Friday Fast Facts – Colorado at Arizona Edition

Trivia question of the week I: Kahlil Tate set an FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback against Colorado last season. What other FBS record was set in that game?

Trivia question of the week II: What two all-time school records did the Buffs set in their 1958 game against Arizona?

Pac-12 lines and television schedule … 

From 5DimesPac-12 games … 

Arizona … a 4.0-point favorite at home against Colorado … Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1 … Colorado leads the series, 14-6

Arizona State … a 7.5-point underdog at home against No. 16 Utah … Saturday, 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Arizona State leads the series, 21-8

Oregon … a 10.0-point favorite at home against UCLA … 5:30 p.m., MT, Fox … UCLA leads the series, 40-28

Oregon State … a 17.0-point underdog at home against USC … 8:00 p.m., MT, FS1 … USC leads the series, 62-11-4

Washington State … a 9.5-point favorite at home against California … 8:45 p.m., MT, ESPN … Cal leads the series, 47-27-5

Washington … a 9.5-point favorite at home against Stanford … 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Washington leads the series, 42-32-4

Big Picture

— Colorado is playing on a Friday for the the third time this season, a first in CU history. The Buffs won their first two Friday night games, beating Colorado State, 45-13, and UCLA, 38-16;

— The Buffs are 18-24 all-time on Friday night, but have won four of the last five (three against Colorado State). The only loss in the last three seasons on a Friday night was the Pac-12 championship game loss to Washington in 2016;

— In the seven games between Colorado and Arizona as members of the Pac-12, the winner of the game has scored at least 38 points in each game (318 total points, or an average of 45.2 points for the winning team);

— CU holds a 14-6 lead in the all-time series against Arizona, including an 9-2 advantage in games played in Tucson. The last time the Buffs played the Wildcats on the road (2016), the 16th-ranked Buffs won, 49-24;

— Colorado is 705-504-36 all-time (.581). The Buffs are 25th in all-time victories;

— Last weekend, the Buffs started three freshmen on the offensive line – a first in Colorado history. Colby Pursell started his eighth game at center; Will Sherman started his fifth game at left tackle; while Frank Fillip made his first career start at right tackle. Pursell and Sherman are red-shirt freshmen; Fillip is just the 12th true freshman ever to start along the offensive line;

Statistically speaking

— Colorado has just six turnovers this season, tied for fourth-fewest in the nation. The Buffs have lost only one fumble so far this season. Only Mississippi State, with none, has had fewer fumbles;

— Arizona running back J.J. Taylor leads the nation in all-purpose yards, with 1,579 so far this season;

— The Wildcats have only 12 seniors on the roster; the Buffs have 20;

— Current games notwithstanding, Colorado has better overall stats than does Arizona. The Buffs are 39th in total offense and 48th in total defense, while the Wildcats are 38th in total offense, but 90th in total defense;

— The Buffs are scoring 32.0 points per game (45th), and giving up 23.9 (49th), while the Wildcats are scoring 29.6 points per game (65th), and surrendering 27.4 (67th).

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: .452; 9-11-1; Colorado: .414, 12-17)

Otherwise …

— CU has a sizable lead in all-time wins, with 705 (25th all-time), while Arizona is at 612 (51st all-time);

— CU has a similar lead in time spent in the Associated Press poll, with 304 weeks (26th), compared to Arizona’s 169 weeks (51st);

— When it comes to producing NFL talent, the Buffs are also comfortably ahead of the Wildcats. CU has had 271 NFL picks (23rd) and 24 first round picks (27th), compared to Arizona’s 181 (48th) and 10 (55th);

— 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 (88th nationally).

Colorado and Arizona – head-to-head

— This will be the 21st all-time meeting between the two teams, in a series dating back to 1931. The Buffs lead the series by a 14-6 count, with a 9-2 advantage in games played in Tucson;

— Colorado has a 7-4 advantage in night games played between the two schools. The last five games have been night games, with Arizona holding a 4-1 edge;

— 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. After that, the Wildcats ran 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). The Buffs finally broke through again in 2016, when No. 16 Colorado defeated Arizona, 48-29, in Tucson;

— Last season, Kahlil Tate set an FBS record for rushing yards by a quarterback, going for 327 yards and four touchdowns (on only 14 carries), leading Arizona to a 45-42 victory in Boulder.

Player Notes

— Quarterback Steven Montez remains ranked nationally in a number of categories: completion percentage (13th – .682); passing efficiency (34th – 147.1); and total offense (21st – 284.9 yards/game);

— Wide receiver Laviska Shenault leads the nation in receiving yards per game (130.0) and receptions per game (10.0). Shenault is also 6th in the nation in scoring (11.0 points/game); and is 10th in the nation in all-purpose yards (144.5 yards/game);

— Defensive end Mustafa Johnson is tied for 21st in the nation in sacks per game (.81);

— Running back Travon McMillian is 5th in the Pac-12 (25th in the nation) in rushing yards per game (97.3 yards/game);

— Defensive back Ronnie Blackmon is 4th in the Pac-12 (38th in the nation) in punt return average (8.1 yards/return).

Pac-12 Notes

— The Pac-12 boasts four of the top 11 running backs in the nation – Jermar Jefferson, OSU (6th); Zack Moss, Utah (7th); Eno Benjamin (9th); and J.J. Taylor, Arizona (11th);

— Only two teams from the Pac-12 were ranked in the latest Associated Press poll … No. 10 Washington State and No. 16 Utah. “Others receiving votes” include No. 26 Washington; No. 33 Stanford; No. 36 Oregon; and No. 42 California;

— With Utah joining the rankings last week, nine Pac-12 teams have now been ranked at one time or another this season.  Arizona, UCLA, and Oregon State are the three teams who have not cracked the polls so far this season;

— Washington had appeared in 41 consecutive AP polls, including 29 weeks in the top ten, but fell out after losing, 12-10, to Cal;

— Pac-12 teams are just 17-15 at home in conference games, after going 18-3 at home in non-conference games;

Trivia question answer I: Phillip Lindsay had 281 yards rushing against Arizona last season. The combined total rushing yards between Tate and Lindsay (608) set an NCAA record for two players in the same game;

Trivia question answer II: In defeating Arizona in Tucson, 65-12, on October 11, 1958, the Buffs set two school records which still stand. The 53-point winning margin set the standard for CU road victories, while the 551 yards rushing set a school mark which hasn’t been matched.


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