Fast 5: Keys For Colorado In Season Opener Vs. TCU

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1. Deliver some big plays early

It doesn't matter if it's offense, defense or special teams. The crucial part is simply administering a big blow early, getting the crowd completely into the game and putting the Horned Frogs  on their heels.

Early momentum could be a major factor, especially against an opponent that is still feeling its way around a new coaching staff.

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2. Get the Buffs QB into an early rhythm

 CU's Dorrell spent the week keeping his cards close to his vest, choosing not to reveal who his starting quarterback will be.

But no matter who it is — Brendon Lewis or J.T. Shrout — the Buffs need to make sure he gets every chance possible to have some early success. No need for a bombs-away approach.

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3. Get to the quarterback early and often

TCU has two quality throwers in Max Duggan and Chandler Morris, plus a true dual-threat QB in Sam Jackson.

While the Horned Frogs had a balanced offense last year, the expectation is that Dykes will bring with him the pass-happy attack that has marked his career. But no matter who's taking the snaps, the Buffs need to make life uncomfortable for him from the beginning.

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4. Run the football with authority and control the clock

 Colorado's offense no doubt had all kinds of issues last year but CU's inability to run the ball consistently was the root cause. The Horned Frogs should provide an opportunity for the Buffs to begin to heal those problems.

TCU last year gave up more than 220 yards per game on the ground and while Dykes brings with him a new defensive scheme, his team will no doubt have some kinks to work out.

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5. Play as if the season is on the line

Strictly speaking, this one is just one of 12 games. Plenty of season will remain Saturday morning, no matter what happens Friday night.

But the reality is these Buffs need some confidence and momentum. If Colorado can come away with a win in the opener, it will send them into next week's road game at Air Force with some swagger  a commodity that has been in rather short supply over the last few years