Top-ranked Oklahoma up next for struggling Colorado

Updated: October 20, 2003, 1:21 PM ET

BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado has lost four of its past five games and the opponent doesn't get any easier this weekend when No. 1 Oklahoma visits Boulder.

Colorado's hope to defend its Big 12 Conference North Division title all but ended with Saturday's 49-20 loss at Kansas State. With the explosive Sooners on the horizon, Colorado (3-4, 1-2 Big 12) knows it can't afford to mope.

Oklahoma boasts the nation's leader in pass efficiency in quarterback Jason White, who threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns over the weekend against Missouri. It also has Antonio Perkins, who tied a Division I-A record with his seventh career punt return for a touchdown.

The Sooners (7-0, 3-0) looked a little sluggish against the Tigers, but they won easily after scoring three touchdowns in the final seven minutes of the first half. They also have the nation's third-ranked defense.

"We're going to need to stick together," Colorado quarterback Joel Klatt said. "We're going to need to be confident in what we're trying to do and just play better, cut the mistakes out of the game."

It hasn't been easy so far.

"We don't do a good job of keeping our heads up," running back Brian Calhoun said. "We let things get to us a lot quicker than a lot of other teams, and it gives us a meltdown toward the end of the game."

"We have the No. 1 team coming into town," he added. "I don't think anyone wants to get embarrassed."

Besides Klatt, one of the bright spots for the young Buffaloes has been receiver Jeremy Bloom, who returned a kick for a touchdown against Kansas State.

"I really haven't been in this position before," Bloom said. "The first thing coach said to us when we went in the locker room (after the Kansas State game) was, 'Keep your head up.' That's what we have to do.

"There's a lot of football left, and obviously we have a challenging game coming up. We have to work hard and be a better football team."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index