Although the offense hasn’t yet found the groove they expected prior to the season, confidence is still at an all-time high as the team feels as if it’s just a matter of time before they start clicking. Patience is the key. While the offense finds its way, the defense expects to keep doing what it has been — proving all doubters wrong in their preseason predictions of a drop-off after so many players from last year’s talented bunch didn’t return. The Colorado Buffaloes are 2-0, and look to make it 3-0 on Saturday afternoon when they face off against in-state competition, the University of Northern Colorado. Here are three important factor to watch for in the game.

Aggressive in their aerial attack

In the first two games, the offense has gotten off to slow starts, but have done just enough with the help of the defense to ensure a win. This week needs to be the week that they get going, if they plan to defend their crown as winners of the Pac-12 South. Next up is the Washington Huskies, whom the Buffs lost to in the Pac-12 championship by a score of 41-10. If this team has any ideas of avenging last year’s loss, it will be through the help of the offense. Quarteback Steven Montez, who threw for 299 yards and a touchdown while going 19-for-31,  will need to show consistency and be aggressive in his efforts to utilize a strong receiving corps. With a unit that features Shay Fields, Devin Ross, Bryce Bobo and Juwan Winfree, there’s no excuse for not staying aggressive and pushing the ball down the field. This is the game Montez should get in sync with his wideouts and take some chances by pushing the ball harder through the air.

Defense, defense, defense

For as much talk about concern as there’s been about getting the offense on track, there should be just as much praise aimed towards the defense. Two games into the season, and the Buffs’ defense is on par with last year’s squad, if not better — they haven’t allowed a single touchdown. Senior Leo Jackson III had three sacks in the last game; he’s been strong in both games and is becoming one of the early standouts. Rick Gamboa and Afolabi Laguda look to be in mid-season form, not to mention junior cornerback Isaiah Oliver, who has been as good as advertised. If this robust defensive unit continues to stay stout while the offense gets in a rhythm, it’s going to remain difficult to beat them. The Buffs will look to continue their shutout campaign this week against the Bears.

Treat them like a little brother — literally

The University of Colorado is the big-name school in the state, closely followed by Colorado State University. The University of Northern Colorado aspires to claim their own spot and hope that this game will prove that they’re ready for one. It’s on the Buffs to put those hopes to a halt by playing its first complete game of the year.

Buffs running back Phillip Lindsay’s younger brother Zach plays running back for Northern Colorado. This will be the first time that the two will play against each other, something that both players have said on numerous occasions that they’re excited for. Who doesn’t enjoy a sibling rivalry?