Mile High Sports

Three things to watch in Buffs’ rivalry week game vs. Cornhuskers

Sep 1, 2018; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost leads the team onto the field for the game against the Akron Zips at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The stage couldn’t be bigger for the Colorado Buffaloes and Nebraska Cornhuskers. The rivalry is renewed.

Nebraska boasts an all-time 49-18-2 series record, with the last meeting occurring in 2010 in a 45-17 whooping by the Cornhuskers. This weekend, Big Red are going for four straight over the Buffs. In Colorado’s return to Lincoln, they’ll be ready to prove that those are just old times and things have changed.

On top of all that, it’s the opening game for Nebraska, in their home state. What a time to be alive.

Here are our three keys to the game if Buffs want to come away with a win.

Overcoming the noise

It will be loud — oh will it be loud. The Buffaloes will be booed; early and often.

If clips from last week’s scheduled matchup between the Cornhuskers and Akron didn’t get you hyped, what will? Both teams are looking more than excited to start the season in a game that had Gabrielle Union and NBA star Dwyane Wade in attendance but was eventually washed out due to weather; rthis one should do it. Nebraska is one of the most difficult places in the country to play because the whole town is shut down due to all of the Big Red Nation showing up to cheer on their team. The stadium will surely be packed with rooting fans that are ready for the chance to see their team play, a revamped tunnel walk and the renewed rivalry to begin.

The Buffs will have to come out ready to play in the most hostile environments they’ll face all season, with a team also ready to resume the traditional rivalry—it should be a fun one.

Quarterback watch

Steven Montez is coming off of a remarkable game against Colorado State in which he looked sensational. He went 22-25, with more touchdowns (4) than he had incompletions. He also threw for 338 yards and ran for 34 yards with a TD on the ground while only throwing one interception.

His decision-making will be the biggest factor if Colorado plans on beating Nebraska. And Montez’s ability to be able to beat the defense with both his arm and his legs can be the edge that Colorado needs to give them the victory.

Montez holds the keys to the offense.

Adrian Martinez made Nebraska history when he was named the starting quarterback, the first time ever that a true freshman opened the season as the starting QB. And with that comes huge expectations. Expectations that Martinez seems ready for. All that’s coming out of Nebraska for the week is how calm, comfortable and poised Martinez has looked. With no game tape on Martinez, Colorado’s defense will have to expect the unexpected.

Coach MacIntyre said that with no film, it has been difficult for the team to prepare for Martinez. CU has been using spring game film prepare for him. Martinez is a player that can get it done in a variety of ways as he shows elite athleticism, and if the Buffs defense doesn’t contain him, it will be a long day.

Duplicating the offensive success

Colorado’s first game of the year was a success in many regards, but the thing that stood out most was their offensive production.

The Buffs came out with guns blazing as they left the Rams defense scrambled for most of the night. The way that they got it done was something that hasn’t been seen too often from the Buffs. They had a 300-yard passer in Montez, a 200-yard receiver in Laviska Shenault Jr., 100-yard receiver in K.D. Nixon and also a 100-yard rusher in Travon McMillan. Colorado did whatever they wanted offensively, and will try their best to get their playmakers in the open field and see if they strike the same type of gold two weeks in a row.

Nebraska will surely challenge the Buffs, specifically Montez’ deep ball. Colorado will have to open up more of their offense as they go up against a relatively inexperienced defense that hasn’t had the chance to see how they mesh yet.

Colorado already has a game under their belt and knows what the team is capable of, so it will be on the offense to get them on track early and see if they come out with the same intensity and pace. Brace yourselves.