In dominating Colorado State and Idaho State during the first two weeks, the Buffaloes' first-team offense has essentially done what it has wanted. The Buffs have racked up 100 points and 1,175 yards in two games.
Even more impressive, the first-team offense has scored on 14 of 19 possessions (11 touchdowns), a remarkable 4.53 points per drive. They've had just two three-and-outs.
"In the first two weeks, the plays we had in, we repped them over and over again and we're doing the same thing this week," senior quarterback Sefo Liufau said. "If anything, the first two weeks have showed us the potential we have. We've made mistakes in the first two weeks, but that's bound to happen and we've learned from those mistakes. It's just built our confidence and we've seen what we can do as an offense, both in the running and the passing game, and we want to build off of that and continue to do that."
On Saturday, the Buffs (2-0) will visit a Michigan (2-0) team that boasts one of the best defensive units in the country. They are sure to get more resistance from the Wolverines than they got from CSU or ISU, but finding success on offense has given them confidence going into Ann Arbor, Mich.
CU struggled offensively in 2015 and made changes to that side of the ball in the offseason. Most notably, they brought in co-coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini and increased the tempo on offense.
So far, the transition has been smooth, and receiver Bryce Bobo said he believes it's because players are comfortable with the changes.
"Most of our receivers come from California schools, and California is known for its spread offenses and getting signals from the sidelines and fast tempo, so it was easy for all of us to grasp," said Bobo, from Covina, Calif.
It's also helped that the Buffs have been relentless in their preparation.
"We work at it every single day and we try to perfect it and it shows up on Saturday for us," Bobo said.
The Buffs go into Saturday's game realizing it won't be as easy to score on Michigan. They aren't concerned with how they'll handle some bumps in the road, however.
"We're mainly an upperclassmen team," receiver Shay Fields said. "The two past years, we kind of didn't know how to finish; we felt the adversity and didn't pull through. Since we have a whole bunch of upperclassmen, I feel we should do way better."
Bobo also cited the Buffs' leadership when asked how they would handle adversity during the game, pointing towards captains such as George Frazier, Liufau, Jeromy Irwin and even linebacker Kenneth Olugbode.
"I think that if adversity comes our way, they'll push more towards their leadership roles and be like, 'Hey we have to pick this up,'" Bobo said.
Tupou settling in
Senior nose tackle Josh Tupou hasn't completely returned to the dominating force he was two years ago, but he's getting there.
The 6-foot-3, 325-pound Tupou, who missed the 2015 season with a suspension, has six tackles in 49 snaps this season.
"He's got a ways to go," defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt said. "He hasn't played a lot of snaps. He's got to earn his own respect. He's got talent, but that doesn't mean you're a great football player. You have to do it on the field. So far, he's been fine. He'll get more challenged now. He hasn't been challenged yet."
Tupou played 34 snaps in the opener against Colorado State and, like many starters, played sparingly in last week's blowout of Idaho State.
It's been said a lot this week that Saturday's game against Michigan will be a true barometer for the Buffs. Leavitt doesn't believe that, however.
"I think you have to wait and go through a number of games until you really know where your team is," he said. "I don't think you can say it today. I think it's way too early."
Liufau said this week is really no different than other weeks, as far as measuring the strength of the Buffs.
"I think each week when you go out there and play team X - whatever team it is that week - each week you go out and prove to yourself and your teammates and everyone that you're a good team," he said.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.