“We’re closer to 100 percent then a lot of teams in the country,” Rutland added.
Battle-tested, too, from the close shave against San Diego State.
“You find out a lot about your team, you find out a lot about how you can respond to extreme adversity,” Pinkel said. “The other side of it is you want to play your best all the time.”
Pinkel shrugs off Missouri’s first appearance of the season in the Top 25, too.
“I want to be at the polls at the end of the year,” Pinkel said. “I know our fans like that kind of stuff, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t take care of business.”
Colorado has won its last two, rushing for more than 200 yards in both games and rallying from 10 points down to beat Georgia 29-27 last week. Linebacker B.J. Beatty’s forced fumble at the Colorado 30 with 1:55 to play helped cinch it.
Coach Dan Hawkins said there’s been a noticeable confidence boost in practice this week.
“You have some of those breakthrough moments at times a little bit,” Hawkins said. “That aha moment, to me that’s the most awesome thing. It just adds credence to all that stuff you’re talking about.”
Besides recent history against Missouri, Colorado has long-standing road problems. The Buffaloes are 2-14 in Big 12 play since 2005 and 2-21 overall.
Hawkins doesn’t plan to change the travel routine, if even to just shake things up. He didn’t think practicing at Missouri the day before the game would help much.
“When you try to practice on the road, all you’re doing is looking around at who’s watching and who’s taking pictures,” Hawkins said. “You don’t really get a whole lot out of it.
“So it’s better for us just to go there and the guys can just throw the ball around and get a feel for it.”