“Friday” Fast Facts – No. 16 Colorado at Arizona


Getting to Know … Arizona

— It’s hard to sugar-coat it … Arizona is having a terrible season. The Wildcats are 2-7, 0-6 in Pac-12 play. Arizona will not be playing in a bowl for the first time since 2011, and will miss the post-season for only the second time in the past eight years.

— As hard as it has been for many outside the Buff Nation to accept #TheRise at Colorado, the decline at Arizona has been almost as surprising … Two Novembers ago, the Buffs were slogging their way to a 2-10 record, with the first winless conference campaign (0-9) for the program in 99 years … meanwhile … Two Novembers ago, Arizona was on its way to a 10-4 campaign, and a Pac-12 South division title (7-2).

— Arizona has strung together nine consecutive seasons without a losing home record, but that streak is in jeopardy in 2016. The Wildcats are 2-3 in home games with two games to play – CU and the home finale against Arizona State. The only home wins this year came in non-conference play, coming against Grambling State (31-21) and Hawai’i (47-28).

— One stat to give Buff fans pause … In the last four seasons, the Wildcats have not only defeated a ranked team, they have defeated a top ten team: 39-36 over No. 10 USC in 2012; 42-16 over No. 5 Oregon in 2013; 31-24 over No. 2 Oregon in 2014; and 37-30 (2OT) over No. 10 Utah last season.

— Overall, Arizona has a win over a ranked opponent in 11 of the past 12 seasons (0-3 in 2016). CU, meanwhile, hasn’t beaten a ranked team since 2009, with an 0-12 record under Mike MacIntyre (and no, the win over Arizona State doesn’t count. The Sun Devils were ranked 24th in the USA Today coaches poll when the Buffs beat them, but unranked in the Associated Press poll. The AP poll is the only poll which CU, and therefore, CU at the Game, counts);

— Despite the success in recent years, the 2016 Arizona Wildcats have played poorly on both sides of the ball. Arizona rankings over 100th nationally on offense: Passing offense (104th); scoring offense (114th); third down conversion offense (114th); kickoff returns (125th); turnovers lost (111th); red zone scoring percentage offense (112th); time of possession (120th) … Arizona rankings over 100th nationally on defense: Passing defense (111th); total defense (117th); scoring defense (117th); third down conversion defense (125th); punt returns (100th).


Arizona players to watch:

— Samajie Grant/RB … A wide receiver by trade, Grant has moved to the backfield due to a rash of injuries at the position (the top two running backs, Nick Wilson and J.J. Taylor) are out for the season. Grant has started the last two games at running back, with 27 carries for 141 yards.

Cam Denson/WR … Another player who was not heard from earlier in the season, but is playing well of late. Denson had his first career start last weekend, leading the team with four catches for 77 yards, including a 42-yard touchdown which proved to be the Wildcats’ only score.

Brandon Dawkins/Anu Solomon/Khalil Tate/QB’s … Arizona played all three quarterbacks last weekend against Washington State, and none were effective. Brandon Dawkins leads the team in both passing and rushing, but continues to be pulled due to inconsistent play, with only six touchdown passes (with five interceptions) on the season. Against Washington State, the Wildcats had all of 11 pass completions, while the Cougars had 14 different players with at least one reception.


Colorado and Arizona – head-to-head

This will be the 19th all-time meeting between the two teams, in a series dating back to 1931. The Buffs lead the series by a 13-5 count, with an 8-2 record in games played in Tucson.

After the initial contest in 1931 (a 27-7 Buff victory), the teams played ten times between 1950 and 1960, with Colorado winning every game.

The two teams played a home-and-home in the mid-1980’s, with Colorado stretching its lead in the series to 12-0 with a 14-13 road victory in 1985. The following season, the Wildcats won their first game in the series, with No. 10 Arizona defeating Colorado, 24-21, in Boulder.

The series lay dormant for the next 25 seasons, until the Buffs joined the Pac-12. Colorado won the first game with Arizona – the Buffs’ first win as a Pac-12 member – 48-29. Since then, the Wildcats have run off a four-game winning streak, scoring at least 38 points in each game … and rushing for a total of 1,422 yards (an average of 355.5 rushing yards per game).


Colorado and Arizona … historical

In historical terms, Colorado has it all over Arizona.

It’s not that Colorado had much of a head start (CU started playing football in 1890; Arizona 1899), but that the Buffs have had more consistent success.

In the 12 categories tracked by Winsipedia, Colorado leads Arizona in 11 … with the only category the Wildcats hold an edge over the Buffs is in bowl record percentage (Arizona: .475; 9-10-1; Colorado: .429, 12-16)

Otherwise …

— CU has a sizable lead in all-time wins, with 692 (25th all-time), while Arizona made it to 600 earlier this year (50th all-time);

— CU has a similar lead in time spent in the Associated Press poll, with 297 weeks (26th), compared to Arizona’s 168 weeks (51st);

— When it comes to producing NFL talent, the Buffs are also comfortably ahead of the Wildcats. CU has had 266 NFL picks (22nd) and 24 first round picks (24th), compared to Arizona’s 178 (48th) and 10 (54th);

— Perhaps the widest gap is in conference championships. Colorado has 26th in its history (10th nationally), while Arizona has six titles in its 117-year history (90th nationally).


Colorado and Arizona … Notes and Numbers

— Last weekend, in Arizona’s 69-7 loss to Washington State, two Cougar quarterbacks combined to go 47-for-52 passing, going for 474 yards and six touchdowns. The 90.3% completion rate set an NCAA record for a game with over 35 completions);

— Over the past three games, the Buff defense has held Arizona State, Stanford, and UCLA to 672 total yards of offense. That three game stretch is the second-lowest total for the Buffs since 1967;

— In 256 rushing attempts this fall, CU running backs have been stopped behind the line of scrimmage just 11 times, for a total of 20 yards … a tribute to the play of the Buff offensive line;

— Against UCLA, the Buffs had 175 return yards, including Kenneth Olugbode’s interception return which set up a touchdown, and two long punt returns by Isaiah Oliver, one which set up a field goal, the other a 68-yard return for a score. The 175 return yards were the most by the Buffs since a 183-yard effort against Texas Tech in 2002;

— In the current four-game winning streak over Colorado, Arizona has rushed for a combined 1,422 yards, with each game generating at least 288 yards … and two games over 400 yards rushing;

— In it’s two wins, Arizona is plus-eight in turnovers. In its seven losses, the Wildcats are a minus-16;

— Overall, Arizona’s defense has only produced ten turnovers all season (CU’s defense has 19) … but it’s even worse than that. Six of those ten turnovers were generated in the Wildcats’ 31-21 win over Grambling State. So, yes, in the other eight games Arizona has played this fall, the Wildcat defense has produced only four turnovers.


Pac-12 Notes … 

— Washington and Washington State are both 6-0 in conference play. In the first five years of Pac-12 play, no team has emerged from conference play undefeated. In the South division, only once (Arizona State, 8-1 in 2013) has the division champ emerged with fewer than two losses;

— Utah has been ranked in the first two College Football Rankings this fall. The Utes are one of only five teams nationally to have been ranked 15 or more times in the first three years of the rankings (Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Ohio State being the others);

— Pac-12 national rankings/Individuals … Jake Browning, Washington (1st in the nation in passing efficiency) … Luke Falk, Washington State (first in the nation in pass completions per game – 35.33) … Mitch Wishnowsky, Utah (first in the nation in punting – 48.8 yards per kick);

— Pac-12 national rankings/Team … Washington – first in the nation in turnover margin (+1.67) and passing efficiency (205.70).

— Colorado in the top 25 rankings nationally … Rushing defense (17th; 117.6 yards per game) … Pass defense (10th; 179.3 yards per game) … Total defense (9th; 296.9 yards per game) … Scoring defense (12th; 17.2 points per game) … Punt returns (24th; 11.38 yards per return) … Turnover margin (16th; +.78) … Pass efficiency defense (6th; 99.08) … Sacks by (23rd; 2.78 per game).











3 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. The Rise will not end this weekend…but hoping for signs of life from our Offense or the following two weeks will be dicey.

    1. Yes.

      Lets get back to the chev/lindy offense
      not the Lindering one.

      Go Buffs.

      Buffs win by 21. I the demoted co-oc doesn’t “loan” it up

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