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  • Rodney Stewart
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COLORADO BUFFALOES

SEPT. 3 AT ALOHA STADIUM

Stadium capacity: 50,000. Surface: UBU Speed Series

>> Head coach: Jon Embree (first year)
>> Offense: Pro style
>> Defense: 4-3
>> 2010 record: 5-7 (2-6 Big 12)
>> Series: Tied 1-1
>> Last meeting: Colorado 31, Hawaii 13 (Sept. 18, 2010, Boulder, Colo.)

OFFENSE

Returning starters: Nine

Primary objective: Establish RB Rodney Stewart (1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2010) as a focal point.

At the controls: New offensive coordinator and former CU standout running back Eric Bieniemy installed a pro-style scheme this spring.

Leading the charge: QB Tyler Hansen started seven games before a season-ending injury. Threw for 200 yards and two touchdowns against Hawaii last season.

Key to success: Finding a reliable replacement for All-American and first-round draft pick Nate Solder at left tackle.

DEFENSE

returning starters: Eight

Primary objective: Continue to pressure quarterbacks to ease the pressure on a rebuilding secondary.

At the controls: Defensive coordinator Greg Brown previously served as co-DC at Arizona.

Leading the charge: Defensive end Josh Hartigan led the Buffs with seven of CU’s 34 sacks, the team’s highest total since 1995.

Key to success: Fortifying a pass defense replacing both starting cornerbacks, including first-round draft pick Jimmy Smith.

NOTABLE

>> First-year head coach Jon Embree leads the Buffaloes into their first year in the Pac-12.
>> The Buffaloes have no bye weeks in a 13-game schedule.
>> Despite the coaching change, Saint Louis alum Brian Cabral returns for his 23rd season at CU as linebackers coach and defensive run-game coordinator.
>> Media members picked the Buffaloes to finish last in the six-team Pac-12 South.

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