Buffs At Arizona: Quick Facts & Figures
COLORADO BUFFALOES (0-4, 0-1 Pac-12)
at ARIZONA WILDCATS (2-2, 0-1 Pac-12)
TUCSON, Ariz. — Karl Dorrell's Colorado Buffaloes are hoping October will present a fresh start.
September certainly wasn't kind to the Buffs, with CU dropping all four games in the month, and none of them even close outcomes.
But the Buffs have reason to believe they can start a new month with a new result Saturday when they face Arizona at 7:30 p.m. (MT) at Arizona Stadium.
The Buffs have won two in a row over the Wildcats — a 24-13 win in Tucson in the Covid-shortened 2020 season and a 34-0 thumping in Boulder last year in Jedd Fisch's first year at the UA helm.
But after a rocky 1-11 season last year, the Wildcats added a number of new faces and they appear to be an improved team.
Still, some old issues for Arizona — in particular defense — reared their heads last week in a 49-31 loss to Cal. After taking a 24-21 lead at halftime, the Wildcats gave up touchdowns on the Bears' first three possessions of the second half and they never got back in the game.
There's no doubt the Wildcats can move the ball — particularly through the air — and get to the end zone. Behind quarterback Jayden de Laura, UA is averaging more than 300 yards passing and nearly 30 points per game.
The Buffs haven't been able to produce any consistency on either side of the ball. Colorado is averaging just 11.8 points per game and has scored two touchdowns in just one game this year. CU's defense, meanwhile, is giving up nearly 44 points per game.
But CU coaches and players have done their best to maintain a positive attitude. The Buffs have had some good moments and they maintain that they are capable of stringing those moments together into an extended stretch of solid play.
The nuts and bolts from Saturday's game:
KICKOFF: 7:40 p.m., Arizona Stadium (50,782)
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 Bobby Pesavento on the sidelines. KOA's coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with the pregame show. The Pac-12 Network will carry the telecast with J.B. Long and Max Browne in the booth.
THE COACHES: Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell is in his third year at the Buffs' helm. Dorrell is 8-14 at CU and 43-41 overall as a head coach (five years at UCLA).
Jedd Fisch is in his second year at Arizona, where he has compiled a 3-13 record.
Dorrell is 2-0 against Arizona at Colorado while Fisch is 0-1 against the Buffaloes.
THE SERIES: Colorado leads the all-time series 16-8, including a 9-3 mark in Tucson.
WHAT'S AT STAKE: The Buffs need a win to avoid their first 0-5 start since 2006, when Colorado lost its first six games en route to a 2-10 season.
LAST OUTING: The Buffs gave freshman Owen McCown his first start at quarterback, but it wasn't enough to change CU's fortunes as Colorado dropped a 45-17 decision to UCLA at Folsom Field. Arizona last week got a career-high 401 yards passing from de Laura, but it wasn't enough to overcome Cal, as the Bears rallied for a 49-31 victory in Berkeley.
TEAM LEADERS: In one full game and one mop-up appearance, McCown already leads CU in passing with 310 yards on 30-for-49 passing with one touchdown and one interception. He also has one rushing touchdown. Running back Deion Smith has 175 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries while wide receiver Daniel Arias has 13 catches for 206 yards. Freshman wide receiver Jordyn Tyson has two touchdown receptions and is the only Buff this year to find the end zone twice thus far.
Defensively, linebacker Quinn Perry leads CU with 38 tackles while linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo has 25 tackles, including two sacks and three other stops for loss.
De Laura is 92-for-156 passing for 1,149 yards, eight touchdowns and six interceptions. Four different Wildcats have at least 11 catches, led by Jacob Cowing with 28 receptions for 386 yards and six touchdowns.
Linebacker Jerry Roberts leads UA with 35 tackles while edge rusher Hunter Echols has 22 tackles, including two sacks. The Wildcats have also forced six fumbles and recovered four.
KEY MATCHUP: Colorado's edge rushers vs. de Laura. The Buffs have to get pressure on the UA quarterback and force him into mistakes. If he has time in the pocket, he'll find one of his excellent wide receivers, who will be matched up against a young CU secondary.
UP NEXT: The Buffs have their bye week next week, then return home Oct. 15 for a game with Cal at Folsom Field. Time and television for the game has not yet been determined.