Friday, October 31, 2003
Buffaloes hopes to quash nation's top offense
LUBBOCK, Texas -- Colorado knows the potency of Texas Tech's
offense. The Red Raiders lead the nation.
The Buffaloes also know the feebleness of Tech's defense. It's
the worst of the 117 Division I teams, giving up 504 yards per
"We have to score on every series," Colorado coach Gary
Barnett said. "You have got to finish every drive. If we use up a
lot of time that's fine, but the key thing is to keep up in the
Tech (5-3, 2-2) leads the nation in scoring offense (45 points)
and total offense (615 yards) but is close to the bottom (113th) in
allowing opponents to score (37 points).
When the two teams play Saturday night, each will be trying to
win their first game in three.
Colorado (3-5, 1-3) lost 34-20 to No. 1 Oklahoma last week and
49-20 at Kansas State two weeks ago. As badly as Tech's defense has
been lately, the Buffaloes' also is porous. It ranks 116th in
scoring defense (39 points) and 111th in total defense (457 yards).
Colorado's performance against the Sooners, though, has created
hope for Barnett.
"We're taking a team that has found a little pride and has
evolved to where it's much better than it was two weeks ago, three
weeks ago," he said. "We have to keep that evolution going."
Tech's defense, which earlier this season showed signs it could
hold its own, gave up 597 total yards in a 62-31 loss at Missouri
last week. Tiger quarterback Brad Smith rushed for 291 yards, 17
yards shy of the NCAA record for a quarterback, and threw for five
touchdowns. It was the most points ever given up by a Tech defense.
In its 51-49 loss two weeks ago at then-No. 23 Oklahoma State,
the defense gave up 673 total yards two weeks ago.
"This is a must win game and we are looking forward to being
back at home." said Tech quarterback B.J. Symons, who leads the
nation in passing with 3,914 yards and 36 touchdowns. "We're in a
Barnett apparently has spoken to Oklahoma State's coach about
how to play Tech. The gist was that against Tech a big lead means
"Les Miles told me, that even if you get up by 21, you have to
think it's zero to zero because they just roar back. They did that
against Missouri. They came out in the second half and just roared
back and then threw a pick. That's their offense, they score so
"We have to overcome the adversity," Tech coach Mike Leach
said. "We came up two points short at Oklahoma State, and didn't
play as good as we could have. We just lost focus against Missouri.
Part of it was because of turnovers, and part of it was because we
didn't stop them. We have to do both of those things, prevent
turnovers and stop them."
Colorado needs to stop Symons, who has thrown for 400-plus yards
in seven consecutive game. In the past two games, however, Symons
has seemed less sharp, having thrown five interceptions, one
against OSU that ended a potential game-winning drive down the
Tech also has a corps of receivers that includes two (Carlos
Francis and Wes Welker) of the country's top 20 in receiving yards.
"You have to make plays on defense in order to win this game,"
Barnett said. "This team is hard to blitz because they get rid of
the ball so fast."