLA was again a reminder of how poorly a team wearing black-and-gold can look.

The Buffs have four more opportunities to win a fifth game, and silence the critics. A win in November would send the program into the off-season with momentum. Four more losses would leave CU with a 4-8 record and a six-game losing streak to end the season.

Momentum? … Or more criticism?

There is hope for a victory late Saturday night, but the Buffs will have to show me more before I can pick them to win again …

Prediction … No. 16 Oregon State 30, Colorado 2o

2023 Predictions: Straight up: 6-2; Against the Spread: 5-3

  • Prediction: No. 17 TCU 33, Colorado 21 … Actual: Colorado 45, No. 17 TCU 42
  • Prediction: No. 22 Colorado 34, Nebraska 21 … Actual: No. 22 Colorado 36, Nebraska 14
  • Prediction: No. 18 Colorado 42, Colorado State 17 … Actual: No. 18 Colorado 43, Colorado State 35, 2OT
  • Prediction: No. 10 Oregon 40, No. 19 Colorado 17 … Actual: No. 10 Oregon 42, No. 19 Colorado 6
  • Prediction: No. 8 USC 45, Colorado 24 … Actual: No. 8 USC 48, Colorado 41
  • Prediction: Colorado 31, Arizona State 21 … Actual: Colorado 27, Arizona State 24
  • Prediction: Colorado 31, Stanford 17 … Actual: Stanford 46, Colorado 43, 2OT
  • Prediction: No. 23 UCLA 34, Colorado 2o … Actual: No. 23 UCLA 28, Colorado 16

  • 2022 Predictions … (Straight up: 10-2; Against the Spread: 9-3) …
  • 2021 Predictions … (Straight up: 9-3; Against the Spread: 7-5) … 


13 Replies to ““T.I.P.S.” For CU v. Oregon State”

  1. Coach Prime is here to win and isn’t looking far down the road to do so. That is a good thing for him because fear-based leadership and public humiliation of team members doesn’t work if you are in it for the longer haul. It is all about performance for Prime or you are out with limited focus on longer-term development and growth, maximum focus on results. I can see the game going one of two ways: a) A rout by the Beavers with one factor being the offensive line not caring as much since they were told, publicly, that they would be replaced (regardless of what Prime said after his postgame comments) or b) The Buffs take advantage of a potential funk for the Beavers after losing to AZ and the O linemen wanting to perform to the best of their ability, in their self-interest, so that they can point to their performance when they enter the portal in the not too distant future. Plus a potentially improved defense if it carries forward from the UCLA game. My head says a) but this time I will pick the Buffs in an upset.

    CU 31 OSU 28

    1. You make some good points. I’m not sure Prime is about a limited focus on development and growth, but he is certainly about results for each and every coach and player, each and every week. That does not mean he has unrealistic expectations. The nice guy, next week, or next season approach has never worked for CU past or present. I’m not sure it has worked for any team in any sport. Personally, I do not think the nice guy approach really works. These young athletes are built and conditioned to win, they are hungry, and not just play a decent 3Q’s @ UCLA or against any team, especially at home. IMO, these players do not want it sugar-coated. Look the Oline played horrible against UCLA and other teams, but you do not ignore it and play for later (whenever that may come). That is a pipe dream. Rather, you accept it and rise above. Certainly, you do not give it up to anyone especially playing at home to a packed house.

      I agree with you in picking B. You challenge the players and coaches to leave it all on the field for one night at home and then go from there. IMO, you want to challenge the players and coaches to simply rise to the occasion. These players have worked hard and that is apparent, as so many have stepped up in a short period of time. We are 4-4, of a 1-10 season.

      They can and will win, so I say 42-20 CU. I like Herbie Brooks. We are not playing the Soviets, rather we are playing Oregon State. Let’s remember that and go out and give it our absolute best! Let the chips fall where they may.

  2. I have said to to my friends. If def lineman blows our guy off the line, that’s a talent gap. But I see our linemen moving right when the rusher comes from the left. Too many times they blow right by our line, that’s coaching or too complex of a system so we blew the assignment, not talent. These kids are better than they seem and I think it’s coaching. Where are the 2 TE sets, why isn’t Smoke in the backfield to block not little Dylan? Come on coaches, help our team by adjusting to what the defense is doing to us week after week.

    1. Reading my mind DB.

      An important part – if not the most important part – of coaching is knowing how to pattern plays around players’ strengths. I haven’t seen it, except for fly routes for the WR’s. I definitely don’t think running Dylan straight into the interior line on 1st down is showing me that Lewis knows how to structure plays around players’ talents. I saw this repeating in several games.

      I would think that to take advantage of our teams overall speed, the field needs to be opened up to create space for play makers. Spreading the offense out will spread the opposing defense out and make it easier for Shedeur to escape an OL rush or blitz…..also easier to find open receivers.

    2. That play in the red zone on second and goal where both guards simultaneously let both defensive ends through untouched by moves to the inside was just maddening.

      I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever seen a worse single play for an offensive line ever.

  3. Prime is bringing the top rated O lineman in for a visit. Of course this guy also has offers from just about the entire top half of the football nation. Keep your fingers crossed.
    Alton McCaskill has applied for a redshirt. Probably for the best. He can see the writing on the wall for the rest of the season (including the current o line) Hate to see him get reinjured too. He may not be still 100 percent for the last one.
    Still no excuse for trying to jam the 160 lb Edwards straight into the middle of the line.

  4. Without more of the conversation to provide context I cant go with Swinney’s response. 11 million a year? and keeping several million more after being fired? Lets talk about appreciation for the other side.
    Expectations are all part of college football becoming all business even with the players now that they are being paid. If I had a hole in the muffler of my car and went to a mechanic who put a new one on that did the job…..until the coat hanger the mechanic attached it with began to loosen I wouldnt be happy and probably demand some compensation.
    Having said all that I’m sure that all the winning Swinney has done recently had fan/customer spoiled but Swinney’s response showed he is spoiled as well.
    No way Swinney is about to be fired and you can say the same for Prime….yet.
    Prime has not only done what was Unimaginable for our school, but he has got the team at 500 when all last year it was only at 9 percent.
    the paradox is unfortunately for him the opening win against TCU and the squishing of Nebraska sent expectations through the roof.
    I wasn’t expecting an undefeated season and I would be totally satisfied with a bowl game. Not making the bowl I would definitely be happy with he improvement. My problem is the way the losses are happening. Thats been discussed ad nauseum. Prime brought us one of the best “mufflers” in the country in his son. Let s see if he can keep it attached to the rest of the team.

    1. Seems like he brought in a new muffler, better gear box, smoother transmission, and shiny new body, as well. He’s working on the big knobby oversized tires and front grill, to grade the road.

      Go Buffs

      1. is that better gear box the running game? maybe the smoother transmission is all that pressure we get in the opposing QB. or maybe its the beyond basic offensive scheme that every opposing DC has thanked god for. The shiny new body must be all the videos.

        1. Nah, it’s the four wins, so far, and an offense scoring more than it has in a long time, and the defense holding their own, for the most part. As evidenced by being able to compete, and actually have a chance to win all but one game. Including against UCLA. Those defensive busts to start the second half probably don’t happen if Shilo was still in the game, keeping everyone on the right calls. It’s year one after fielding the worst team in D1 football. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

          Go Buffs

  5. Will be interesting to see if the OL takes this personal, or if they can listen, or is the coaching just that bad? Hope the Defense can build off last week’s perfomance
    Beavs 34 Buffs 20
    ATS 4-4, SU 6-2

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