November 3, 2006

CU game could become defensive battle

Kansas State coach Ron Prince isn't falling for it. Sure, the Colorado Buffaloes are 1-8 on the season, but he can see the progress being made by the Buffaloes over the course of the season. In fact, the last time CU played at home, it humiliated Texas Tech, 30-6.

"To be honest with you, I don't pay that much attention to the record," Prince said. "… In fact, I probably pay more attention to the Texas Tech game, which is absolutely a coach's nightmare, going on the road up there and watching that game. And, as we all can see, Texas Tech has a very good team. The record, I wouldn't pay much attention to."

Since that win over the Red Raiders, the Buffaloes have lost road games at Oklahoma and Kansas, failing to score an offensive touchdown in either game, 24-3 and 20-15 losses.

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins' biggest weapon is, of course, place-kicker Mason Crosby. Crosby has scored 56 of CU's 128 points this season, or 44 percent. Crosby has connected on 15 of his 21 attempts this season, but four of the six misses have been from 50-plus yards. In other words, if CU gets inside the 32, it's almost certain points.

Colorado should be much more comfortable at home, but Prince's Wildcats are now 5-4 overall and 2-3 in the Big 12 and one win away from becoming bowl eligible. The last two seasons, K-State has roared into late-season shots at getting bowl eligible and failed, but this team has a growing sense of confidence.

"The big difference I see is that everyone is having fun. We're having ups and downs, but we're having fun with younger coaches," KSU senior place-kicker Jeff Snodgrass said. "It keeps the spirits up even when things aren't going well."

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