4 things to know, key matchups and predictions – The Denver Post


Colorado (1-5, 1-2 in Pac-12) vs. Oregon State (5-2, 2-2)

Time/location: 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Reser Stadium

TV/Radio: Pac-12 Network/850 AM, 94.1 FM

Line: OSU -23.5, 48.5 over/under

Weather: 52 degrees, 36% chance of showers

What to know

Scream and Shrout: With true freshman quarterback Owen McCown on the mend, CU interim coach Mike Sanford will turn to J.T. Shrout for his third start of the season. The sophomore did enough to push CU past Cal in relief of McCown last weekend, completing 8 of 12 passes for 69 yards while leading the Buffs on two TD drives in the second half and OT. Still, the Buffs have yet to break 20 points in regulation — and Shrout will have to produce more chunk plays if this offense is going to keep pace with OSU.

Fan-a-Montana: Could the key to unlocking CU’s aerial attack be Montana Lemonious-Craig? The redshirt sophomore receiver had career highs in receptions (8) and yardage (119) in last week’s win — and delivered a toe-tapping TD grab in OT that proved to be the game-winner. If the 6-foot-2 California native can emerge as a second threat opposite Daniel Arias (18 receptions, 295 yards), the field starts to open up.

Dominant defense: The big takeaway from CU Field Storming Day was the Buffs’ revitalized defense under new coordinator Gerald Chatman. After entering last week’s game with statistically the worst run defense in FBS, CU limited Cal to 35 yards on 22 carries while notching 10 tackles for loss and allowing just two runs of 10-plus yards against explosive Cal tailback Jadyn Ott. The start of something new? Or just a one-off?

Half full: No, your eyes are not deceiving you. With one side of Reser Stadium under renovation, capacity has been cut in half. As awkward as it looks on TV, that hasn’t stopped Beavers fans from producing a raucous environment. Just ask USC, which had its worst offensive performance of the year in Corvallis before escaping with a 17-14 win. The Beavs are 3-1 at home this season and 8-1 since 2021.

Key matchups

CU LB Josh Chandler-Semedo vs. OSU RB Damien Martinez: A week after notching 3.5 TFLs vs. Cal, the West Virginia grad transfer faces off against another explosive freshman. Martinez emerged over the past two games, gaining 194 yards on just 19 carries. The 6-foot, 216-pounder is one of three OSU tailbacks with 290-plus yards this fall.

CU RB Anthony Hankerson vs. OSU front seven: With junior Deion Smith out after last week’s scary injury, it’s on Hankerson to jump-start a ground game that’s yet to find its footing. Facing a Beavers front that’s 43rd against the run (125.4 yards/game) in FBS, that will be no easy task.


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