Jordan Carrell still shakes his head when asked about Colorado’s visit to Oregon State last season.
Yeah, the Buffaloes walked out of Corvallis with a 17-13 victory, but Carrell, a starting defensive tackle, wasn’t pleased with his individual performance.
Several times, Carrell hit Oregon State running back Ryan Nall in the backfield or at the line of scrimmage, only to have Nall shake him off and rumble down field.
Nall, a 6-foot-2, 234-pound back, ran for 122 yards and a touchdown, keeping the Beavers in the game.
“I’ve got No. 34 on my radar and have had him on my radar since last year,” Carrell said. “I’m ready to come out here and show what I can do and make up for last year’s game.”
In large part because of that game, Carrell made tackling a big point of emphasis in his offseason training.
“I feel like this year has been a lot better, tackling-wise,” he said. “It’s just because I have more confidence on the field and I understand where my responsibility and assignment is, so I feel more comfortable out there.”
Carrell and all the Buffs know they have to be on their game when tackling Nall.
“You can’t expect to just shoulder this guy,” Carrell said. “You have to actually wrap him up and make him feel it. We have to have a lot of guys to the ball.”
Getting after the QB
Outside linebacker Jimmie Gilbert said the Buffs aren’t satisfied with their pass rush, despite getting three sacks at Oregon last week.
“Not at all,” said Gilbert, who credited the play of the secondary for helping out the linemen. “I wasn’t pleased with my pass rush, and as a whole front seven, none of us were really pleased or happy with what we did as a front.”
The Buffs, who have nine sacks this season, could have opportunities for a big day in that regard against Oregon State. The Beavers are the most sacked team in the Pac-12, yielding 13 (4.33 per game).
• CU has forced a turnover in 17 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the country. The Buffs have forced a turnover in every game since Jim Leavitt became defensive coordinator.
• Oregon State ranks second in the Pac-12 in turnover margin, at plus-4. The Beavers have forced eight turnovers already.
• This season, CU has scored 72 points in the first quarter. The Buffs had 73 first-quarter points all of last year, in 13 games.
• The Buffs have played with a lead 78.1 percent of the time this season. They’ve trailed for just 15.4 percent of the time.
• Third-down defense has been huge for CU this season. Buffs’ opponents have converted just 29.5 percent of third downs. CU ranks No. 1 in the Pac-12 and No. 22 nationally in third-down defense.
• Senior linebacker Kenneth Olugbode reached the 200-tackle milestone for his career last weekend at Oregon (he now has 206), becoming the 70th player in CU history to do that. Safety Tedric Thompson is close to becoming the 71st, as he currently has 193 tackles in his career.
• Former CU head coach Dal Ward, for which one of the Buffs’ athletic buildings is named, graduated from Oregon State in 1927. Ward went 63-41-6 as CU’s head coach from 1948-58.
Brian Howell: firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.