CU cornerback Isaiah Oliver vs. CSU receiver Michael Gallup
While these two may not battle every play, when they do, it'll be a fun matchup to watch. Gallup is one of the best receivers in the Mountain West and maybe one of the best in the country. He had nearly 1,300 yards receiving last year and opened the season with 11 catches for 134 yards last week. He had just four catches for 38 yards against the Buffs last year, though. Oliver could be one of the top corners in the Pac-12, and this will be his first big test of the year. CU's ability to limit Gallup will be huge, and if Gallup can have a big day, that'll open up the Rams offense.
CU nose tackle Javier Edwards vs. CSU center Jake Bennett
Since Edwards' arrival from Blinn College in January, CU fans have been eager to see the 6-foot-3, 350-pounder in action. Edwards has the potential to be a force in the middle of the line, much the way Josh Tupou was for the Buffs a year ago. Bennett, meanwhile, is a veteran center who ranks among the best in the country at his position. At 6-foot-3, 290, Bennett gives up almost 60 pounds to Edwards. However. Bennett was a lot smaller than Tupou, as well, and did a nice job against Tupou a year ago. If Edwards can win these battles, CU's can slow down the CSU game.
CU's receivers vs. CSU's secondary
The Buffs boast one of the top receiving corps in the country, led by seniors Bryce Bobo, Shay Fields and Devin Ross and junior Jay MacIntyre. Bobo, Ross and Fields and have all had big games against the Rams in their careers. The CSU secondary has some experience, but often struggles against top-notch passing teams. Last week, Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton threw for 304 yards and two touchdowns, and it could have been more. A questionable replay call took away one score and Luton missed several receivers who were wide open on deep on deep throws. CU's got the ability to have a big, big day through the air.
CU's offensive line vs. CSU's defensive line
This is supposed to be the best offensive line CU has had in years. It's a veteran group with five starters loaded with starting experience. They'll go against an undersized group of linemen for the Rams. The group has some experience, but got pushed around by Oregon State at times last week. CU's ability to move the chains consistently will depend on the Buffs controlling the line of scrimmage.