Buffs Vs. Bruins: Quick Facts & Figures
COLORADO BUFFALOES (0-3, 0-0 Pac-12)
vs. UCLA BRUINS (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
BOULDER — Karl Dorrell's Colorado Buffaloes need to experience some success.
After an 0-3 start to the season in non-conference play, the Buffs have that chance Saturday when they open their Pac-12 schedule against UCLA — a team Colorado has beaten the last three times the Bruins have visited Boulder.
The home team has won the last seven games between the two programs. Colorado had a chance last year to snap that streak, jumping out to a 20-7 lead at the Rose Bowl, only to see the Bruins put up 37 unanswered points and win going away, 44-20. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for 257 yards and ran for 98 in the game while Zach Charbonnet ran for 67 yards and three touchdowns.
Both Thompson-Robinson and Charbonnet are back this year for UCLA and the Bruins are having no problem putting numbers on the scoreboard, averaging more than 40 points per game.
The Buffs, meanwhile, are still trying to snap out of an offensive funk that stretches back to last season. CU is averaging just 10 points per game (129th in the nation) and has scored only three touchdowns in three games — and just one in the first half.
That is an issue the Buffs have been focusing on fixing for the past week, as Dorrell and his staff have made starting fast a priority.
Dorrell did not publicly announce his starting quarterback this week. Brendon Lewis started the opener for Colorado with J.T. Shrout getting the call the last two weeks. Both took snaps with the No. 1 offense this week in practice, but Dorrell said CU also worked true freshman Owen McCown into the rotation — and any one of the three could get the starting call against the Bruins.
KICKOFF: 12:01 p.m., Folsom Field (50,183)
TV, RADIO: The radio broadcast will be carried by KOA (850 AM, 94.1 FM) with Voice of the Buffs Mark Johnson and Gary Barnett in the booth and Andy Lindahl on the sidelines. KOA's coverage begins at noon with the pregame show. The Pac-12 Network will carry the telecast with Roxy Bernstein and Lincoln Kennedy in the booth.
THE COACHES: Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell is in his third year at the Buffs' helm. Dorrell is 8-13 at CU and 43-40 overall as a head coach.
Chip Kelly is in his fifth season as UCLA's head coach, where he has compiled a 21-25 record. He is 67-32 overall as a head coach.
Dorrell is 1-1 against UCLA (he was 0-1 against Colorado as UCLA's head coach). Kelly is 2-2 against Colorado at UCLA (4-2 overall, with two wins at Oregon).
THE SERIES: Colorado trails the all-time series 12-5, with a 4-4 record in Boulder. The home team has won the last seven games.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: Colorado needs a victory to avoid an 0-4 start. The Buffs have won three of their last four conference openers — with two of those wins coming against UCLA.
LAST OUTING: The Buffs fell behind early and never recovered in dropping a 49-7 decision at Minnesota. UCLA overcame an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat South Alabama, 32-31, on a field goal as time expired.
TEAM LEADERS: Wide receiver Daniel Arias leads CU with nine catches for 124 yards. Deion Smith is the Buffs' leading rusher with 159 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. Shrout is 22-for-55 for 232 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Defensively, linebacker Quinn Perry has a team-leading 29 tackles while fellow 'backer Josh Chandler-Semedo has 20 tackles, including a sack and two other stops for loss. Isaiah Lewis has CU's only interception.
Thompson-Robinson has thrown for 662 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Charbonnet has rushed for 189 yards and Kazmeir Allen has 16 catches for 122 yards.
DB Mo Osling leads the Bruins with 17 tackles while defensive lineman Grayson Murphy and linebacker Laiatu Latu each have two of UCLA's six quarterback sacks.
KEY MATCHUP: Colorado's front seven vs. UCLA quarterback Thompson-Robinson. The Bruins veteran makes everything happen for the UCLA offense. He is a threat to run, can extend plays outside of the pocket with his feet and is not prone to mistakes. The Buffs have to find a way to disrupt him in the pocket — and make sure he doesn't get loose when he scrambles.
UP NEXT: The Buffs hit the road next Saturday to face Arizona in a 7:30 p.m. game in Tucson (Pac-12 Network).