Colorado Daily – Arizona

November 9th

Notes worth Noting … Arizona

Stuff you will hear concerning Colorado and Arizona from the television and radio announcers Saturday …

– Colorado is 13-1 all-time against Arizona, including a 8-0 record in games played in Tucson.

– The last time the two teams played in Tucson, in 1985, the Buffs prevailed, 14-13. Jon Embree was a junior tight end on that team.

– Colorado comes into the Arizona game on a five-game losing streak. However, last season, Colorado came into the Arizona game on a seven game losing streak, and won, 48-29.

– The 48 points CU scored against the Wildcats last season is the highest point total for the Buffs in the Jon Embree era. The 27-10 lead in the third quarter marks the largest lead any Embree led Buff team has held to date.

–  Prior to holding Arizona to 28 points, the Buffs had given up 30 or more points in seven straight games, and 40 or more points in five straight games. Coming into Saturday’s game, Colorado has given up 30 or more points in eight straight games, 40 or more points in five straight games.

– The Arizona game marks game No. 200 for Jon Embree as a Buff. Embree is 4-18 as a head coach; was 81-39-1 as an assistant coach, 8-3-1 as a volunteer assistant coach, and 17-27 as a player.

– Sophomore Darragh O’Neill is one bright spot for the Buffs in 2012. O’Neill is averaging 43.91 yards per punt, 2nd in the Pac-12 and 13th in the nation.

– If senior Will Pericak starts the game (as expected), it will be his 47th career start, matching the record set by offensive lineman Ryan Miller (2007-11).

– Quarterback Jordan Webb started the first nine games of the season, but is expected to sit out the Arizona game. If Webb does not start, it will mark the fifth straight season in which Colorado has had at least two starting quarterbacks. The last full season for a Colorado quarterback was 2007, in which Cody Hawkins started every game … and led CU to its only bowl game since 2005.

– Colorado has cut down considerably on penalties this season. Last season, through nine games, the Buffs had committed 73 penalties for 641 yards. This season, the Buffs have committed 53 penalties for 509 yards (52nd nationally). Meanwhile, Arizona is last in the nation in penalties, having already had 939 yards in penalties this fall … 110 more than any other team in the country.

– With 20 rushing yards, freshman running back Christian Powell will pass his position coach, Eric Bieniemy, for 5th place on the all-time freshman rushing chart. Powell enters the game with 488 yards, while Bieniemy had 508 yards in 1987. (CU’s all-time leader is Lamont Warren, who had 830 yards as a freshman in 1991).

– Colorado defensive coordinator Greg Brown is making his (less than triumphant) return to Tucson. Brown was the co-defensive coordinator for Arizona in 2010.

– In the 1958 game in Tucson, Colorado set the all-time rushing mark for one game, with 551 yards rushing (on 66 attempts) in a 65-12 victory. The mark remains as the highest rushing total for any CU team.

– Colorado is 4-0 against Arizona when scoring fewer than 20 points in the game (it should be noted that most of the games between the two teams were played in the 1950’s … long before 40 points per game became the norm).

– The only time Arizona defeated Colorado, in 1986, is also the only time Arizona has played Colorado as a ranked team. That game also had an early start … 10:30 a.m. MT.  The 11:30 a.m. kickoff time for this year’s game marks the earliest home start for Arizona since 1983, a 27-24 win over UCLA.

– Arizona sophomore wide receiver Austin Hill needs just six yards receiving to top the 1,000-yard mark for the season. Against USC, Hill had 259 receiving yards.

– Sophomore running back Ka’Deem Carey already has 1,000 yards, with 1,015 for the season to date. Carey has 27 runs of ten yards or longer, good enough for 17th in the nation.

– Only once before in school history (in 1999) has Arizona had a 1,000-yard rusher and a 1,000-yard receiver in the same season. (CU has never had that particular double-double).

– Arizona is averaging 520.7 yards of total offense per game, which will be a school record if it holds up. The 4,686 yards of total offense already ranks as the 7th-most in school history, with three regular season games still to be played. Arizona ranks No. 2 nationally in first downs, with 266 to date (CU has 147).

November 8th

Scott listed as “doubtful” for CU game

From the Arizona Daily Star… Arizona Wildcats quarterback Matt Scott is doubtful to play in Saturday’s homecoming game against Colorado, and another two projected starters will face a similarly long roads because of concussions suffered in last week’s game against UCLA.

Scott, guard Chris Putton and safety Jourdon Grandon were all listed as doubtful in the UA’s eight-player injury report, released today. Scott suffered the injury in the third quarter of last week’s 66-10 loss at UCLA; Putton and Grandon were injured later in the game, and did not return.

Linebacker Hank Hobson is listed as out because of a neck injury suffered last week. Hobson spent Saturday night in a Los Angeles hospital because of a nerve issue in his neck. Fullback/defensive end Taimi Tutogi has been upgraded to questionable because of a neck injury; he did not play last weekend. 

Scott’s likely absence means B.J. Denker will likely play Saturday morning against the Buffaloes. The game kicks off at 11:30 a.m., and will be televised nationally on FX.

Arizona’s full injury report for Saturday:

Out: LB Hank Hobson (neck), DE Dominique Austin (foot, season-ending), WR Terrence Miller (ankle).

Doubtful: QB Matt Scott (concussion), S Jourdon Grandon (concussion), OG Chris Putton (concussion)

Questionable: FB/DE Taimi Tutogi (neck)

Probable: DE Kirifi Taula (shoulder)

Weather forecast moderate

Well, at least it won’t be a scorcher …

The game-time temperature for the Colorado/Arizona game should be in the high 50’s – comfortable for the Buffs, but perhaps too cold for the Wildcat faithful …

November 7th

Final decision on Arizona quarterback Matt Scott to to be made Thursday

From the Arizona Daily Star … On the day that quarterback Matt Scott’s concussion was confirmed to the football-curious world (Monday), B.J. Denker walked into the UA football offices and sat down.

For the next six hours, Denker – the Arizona Wildcats’ presumptive starter with Scott out – watched game tape, took notes and tried to mentally prepare as best as he could.

The dedication was impressive, given what was expected of the Wildcats on Monday.

“It was our day off,” Denker said. “Usually, we go home, and it’s our time to relax. But I know I need to be in position to be successful. I know I need to get extra work in.”

Scott’s injury, suffered in last weekend’s loss at UCLA, has put the junior in line for the first start of his college career.

The transfer from Cerritos (Calif.) College will likely be under center when the Wildcats take on Colorado on Saturday at Arizona Stadium.

Easygoing and popular among his teammates – what backup quarterback isn’t? – the 6-foot-3-inch, 177-pound Denker is showing a more serious streak this week.

For the junior, the stakes have never been higher.

With a solid performance Saturday, Denker can help the Wildcats (5-4 overall, 2-4 Pac-12) become bowl eligible. His first foray into major-college football has been a mixed bag: In five games, Denker has completed 13 of 23 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. Denker struggled against the Bruins, completing 2 of 5 passes for 12 yards and rushing eight times for seven yards. He fumbled once.

Numbers aside, Denker has won over coaches and teammates with his work ethic.

“I’m proud of the boy, man,” quarterbacks coach Rod Smith said. “He knows this is his shot. He knows the only way to succeed is prepare.”

Denker talked football, family and film with reporters Tuesday. Here are some highlights:

On his expectations for Saturday: “It doesn’t matter who’s back there. As long as we execute, it’s the same thing. … They’re not cutting down on the offensive playbook. We’re going to run the same stuff; it’s about making the right reads and exercising properly.”

On his relationship with Scott: “We talk. He was in film room with me (Tuesday). We’re always bouncing ideas off each other. The one thing he said was, ‘Get the tempo going.’ The faster we play, the easier it is because the defense has to ‘vanilla-up’ a little bit. It’s all about going fast. That’s what the most important thing is.”

On whether playing against UCLA will help him against Colorado: “It definitely helps. I’m more comfortable now. If this was the first time (playing), I’d be a little nervous. But that’s going to help me.”

On his chance: “I never want to go into a game hoping Matt gets hurt so I can play. I hope he has trust in me that I can come out, if I do play, and get a win. I want to do something to help the team. We’re going to be bowl-eligible if we get a win; that’s our main focus.”

On whether, as a JC player, he ever thought he’d start at a major college program: “Not at all. This is a dream come true, especially last week, playing in front of my home crowd. I was a UCLA fan growing up. This whole year has been a great experience. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

On his emotions after UCLA: “I wasn’t happy at all. You can’t be happy after that. The one positive I took out was maybe I got a little extra playing time. there was no happiness.”

On whether he’ll carry himself differently as a starter: “That’s the wrong way to go about it. The quarterback has to be a leader every time, whether you’re the starter or not. It’s the same attitude as always.”

November 6th

Injury Update

Defensive tackle Nate Bonsu – ankle – suffered a sprain in practice (Oct. 31); missed Stanford game – QUESTIONABLE

Cornerback Kenneth Crawley – ill – missed the Stanford game due to illness – PROBABLE

Offensive lineman Ryan Dannewitz – knee – suffered a sprained ACL against Stanford; decision on season-ending surgery pending – OUT

Tailback Josh Ford – ankle – suffered late in the Oregon game (Oct. 27), high ankle variety; likely out 2-3 weeks – OUT

Center Gus Handler – knee – suffered a sprain (MCL) early in the Oregon game; likely out 2-3 weeks – OUT

Linebacker Jon Major – elbow – suffered a hyperextension and ligament tear in practice (Oct. 30); missed Stanford – QUESTIONABLE

Defensive back Parker Orms – concussion – suffered two in the last two games, USC (Oct. 20) and Oregon (Oct. 27) – QUESTIONABLE

Defensive tackle Justin Solis – neck – suffered a strained neck against Stanford; all tests negative – DOUBTFUL

Defensive tackle Josh Tupou – ankle – suffered originally in practice (Sept. 11), kept reinjuring to point where he missed Oregon & Stanford – QUESTIONABLE

Linebacker Kyle Washington – concussion – suffered early against Arizona State (Oct. 11) – DAY-TO-DAY

Embree: Webb to sit out Arizona game

At his Tuesday press conference, CU head coach Jon Embree announced that there will be a new starter at quarterback against Arizona. While Embree did not say whether “5” (Wood) or “8” (Hirschman) would start, he did state that Jordan Webb, who has started every game this season, will not be the starter.

Embree indicated that the decision might be made after Tuesday’s practice, so as to give the new starter more reps during practices on Thursday and Friday, but that the decision may not be announced until Thursday or Friday.

November 5th

Embree deflects Crawley rumor

There has been much speculation the past few weeks about the status of cornerback Kenneth Crawley. The true freshman started the first seven games of the season, following in the footsteps of Greg Henderson, who started 12 of 13 games last season.

Then, against USC, Crawley was victimized by two of the nation’s best wide receivers, Marqise Lee and Robert Woods. Head coach Jon Embree stated he pulled Crawley aside in the Coliseum parking lot, telling him that if he wanted to play in the NFL, that was the type of talent he would be seeing when he got there, and that Crawley needed to set his bar to that height.

The following week, though, against the best offense in the nation, Crawley not only didn’t start, he was only on the field for 24 of Oregon’s 75 offensive snaps. The speculation only intensified when Crawley did not suit up for the game against Stanford. In the CU press release, Crawley’s absence was listed as being due to “illness”.

After Monday’s practice, Embree was asked about Crawley, and indicated that the freshman was in fact at practice. “He had some things going on there he wanted to get cleaned up so he is fine”, said Embree.

So, we’ll see …

Blueprint for beating Arizona

From the Arizona Daily Star … “It starts with me as a head coach. I thought we were ready to play, but we weren’t,” Rich Rodriguez said late Saturday. “Even in our other losses, I thought we were competitive and doing some things. (Saturday, in a 66-10 loss to UCLA), we didn’t do anything well at all, our performance was embarrassing.”

And Saturday’s loss, like most of Los Angeles’ most scandalous moments, was caught on film. Expect Arizona’s final three opponents – the Wildcats host Colorado this week, then finish with games against Utah and Arizona State – to follow the blueprint set by UCLA.

Step 1: Establish the run early. UCLA coach Jim Mora succeeded where Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian failed, and it was easy to see why. The Bruins ran the ball early, exposing Arizona’s lack of size on defense and forcing the Wildcats to tackle in the open field. They couldn’t.

UCLA ran 17 times for 124 yards on its first three possessions, all of which ended with touchdowns.

It wasn’t just star Johnathan Franklin who toted the rock; backups Jordon James and Damien Thigpen and quarterback Brett Hundley all got involved. UCLA finished with 308 rushing yards on 63 carries, the most by any UA opponent all year. Franklin finished with 162 yards, more – by himself – than Arizona allowed to Washington or USC. Six of the Bruins’ nine touchdowns came on the ground.

“We came in against a really good UCLA team, and we didn’t bring it from the get-go,” UA linebacker Jake Fischer said. “This is what happens in the Pac-12 when you don’t come to play. I’m not saying we didn’t come to play; we just made a ton of mistakes.”

Step 2: Blitz Matt Scott, and force three-and-outs. The best way to stop Arizona is to keep the UA offense off the field, and the Bruins were masters of it Saturday.

Arizona went three-and-out on its first two possessions, and managed just two first downs in the first quarter. By the time the Wildcats managed their first score, they were trailing 28-3.

Scott was sacked once and hurried a half-dozen times.

The Bruins’ pressure on a pass play resulted in an apparent head injury for the Wildcats’ quarterback. Backup B.J. Denker took over in the third quarter, and was sacked three times in a little more than one quarter.

Center Kyle Quinn said it wasn’t one thing that stalled the offense. The team finished with a season-low 257 yards of offense.

“It’s little things,” he said. “When they all add up, things don’t go your way.”

Step 3: Force the Wildcats to play ugly. Arizona beat USC and Washington- and, really, Oklahoma State – by winning the turnover battle, staying penalty-free and by forcing their opponents to make mistakes.

On Saturday, the Wildcats showed just how bad they can be when they’re undisciplined.

The team was penalized 15 times for 124 yards, and was minus-3 on turnovers. It was a recipe for disaster, and embarrassment.

“We need to represent our school, our town, our coaching staff and each other better than we did (Saturday),” Quinn said. “We’re a lot stronger than a lot of people on the outside might think. We’re a resilient team; we’ve proven that. We’re going to bounce back. We’re going to fight.”

Washington game time set

The Buffs are officially done playing under the lights for the 2012 season.

Colorado will play Arizona this weekend at 11:30 a.m., with the game to be televised nationally by FX. The same time and station will be the Buffs’ lot for next weekend’s home game against Washington.

CU’s final home game, against Utah, will kickoff on Friday, November 23rd, at 1:00 p.m. on Fox.

The remainder of the Pac-12 schedule for this weekend:

Arizona State at No. 19 USC – 1:00 p.m. MT (Pac-12 Networks)

No. 11 Oregon State at No. 14 Stanford – 1:00 p.m. MT (Fox)

Utah at Washington – 8:30 p.m. MT (Pac-12 Networks)

No. 18 UCLA at Washington State – 8:30 p.m. MT (ESPN2)

No. 3 Oregon at Cal – 8:30 p.m. MT (ESPN)

November 4th

Arizona blown out by UCLA, 66-10

From ESPN … Johnathan Franklin couldn’t stop smiling after becoming UCLA’s career rushing leader. The wide grin wasn’t just about what he accomplished personally Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.

Franklin gained 162 yards, redshirt freshman Brett Hundley passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns, and UCLA (No. 25 AP) overwhelmed Arizona (No. 22 BCS, No. 24 AP) 66-10 to move into first place in the Pac-12 South.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Franklin, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior from Los Angeles said. “All praises to my teammates. They open up the big holes. I just run through them. My goal wasn’t to break the record, just to help the team. Winning is our only motive. We understand what kind of position we’re in.”

And that position is something UCLA hasn’t experienced in 14 years — a possible berth in the Rose Bowl game. The Bruins know if they win their final three games plus the Pac-12 championship game that they’ll be playing in Pasadena on New Year’s Day.

Their confidence should be soaring after such an impressive win against an opponent that seemed poised to give them a hard-fought game. UCLA entered as a three-point favorite.

Franklin entered needing 21 yards to overtake Gaston Green, who gained 3,731 yards from 1984-87.

Franklin moved into the top spot with a 37-yard touchdown run on his third carry, capping a 75-yard, nine-play drive following the opening kickoff that put the Bruins (7-2, 4-2 Pac-12) ahead for good.

Franklin, who carried 24 times and scored twice, raised his career rushing total to 3,873 yards as the Bruins, off to their best start since 2005, raced to a 42-3 halftime lead in snapping a five-game losing streak to the Wildcats (5-4, 2-4) who beat them 48-12 in Tucson last year.

Arizona Star’s take on the game

The ninth play of the game ended with a touchdown, a celebration and a taped congratulatory message played on the scoreboard.

The Rose Bowl only got more festive from there, as the Bruins offense plowed past the Wildcats by air and by ground, wowing 81,673 blue-clad fans in a 66-10 runaway.

The Bruins offense dominated the Wildcats in every aspect imaginable:

• They scored the most points in a generation, matching the identical 66-10 final score in an Oct. 4, 1997, win against Houston. It would have been worse, too, had UCLA not mercifully run up the middle on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line with 1:36 to go.

• They finished the first half with 42 points, the first time they eclipsed 40 in a half since 2005 against Rice.

• The Bruins scored touchdowns on six of their seven first-half drives.

The most historic, however, was the first – a 37-yard scamper by senior running back Johnathan Franklin, who set the all-time Bruins rushing record on the play.

He passed Gaston Green, who gained 3,731 yards from 1984-87.

Franklin, who was the country’s No. 7 rusher entering the game, wasn’t the Wildcats’ only problem: Seven different Bruins scored the nine total touchdowns.

“I want our operation to be smoother,” Mora said. “I felt like there are couple lulls.”

Not enough for the Wildcats’ liking.

“We couldn’t get any stops,” UA coach Rich Rodriguez said.

Junior linebacker Jake Fischer said the Bruins “weren’t doing a lot of things different” than the UA expected.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” he said. “It wasn’t anything special they did.”

Brett Hundley’s 6-yard run put the Bruins up 14-0.

On the next drive, a 17-yard Hundley pass to Jordan Payton – who beat Shaquille Richardson off the line and outran him to the ball – put UCLA up 21-0.

“We couldn’t get off blocks,” Fischer said. “We couldn’t get on their side of the field.”

Hundley completed 23-of-28 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns.

He ran for one more, gaining 16 yards on 10 totes.

“He played really well tonight,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t remember him missing too many passes.”

The coach said he’ll “watch the film to see where the breakdowns were.”

Saturday’s homecoming game against lowly Colorado will likely be a welcome balm for the UA defense.

The Wildcats allowed 618 yards of offense to USC in a win one week ago – or 8.2 yards per play.

By the time the Bruins took out starting quarterback Brett Hundley up 59-10 with 9:44 to play, they had gained 547 yards on 76 plays – or 7.2 per game.

“We’ve had a hard time stopping a lot of folks this year,” Rodriguez said.

Arizona receives C’s and D’s from Tucson newspaper

From the Arizona Daily Star


FINAL SCORE: No. 25 UCLA 66, No. 24 Arizona 10

Quarterback: C-. Matt Scott had his worst game of the season, completing 15 of 25 passes for 134 yards and rushing three times for four yards before being knocked from the game with an apparent head injury. Backups B.J. Denker (2 for 5, 12 yard) and Richard Morrison (2 carries, 6 yards, no pass attempts) were ineffective against an opportunistic Bruins defense.

Running back: C-. Ka’Deem Carey rushed for 54 yards and a score on 16 carries — decent numbers, but well below his season averages. Daniel Jenkins received seven garbage-time carries and gained 42 yards. Jared Baker played late, and gained eight yards on four carries.

Wide receivers: D+. With Arizona playing from behind all night, it was imperitive that the receivers step up. They didn’t: Austin Hill caught five passes for 57 yards, and Dan Buckner caught three passes for 22 yards. Nobody else had more than two grabs.

Offensive line: D+. Center Kyle Quinn returned after missing a month with an ankle injury. But as soon as Arizona’s starting line came back together, Chris Putton went down with an injury of his own. Arizona’s backs averaged 3 yards per carry, a season-low, and Scott took the devastating sack. It wasn’t the line’s — or the offense’s — best day.

Front-six: D. UCLA gained 611 yards, and almost exactly half — 308 — came on the ground. Johnathan Franklin gained 162 yards on 24 carries, scored two touchdowns and passed Gaston Green as the Bruins’ all-time leading rusher. Backups Steven Manfro, Jordon James and Melvin Emesibe combined to gain 106 yards and score a touchdown against a defensive front that couldn’t stop anybody.

Back-five: D. Arizona’s secondary didn’t fare any better. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley completed 23 of 28 passes for 288 three touchdowns in one of his best games as a collegian. The Bruins seemed to pick on UA cornerback Shaquille Richardson; he gave up two of the Bruins’ three passing scores.

Special teams: C+. Another night, another mixed bag for the Wildcats’ most schizophrenic position group. Kyle Dugandzic shanked a punt that led to a first-quarter UCLA touchdown, but finished with a respectable 42.3 yards per punt average on seven boots. John Bonano connected one a PAT and field goal. Richard Morrison fumbled a punt return, and Arizona’s kickoff return and coverage teams were average at best.

2 Replies to “Colorado Daily – Arizona”

  1. I have been saying all season to cut the coaches some slack, they do not have talent, it is not their fault. FIRE Embree NOW!!!!! This is so beyond unacceptable it is rediculous!

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