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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 27th, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Municipal Stadium (85,412) -- Jacksonville, Florida. Television:ABC. Home Record: Colorado 2-0, FSU 2-1. Away Record: Colorado 1-0, FSU 0-0. Neutral Record: Colorado 0-0, FSU 0-0. Conference Record: Colorado 0-0, FSU 0-1. Series Record: Florida State leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: The Big 12 clashes with the ACC in Jacksonville this weekend, as the Colorado Buffaloes take on the Florida State Seminoles. The Buffs enter the contest with some confidence on their side, as they knocked off then 21st- ranked West Virginia, 17-14, in overtime last week. With the victory, Colorado moves to 3-0 for the first time since 2004 and just the second time since a 5-0 start in 1998. It was also the Buffs' 42nd triumph over a ranked opponent dating back to 1989. Following this weekend's bought, Colorado will take on Texas to get its Big 12 slate underway. As for FSU, it is coming off its first loss of the season, a 12-3 setback to ACC foe Wake Forest last weekend. It was the first game of the year against an equal opponent, as the Seminoles opened the season with a pair of wins over Football Championship Subdivision programs in Western Carolina (69-0) and Chattanooga (46-7). This weekend's game is the 500th of head coach Bobby Bowden's career, making him just one of three coaches in college football history to reach that milestone. Bowden and his FSU program have faced Colorado just two times previously, winning each decision. Last season, the Seminoles took a 16-6 decision from the Buffaloes in Boulder.
The Buffaloes scored twice in the opening five minutes of last week's game, but were then held without a point until Aric Goodman booted a 25-yard field goal in overtime to win the game against WVU. Colorado, averaging 361.3 total ypg for the season, gained 366 yards last week, including 187 on the ground. Rodney Stewart put forth a noteworthy effort, as he toted 28 times for 166 yards in the victory. It was clearly the most productive game of the season for Stewart, who had rushed for just 76 yards in the prior two games combined. Quarterback Cody Hawkins was also effective in the win over WVU, completing 22-of-33 pass attempts for 179 yards with two touchdowns and one pick. For the season, Hawkins has now passed for 654 yards, six scores and three interceptions. Scotty McKnight has been his top target with 15 catches and 178 yards for the year, but last week Josh Smith led the team with five receptions for 75 yards and a score.
Colorado was torched for 311 yards on the ground last week, but the defense limited WVU to just 43 passing yards and that is why the team allowed only 14 points in the win. The large amount of rushing yards was a bit surprising though, as the Buffs yielded only 118 yards on the ground in the first two games combined. Still, Colorado permitted just 16 first downs to WVU and more importantly held it to a 23-yard field goal attempt in overtime which was missed. Jeff Smart paced the defense with 12 stops and he now has a team-high 32 tackles to his credit for the season.
After scoring 115 points and committing just one turnover in their first two games against FCS programs, the Seminoles were limited to only three points with seven miscues in a loss to WF last weekend. FSU managed only 220 yards of total offense last game and had just 12 first downs. Christian Ponder and D'Vontrey Richardson both saw time at quarterback, but neither was effective. For the game, Ponder threw for 56 yards and three picks, while Richardson had 66 yards and two interceptions. The duo though, accounted for 73 of the team's 102 rushing yards. On the season, Ponder has passed for 428 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions and he has also rushed for 75 yards. As for Richardson, he has thrown for 240 yards with two picks and two touchdowns, and he also leads the team with 152 rushing yards and three touchdowns. If both quarterbacks play like they did last weekend though, it could very well be a long season for the Seminoles.
Due to the large amount of turnovers by the offense, FSU's defense was often put in bad spots last weekend, but the unit stepped up and kept WF without a touchdown. Wake though, did mange to earn itself seven field goal attempts, making good on four of those attempts. Still, it would be hard to blame FSU's defense, which held Wake to only 276 total yards, including just 59 on the ground. For the season, the Seminoles are now limiting their opponents to just 6.3 ppg and only 205.3 total ypg. Toddrick Verdell leads the team with 18 tackles on the year and that includes a five-stop effort last weekend.
The Seminoles did not look good in their first games against a FBS program and things won't get any easier against a confident Colorado squad this weekend. FSU showed it couldn't move the ball last weekend, so take the Buffaloes and hope they can put up enough points to escape with the victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Colorado 16, Florida State 10
09/24 10:37:03 ET