When Colorado passes

The Denver Post - - SPORTS | PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP -

When Colorado runs

Phillip Lind­say car­ried the ball only 12 times in Colorado’s win over Utah last week, a re­sult of the Utes stack­ing the box to slow CU’s 1,000-yard rusher. CU’s rush­ing at­tack is not lim­ited to Lind­say, how­ever. Sefo Li­u­fau runs through the tack­les in a way Wash­ing­ton coach Chris Petersen said he’s rarely seen from a quar­ter­back. The Huskies have been hard to run against this sea­son. They rank 23rd in the coun­try against the rush at 127 yards per game. Edge: Even

When Wash­ing­ton runs

Miles Gaskin has pro­duced nearly iden­ti­cal num­bers to Lind­say, av­er­ag­ing 98.3 yards per game to go with 10 touch­downs. The Buffs are com­ing off a stel­lar per­for­mance against the run against Utah, when they held run­ning back Joe Wil­liams, who had rushed for more than 1,000 yards in the pre­vi­ous five games, to 97 yards on 26 car­ries. Also of note: CU has al­lowed only 10 rush­ing TDs all sea­son and has not al­lowed any in seven of its last eight games. Edge: Colorado

Spe­cial teams

The resur­gence of Devin Ross, who has 17 catches for 215 yards in his last two games, bodes well for Colorado’s of­fense. He’s able to stretch the field, as is ju­nior Shay Fields. Wash­ing­ton’s sec­ondary is among the best in the coun­try and has the ath­letes to keep up on the out­side against al­most any team. Still, if Ross and Fields can stretch Wash­ing­ton’s cor­ners, the Buffs will need play­ers such as Kabion Ento, Jay MacIn­tyre and Bryce Bobo (ga­me­time de­ci­sion) to step up over the mid­dle. Edge: Wash­ing­ton

When Wash­ing­ton passes

The CU sec­ondary is play­ing with supreme con­fi­dence and for good rea­son. The Buffs rank fourth in pass ef­fi­ciency de­fense and sur­ren­der only 5.4 yards per at­tempt. The rise out­side line­backer Jim­mie Gil­bert (9 ½ sacks) has cre­ated turnover take­aways. Jake Brown­ing, the Pac-12 of­fen­sive player of the year, makes very few mis­takes as Wash­ing­ton’s sopho­more quar­ter­back. He loves to go deep to his fa­vorite tar­get, wide re­ceiver John Ross, who has gone over 1,000 yards re­ceiv­ing this sea­son. Edge: Colorado Ross is one of the most elec­tric play­ers in the coun­try as a re­turner. CU has been bit­ten all sea­son by teams with a good re­turn game. If CU is forced to punt from deep in its own ter­ri­tory, the Buffs could be in trou­ble. Just last week they fell in a hole af­ter giv­ing up a punt re­turn for a touch­down. CU also gave up a 93-yard kick­off re­turn last week. While kick­ers Chris Gra­ham and Davis Price have steadily im­proved as the sea­son has gone on, send­ing ei­ther out for a cru­cial kick at this stage is an iffy propo­si­tion, at best. Edge: Wash­ing­ton

Andy Cross, The Den­ver Post

Buffs wide re­ceiver Devin Ross could help stretch the field against Wash­ing­ton’s vaunted sec­ondary.

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