No. 15 Stanford Cardinal (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) at Colorado Buffaloes (1-7, 1-4)

Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor will be a player to watch when the Cardinal visit the Buffaloes at Folsom Field in Boulder. He’s 96 yards shy of his third consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season. Enlarge photo

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press file photo

Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor will be a player to watch when the Cardinal visit the Buffaloes at Folsom Field in Boulder. He’s 96 yards shy of his third consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season.

Time: noon Saturday, fX, KRSJ 100.5 FM.

Line: Stanford by 27½.

Series Record: Stanford leads 4-3.

What’s at Stake: Stanford needs to avoid a stumble against a heavy underdog to keep up with Oregon and Oregon State in the North Division. All three of those teams will play each other this month. The Cardinal nearly is a four-touchdown favorite against a Buffaloes team that’s been outscored 213-51 since its 35-34 comeback at Washington State. Colorado has lost its last two games, to ranked opponents USC and Oregon, by a combined 120-20.

Key Matchup: Stanford’s tight ends against Colorado’s depleted defense. Buffaloes strong safety Terrel Smith has his work cut out for him after junior safety Parker Orms suffered a second concussion in the Buffaloes’ 70-14 loss at Oregon last weekend. Orms, one of the most physical hitters at Colorado, also suffered a concussion the previous week in a 50-6 loss at USC. He might miss the rest of the season.

Players to Watch

Stanford: RB Stepfan Taylor is 96 yards from his third consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season. He’d join Darin Nelson as the only Stanford players to accomplish that feat, and 12th player to do so in Pac-12 history. Taylor gained just 58 yards on 21 carries last week against Washington State.

Colorado: DE Will Pericak has started each of a possible 45 games since arriving on campus and owns the Buffaloes’ record for consecutive career starts. His 45 overall starts are two shy of the mark set by OL Ryan Miller from 2007-11. Pericak moved from DT to the edge earlier this season and has been one of the few bright spots on a young team that’s overmatched most weeks.

Facts & Figures

Stanford has won three in a row, including last year’s 48-7 whipping with alumni John Elway and Tiger Woods watching from the sideline.

Three of Stanford’s final four games are on the road, and it hasn’t played in Boulder since 1990.

Stanford owns the conference’s top turnover differential at plus-8, and the Buffaloes own the league’s worst at minus-8.

Colorado is 3-0 against Stanford at Folsom Stadium, with all three games decided by a touchdown or less.

Associated Press

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