Buffs At Minnesota: Quick Facts & Figures
COLORADO BUFFALOES (0-2)
at MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS (2-0)
MINNEAPOLIS — With two losses in the books and 10 games to go, Karl Dorrell's Colorado Buffaloes would like to begin writing a different storyline to their season.
The 0-2 Buffs have a big opportunity Saturday when they face 2-0 Minnesota in a 1:30 p.m. game at Huntington Bank Stadium (KOA radio, ESPN2).
The Gophers, who beat Colorado 30-0 last year in Boulder, are off to a hot start. They lead the nation in both total offense (582 yards per game) and total defense (allowing just 142.5 per game). They have a veteran-laden squad on both sides of the ball, including sixth-year quarterback Tanner Morgan, two quality backs in Mohamed Ibrahim and Trey Potts, and fifth-year linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin.
But the Buffs insist they are ready to play improved football. While they have shown glimpses of offensive production, they must weave that into consistency. That would go a long way in taking the pressure off a defense that has played relatively well early in the first two games before faltering down the stretch.
The nuts and bolts for the game:
KICKOFF: 1:30 p.m. (MT), Huntington Bank Stadium (50,805)
TV, RADIO: The radio broadcast will be carried by KOA (850 AM, 94.1 FM) with Voice of the Buffs Mark Johnson and Gary Barnett in the booth and Bob Pesavento on the sidelines. KOA's coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. with the pregame show. The game will be televised by ESPN2 with Beth Mowins and Kirk Morrison on the call and Stormy Buonantony from the sidelines.
THE COACHES: Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell is in his third year at the Buffs' helm, where he is 8-12 (43-39 overall as a head coach).
The Gophers are coached by P.J. Fleck, who is in his sixth year at Minnesota, where he has produced a 37-23 mark (67-45 overall as a head coach).
Dorrell is 0-1 against Minnesota while Fleck is 1-0 against CU.
THE SERIES: The two teams have met four times in their history, with Colorado owning a 3-1 edge. The Gophers won, 30-0, last year in Boulder. CU is 2-0 on Minnesota's home field.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: The Buffs need a win to avoid their first 0-3 start since the 2012 season, when Colorado finished with a 1-11 record.
LAST OUTING: The Buffs fell behind 20-0 early last week at Air Force and never recovered en route to a 41-10 loss. Minnesota jumped out early and cruised to a 62-10 win over Western Illinois.
CU SCHEDULE: Colorado and West Virginia are the only two Power 5 teams in the nation scheduled to play 11 Power 5 opponents this fall. CU's only non-Power Five foe was Air Force. CU is also just one of 15 of the 131 FBS schools that will not play an FCS opponent this season.
TEAM LEADERS: Deion Smith leads the Buffs in rushing with 89 yards on 18 carries, including a 25-yard touchdown run — Colorado's longest rush of the season. Quarterback J.T. Shrout has thrown for 208 yards and a touchdown while quarterback Brendon Lewis has 78 yards passing and 42 yards rushing in one game. WR Daniel Arias has six catches for 102 yards.
Defensively, linebacker Quinn Perry is off to an outstanding start with 24 tackles, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. LB Josh Chandler-Semedo has 16 tackles and safety Trevor Woods has 14, including a team-high three third-down stops.
The Gophers are led offensively by running backs Mohamed Ibrahim (264 yards rushing) and Trey Potts (168). QB Tanner Morgan is 27-for-37 for 461 yards and one TD and wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell has eight catches for 156 yards.
Defensively, LB Mariano Sori-Marin has 10 tackles and safety Jordan Howden has six stops and an interception.
KEY MATCHUP: Colorado's front seven vs. Minnesota rushing attack. The Buffs have already given up 13 plays of at least 20 yards — and 11 of those have come on the ground. CU has to keep the Gophers from busting big plays and give the Buffs offense some extra opportunities.
UP NEXT: Colorado opens Pac-12 play at home next Saturday with a noon game against UCLA at Folsom Field. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network.