CU opponent glance
Opponent: Texas State Bobcats
Game time: Saturday, noon, at Folsom Field in Boulder
Coach: Everett Withers, 2nd season (3-10; 10-16 career)
Last week: Beat Houston Baptist, 20-11, at home
Key players (Week 1 stats): QB Damian Williams, Sr. (18-of-28, 135 yards, 1 INT; rushing: 13 att., 43 yards, 1 TD); RB Anthony Smith, Fr. (7 att., 71 yards, 1 TD); WR Elijah King, Sr. (4 catches, 85 yards); OLB Easy Anyama (5 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble, 1 blocked PAT); DE Ishmael Davis, Jr. (9 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 fumble recovery); ILB Gabe Loyd, Sr. (5 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 PBU).
Notable: The Bobcats were 2-10 a year ago, including 0-8 in the Sun Belt Conference. ... This is CU's first-ever matchup with Texas State and the Buffs' first game against a Sun Belt team since 2005 (New Mexico State). ... Texas State is 1-0 for the second year in a row. The Bobcats trailed 9-0 on Saturday before scoring 20 unanswered points. ... Damian Williams is a transfer from Mississippi State who made his Texas State debut on Saturday. .. This is TSU's sixth season at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level. ... The Bobcats have played a Power 5 conference team in each of the previous five years, going 0-5 and losing by an average of 32.6 points. ... Last year, TSU was last in the country in rushing yards per game (82.
Going into last Friday's season opener, Colorado cornerback Trey Udoffia knew he would be a marked man.
With standout junior Isaiah Oliver covering one side of the field, Udoffia knew that, as a freshman in his first game, Colorado State would pick on him.
"Oh yeah," he said. "I was surprised the first play wasn't my way. I had been preparing myself all week the first two plays coming my way. About the third or fourth play came my way. I knew they were going to take shots, so I was ready for it."
He was ready, and he answered the challenge.
It certainly wasn't a flawless debut for the 6-foot, 185-pounder from Loomis, Calif., but it was a nice start for a player the Buffs will be counting on this season.
Udoffia battled through a shaky start to finish with six tackles, two pass breakups and an interception in the Buffs' 17-3 victory against the rival Rams. Unofficially, he was targeted 14 times, giving up five receptions.
Spending much of his night covering CSU's Olabisi Johnson, Udoffia was beat several times in the first half, including twice on one drive giving up big plays on third-and-long. On another play, he got beat for a big play by Johnson, but was bailed out by an offensive pass interference penalty — one of three questionable pass interference calls against the Rams.
"That's going to happen as a DB out there," CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said of the plays given up by Udoffia. "The way we're going to play, we're going to play aggressive, we're going to play tough, we're going to make teams have low percentage passing. We're going to do that. He really did a good job to keep fighting, keep battling."
Early in the second half, Udoffia gave up a touchdown to Detrich Clark — but another offensive pass interference penalty saved Udoffia and the Buffs again.
From that point on, however, Udoffia settled in and played well.
"I got all my jitters out of the way," Udoffia said. "I felt a lot more confident, talking to (safety Afolabi Laguda) and Isaiah in the locker room (at halftime). Nick (Fisher) was really helping me out the whole game and keeping me confident.
"Once I got past the nerves, first game and stuff like that, I could do me, play me and that's what I did."
During the second half, Udoffia had two pass breakups on deep throws by the Rams, and had good coverage on Johnson to prevent a catch on a fourth down late in the game.
Then, in the closing minutes, he picked off a pass in the end zone to seal the win.
"I wish I would have had it earlier, but I'm not going to complain about getting a pick," he said. "That's a play we practice a lot during the week and it turned out the way we wanted it to."
Udoffia's in-game improvement was crucial in the victory, and it impressed his coaches and veteran teammates.
"Beginning of the game he had a rough time, but in the second half he came out and he knew he was going to have to make plays here and there, and he made those plays when we needed him," junior linebacker Rick Gamboa said.
As the season goes along, Udoffia will continue to get tested by talented quarterbacks and receivers. He's sure to give up plays now and then, but after getting his debut out of the way, he's confident.
"We have a lot of veterans in the secondary and they're counting on me, because I know a lot of teams are going to be going at me," he said. "I have to keep my head on straight and not let those guys down.
"To have a performance like this was really big for us and me especially."
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.