BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado tailback dubbed Tasmanian Devil won’t kick up too much dust over his team’s lethargic offense.
After all, there are mitigating circumstances: Week one. Rival Colorado State. New cast.
All that said, senior tailback Phillip Lindsay does expect way more going forward.
“Get back to playing Colorado football. Be the offense that we know we can be,” said Lindsay, who earned his nickname for his relentless style of play. “The next game we’re going to go at it hard.”
Sorry, Texas State (1-0). The Buffaloes (1-0) won’t exactly be overlooking the Bobcats on Saturday at Folsom Field. This isn’t even a ploy from coach Mike MacIntyre to focus the Pac-12 South champions or anything. He could see their concentration at practice.
“I didn’t have to get on anybody or get them going. They were ready to roll,” MacIntyre said. “That’s always a tell-tale sign to me.”
The offense carries a chip on its shoulder after stalling out in a 17-3 win over Colorado State last week. The Buffaloes averaged 31 points last season, along with 437 total yards. Against the Rams, the team had 345 total yards, with just 135 in the second half.
“It wasn’t what we wanted it to be. We’re an offense that likes to score a lot of points,” Lindsay said. “We’re a fast-paced offense. It’s just little things that we need to correct, little places that we need to be more disciplined.”
Here’s a big positive: A defense that figured to be a work in progress was much better than anticipated. A crew filled with new faces quickly picked up the schemes of new defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot. So much for being the weak link as the defense held the Rams to a field goal. This after CSU scored 58 on Oregon State the week before.
“It definitely put a chip on our shoulder and gave us a sense of urgency to just quiet everyone down for at least a week or so,” Colorado defensive end Leo Jackson III said. “Each game and each week is different, but that was our biggest thing was to silence people and get them talking about something else. That was the biggest thing on everyone’s plate.”
Next up, containing a Texas State team that beat Houston Baptist 20-11 last weekend.
“Coach Mac has done an unbelievable job of building that program back to what Colorado standards have been in the past,” Texas State coach Everett Withers said. “They’re a very talented team, a really good defensive team. We’re going to have to go up there and play really, really well to give ourselves a chance to compete against them.”
Things to know as Colorado takes on Texas State with a streak of winning 14 of its last 15 coin tosses dating to last season’s opener:
FAMILIAR FACE?: Colorado will play a team for a first time in a sixth straight season. The rundown — Sacramento State (30-28 loss) in 2012, Central Arkansas (38-24 win) and Charleston Southern (43-10 win) in 2013, Massachusetts (41-38 win) in 2014, Nicholls State (48-0 win) in 2015 and Idaho State (56-7 win) in 2016. The trend extends into 2018 as the Buffaloes play New Hampshire.
EASY DOES IT: Texas State linebacker Easy Anyama was the Sun Belt Conference defensive player of the week after recording two sacks and five tackles, forcing a fumble and blocking an extra-point attempt against Houston Baptist. He started the first three games a year ago before a season-ending injury.
STOUT UP FRONT: Last week, Texas State held Houston Baptist to 59 yards rushing. “We can’t be held to 59 yards rushing and expect to win the game,” MacIntyre said.
RUN, RUN, RUN: Anthony Smith’s 48-yard scamper against Houston Baptist was the longest run by a Bobcat since Nov. 28, 2015, the school said. The team also boasts a mobile QB in Damian Williams. “Anything can happen because they can make things happen out of nothing,” Jackson said. “That’s what it comes down to — fundamentals and discipline.”
EXPERIMENTING: The Pac-12 will try various steps this season in an attempt to shorten games. The Texas State-Colorado contest will feature a reduced commercial format. Next week when Colorado hosts Northern Colorado, halftime will be reduced from 20 minutes to 15.
By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
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