CU Buffs vs. Nebraska: How to watch, storylines, predictions
9th September 2023

No. 22 Colorado (1-0) vs. Nebraska (0-1)

When/where: 10 a.m. Saturday/Folsom Field

TV/Radio: KDVR-31 (Fox)/850 AM

BetMGM Line: CU -3, 58.5 over/under

Weather: 75 degrees, mostly sunny

Five storylines

Grounded: If there was one slightly alarming development from an otherwise incredible offensive performance against TCU, it was the Buffs’ struggles to get anything going on the ground. While offensive coordinator Sean Lewis never strayed from running the ball, 55 yards on 34 carries (1.6 yards/carry) will not work long-term. Even more worrisome this week: Nebraska just held Minnesota, a program that prides itself on being able to shove the ball down opponents’ throats, to just 55 yards on 25 carries.

Air it out: That being said, it’s not as if the Buffs got zero production from their running backs last week. In fact, freshman RB Dylan Edwards led CU in receiving yards (135). And that was with three receivers topping 100 yards against TCU: Travis Hunter (119), Xavier Weaver (118) and Jimmy Horn Jr. (117). Bottom line, if quarterback Shedeur Sanders is dropping dimes like he did last Saturday, when he set a CU record with 510 passing yards, things will be just fine.

Hunter’s workload: A question certain to follow CU all fall: Can two-way star Travis Hunter keep up his insane workload? Last Saturday, he essentially played two games, logging 64 snaps as a receiver on offense and 80 snaps as a cornerback on defense, according to Pro Football Focus. That’s a lot to ask of one player — even one of Hunter’s caliber. TCU seemed intent on targeting Hunter with deep throws early in an attempt to wear him out, a gambit that produced just one completion. Will Nebraska do the same? Will it matter?

Sims city: On the other side of the spectrum, Georgia Tech transfer Jeff Sims has a lot to prove after a substandard debut in the Huskers’ 13-10 loss at Minnesota. The fifth-year senior QB ran the ball well (19 carries, 91 yards), but his work from the pocket (11 of 19 for 114 yards, three interceptions) was one of the primary reasons Matt Rhule walked away a loser in his first game as Nebraska coach. Given CU’s struggles stopping the run vs. TCU (37 carries, 262 yards), expect the Huskers to pound the rock until the Buffs prove they can stop it.

Red army: Half of Nebraska will arrive in Boulder this weekend in search of tickets to Saturday’s game. Just how many will be able to actually score them is another matter. For the first time since 2016, Coach Prime has the CU fanbase energized. Ticket prices have shot up to historic levels, indicating demand isn’t one-sided. But if there’s one thing we know about Husker fans, it’s that they’re more than willing to part with obscene amounts of cash in order to watch their team play. Will that lead to another Folsom Field takeover, a la 2019?


Sean Keeler, sports columnist: CU 34, Nebraska 28 (OT).

The Buffs don’t just talk a good game. They back it up. But what happens when the Huskers decide to line up and punch ’em in the mouth? If CU can clean up its tackling woes from TCU, half of Folsom Field is going home happy. And all of Folsom Field best buckle up, because this one could get wild.

Matt Schubert, sports editor: CU 27, Nebraska 21.

As long as Buffs can do reasonably well stopping Nebraska’s run game, a 2-0 start is in the cards. And that’s far from a given.

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