A bum ankle prevented Phillip Lindsay from finishing Colorado's game at Stanford on Saturday.

The junior running back said it won't keep him out long, though.

On Tuesday, the Pac-12's leading rusher said it was "just a little sprain" that kept him on the sidelines for the fourth quarter of CU's 10-5 win at Stanford. Having a bye this week will help his quest to return to the lineup on Nov. 3 when UCLA visits Boulder.

"I'm doing pretty good," he said. "I've been doing rehab for the past couple of days. It's getting better.

"It feels good right now and I'll be ready by (the UCLA game)."

That's good news for the Buffs, who have cranked up their rushing attack recently. They've racked up 539 yards on the ground the past two weeks in wins against Arizona State and Stanford.

Against ASU, the No. 1 run defense in the conference, CU had 315 yards. Stanford, which ranks fifth, yielding 224 yards to the Buffs (take away CU's end-of-half and end-of-game kneel-downs and it was really 241).

"I was really pleased with the way that we ran the ball against a (Stanford) team that a year ago I don't know that we had even 100 yards rushing," co-offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren said. "That was still a really tough defensive front that people have struggled to run against."

Stanford, in fact, had held CU to 122 rushing yards in the previous three meetings combined.

Lindsay, who leads the Pac-12 with 745 yards, was pleased to see the Buffs find success on the ground the past two weeks because the Buffs struggled to run against USC on Oct. 8.


Advertisement

"I've been knowing we could do this for a while and it just had to click," he said. "Sometimes it takes some time, but our offensive line is starting to click, we're all starting to jell together, (quarterback Sefo Liufau) is getting us in the right calls. That's a big thing about it is just understanding the defenses, understanding when to run and when to go out and sling the rock. It's just about right timing. We're doing a great job of that."

Running the ball has been a key to CU's success all season. They are 6-0 when rushing for at least 200 yards, and were held below 100 in both losses.

With four games to play in the regular season and a Pac-12 South title in sight, Lindsay said the Buffs have to keep the momentum going on the ground.

"We're going into our gold games now and we have to peak," he said. "The run game has to peak. If you're going to go anywhere in this last four-game stretch you have to be able to run the ball. We have to get those dirty yards, because that's what matters."

Lindsay explained that "gold games" are "the games where we have to peak now. This next week against UCLA will be a game that we need to come out and we need to look like we have peaked. Going into this four-game stretch, we got this little rest, but now it's time for us to go to that next step if we want to become Pac-12 champions."

Resting

The Buffs took the day off on Sunday and Monday. They didn't practice Tuesday, but had team photo day and went back to work in the weight room.

"We're back here and it's time to start grinding out," Lindsay said. "Coaches always have a great game plan when it's time, but for us, we just need to stay focused, the team needs to stay together and we need to get better."

Notable

CU ranks among the top four in the Pac-12 in rushing offense, rushing defense, passing offense and passing defense. The Buffs are the only team to rank among the top five in all four categories. ... The Buffs return to the practice field on Wednesday.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.