Colorado and Air Force kickoff Friday night at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo.
The winner will retain playoff hopes, while the loser will likely finish the season playing for nothing but pride, as it's hard to imagine Colorado or Air Force sneaking into the playoffs with too many losses to anyone other than BYU.
Colorado, fresh off a surprising 67-5 drubbing of Arizona State, appears to be on a warpath for the postseason, and the Buffs know a loss to the Zoomies would derail that movement.
“This is a must-win. There’s no sugar coating it. It is must-win,” said Colorado wing Luke Lahman. “We do have our playoff hopes, and we know it has to start with today, and there’s only one way, and that’s to go through Air Force and not lose two games.”
Colorado lost to Air Force last year, and Lahman says the team is looking for revenge.
“It was a pretty tough loss. It was right after spring break and that kind of killed our playoff hopes last year,” he said. “Definitely looking for a little payback.”
Air Force coach Joe Muehlabuer was in attendance at Colorado’s defeat of Arizona State.
“They were impressive,” he said of the Buffs. “They’re much improved from last year. They look like they’re palying really well, so our work’s cut out for us. They’re a different team than last year.”
Colorado eviscerated Arizona State on the outer thirds of the field, using nifty play from backs, like Lahman, who were a part of a very successful 7s season in the fall. Muehlbauer recognizes the threat Colorado poses on the perimeter.
“I think they move the ball a lot better, and maybe a little more sophisticated and stuff,” he said. “That’s something we’ve been working on all week. We’ll be ready for them.”
For Colorado, the key to success will be making one-up tackles.
“They’re a very physical team, so first of all, we’ve got to be aggressive and make all of our tackles, but we’ll look to get wide again.”