Friday Fast Facts – Arizona Week

Big Picture … 

— If history is a guide, the CU/Arizona game will be a shootout. In the ten games played between CU and Arizona as Pac-12 members, the winning team has averaged 42 points per game (with 27 points per game for the loser). If reality is a guide, however, the first team to 20 points Saturday will probably win;

Strange as it may sound, this will be the first afternoon game for Arizona this fall. All of the Wildcats’ games to date have kicked off at 7:00 p.m. or later local time. Conversely, CU has only had two night games so far this season (and game seven, at Cal next weekend, will also be a day game – 1:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks);

Strange as it may sound, part II … There should be a good crowd on hand for Family Weekend. The CU website says: All patrons are strongly advised to enter the game no later than an hour before kickoff to avoid missing pregame festivities and kickoff as this game is approaching a sellout. I was a bit skeptical, so I checked out available tickets on the CU website, and, lo and behold, there aren’t many tickets available. Now, that doesn’t take into account disgruntled fans who won’t attend, but Folsom should be pretty full … Note … The game has been designated as another Blackout game, despite the 1:30 p.m. MT kickoff;

— Colorado is 30-24 in games following a bye week since World War II, but only 4-6 after a bye week since joining the Pac-12. The Buffs are 19-9 in games played on Family Weekend. The last Family Weekend game, however, was in 2019 … against Arizona … yes, the last game Arizona won before embarking on its current 17-game losing streak;

— The game will be telecast nationally on the Pac-12 Networks (Saturday, 1:40 p.m., MT), with Ted Robinson on the play-by-play, and Yogi Roth on color. KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 18th year with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his sixth year as the full-time analyst.

 

CU & Arizona … 

— Colorado holds a 15-8 advantage in the all-time series against Arizona … but … the Wildcats hold a 7-3 advantage since the Buffs joined the Pac-12 in 2011. How bad has it been for the Buffs? The most wins the Wildcats have against any other team in the conference over that same span is four (with Arizona going 4-5 against Utah since the Utes joined the conference);

— Colorado won the first 12 games of the series, one of the longest runs for the Buffs against any opponent. The first game was a 27-7 win in Tucson in 1931. The teams then played ten games in 11 years between 1949 and 1960, with the Buffs winning them all. The teams split a pair in 1984-85 before not playing until the Buffs joined the Pac-12 in 2011;

— The Kahlil Tate legacy … If you haven’t already, you will be hearing a great deal how Kahlil Tate built a Hall of Fame worthy career in just three games against Colorado. The abuse started in 2017, when Tate came in for came in for an injured Brandon Dawkins … and rushed for an FBS quarterback record 327 yards in leading Arizona to a 45-42 victory. In 2018, Tate passed for a career-high 350 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-34 Wildcat win. Then, to complete the trifecta, Tate threw for 404 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-30 Arizona win … And yes, that was the last win for Arizona before starting its now FBS worst 17-game losing streak;

— In the 23-game series against Arizona, Colorado has scored less than 20 points six times. In those games, however, the CU is 4-2, so the struggling Buffs have that going for them, which is nice …

 

The Last time …

December 5, 2020 … Colorado 24, Arizona 13 … 

Game StorySophomore running back Jarek Broussard had 301 yards rushing, the fourth-highest single game effort in CU history, leading the Buffs to a 24-13 come-from-behind win over Arizona. Broussard had carries going for 75, 72, and 59 yards … but didn’t score. Broussard did, however, become the first Colorado player to open up his career in Boulder with four consecutive 100-yard games (see multiple records set by Broussard in the Game Notes).

Arizona, which jumped out to a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter, had two second half drives covering in excess of 80 yards in the second half … but didn’t score on either of them. The Wildcats, who lost for a school-record 11th-straight game, had two 100-yard rushers of their own (Michael Wiley – nine carries for 126 yards; Gary Brightwell: 20 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown). The Buffs went for 499 total yards (dipping below on the game’s final kneel downs), but gave up 422.

The Buffs ran their season record to 4-0, making first-year head coach Karl Dorrell only the second Buff coach since 1905 to open his career at Colorado with four wins (Rick Neuheisel opened with a 5-0 record in 2005 … but he was taking over a team which had gone 11-1 the year before). Dorrell became the sixth CU head coach to open with a 3-0 record in conference play, but the first since Jim Yeager in 1941.

“It just tells me a lot about this team”, Dorrell said about his team rebounding from a two-score deficit. “There wasn’t any panic, there wasn’t any concern that we were in trouble or that look that you get on players faces when they seem to lose confidence or something like that. I didn’t sense that at all. There was more problem solving. Trying to find answers and solutions as we’re on the sidelines making adjustments.”

Continue reading game story here

The Second-to-Last Time … 

October 5, 2019 … Arizona 35, Colorado 30

Game story … Buff killer Kahlil Tate did it one more time to the Buffs, passing for 404 yards and three touchdowns, leading Arizona to a 35-30 win over Colorado in Boulder.

The lead changed hands nine times on the afternoon, with a Nathan Tedford five-yard touchdown run with 6:51 remaining being the deciding score. The Buffs mounted one final drive, but a Steven Montez pass intended for Dimitri Stanley on a fourth-and-four at the Arizona 46-yard line with 2:29 remaining ended CU’s final threat.

Steven Montez completed 28-of-42 passes for 299 yards and a touchdown, while K.D. Nixon added a 38-yard touchdown pass to Dimtri Stanley. Tony Brown, taking over as CU’s lead receiver for the second game in a row in the absence of Laviska Shenault, had 10 receptions for a career-high 141 yards, while Alex Fontenot added 94 yards on 21 carries to lead CU’s ground attack.

“We have a very disappointed locker room”, said CU head coach Mel Tucker. “We have to give Arizona a lot of credit. They made more plays than we made. They executed more often than we did. We felt like in the first half that we left some plays on the field on both sides of the ball”.

Continue reading game story here

 

Statistically speaking … 

Something has got to give Department … The CU defense has generated only three turnovers all season (123rd nationally), while the Arizona offense has given up 12 turnovers (128th nationally);

Not Drake London, but … USC wide receiver Drake London certainly looked the part of an NFL first round draft pick against the Buffs, with nine receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown. It probably won’t come as a surprise that London leads the Pac-12 in receptions per game and receiving yards per game. Number two in the Pac-12 in both categories? Arizona’s Stanley Berryhill, who is averaging 8.0 receptions per game and 79.4 yards receiving per game. Stop Berryhill, and you have a good chance of shutting down the Arizona offense;

Not scoring early … Through five games, neither the Buffs nor their opponents have scored on their first drives of the game. In fact, Colorado has only scored one touchdown in the first quarter this season (against Texas A&M). Meanwhile, the CU defense has played well in the first quarter, giving up only 17 points in five games (seven points to Arizona State; 10 to USC);

Success through the air not required … While CU quarterback Brendon Lewis has struggled mightily so far this season, he may not have to have a great game against Arizona for the Buffs to win. Arizona is allowing just 154 yards passing per game – second-fewest in the Pac-12, and fifth-fewest in the nation. Part of that “success”, however, is attributable to the fact that the Wildcats are allowing 219.4 rushing yards per game … 122nd in the nation;

—  How bad is the CU offense? … The only major offensive category in which the Buffs is not in the bottom five in the nation (between 125th and 130th nationally) is rushing offense – 87th (139.2 yards/game);

Betcha’ didn’t know … Colorado slipped another notch on the all-time victories list. A fixture in the Top 25 nationally for generations, the Buffs slipped to No. 26 a few years ago when they were passed by Wisconsin. This past weekend, CU slipped to No. 27. The Buffs have 715 all-time wins, passed by – wait for it – Michigan State. The 6-0 Spartans are, of course, coached by former CU head coach Mel Tucker.

 

Player Notes … 

— Punter Josh Watts is making a push for first-team All-Pac-12 status. Watts leads the Pac-12, and is 6th in the nation in punting, with a 48.8 yard average. Watts has averaged 49.0, 51.9, 47.8 and 49.6 per punt the last four games. The last time a CU punter went four straight games with an average over 47 yards/game was in 2004, when John Tarp averaged over 47 yards per punt for six straight games;

— After starting the same 11 on defense for three straight games, the Buffs had two new starters for the USC game. Linebacker Jack Lamb and nickel back Nigel Bethel both earned their first career starts;

— Not that he needed any reason for getting into the record book, but a newly created CU record belongs to linebacker Nate Landman. The senior linebacker, in addition to holding the record for third down stops (51, passing Jordon Dizon’s 48 earlier this season), is the CU career leader in “most tackles for zero gains, career”, with 30;

Injury list … is no longer issuing the injury status for its players (do you miss “doubtful”, “questionable”, and “probable”? So do I).  Offensive lineman Max Wray, who missed the last two games, is still listed as “injured” for this week, though head coach Karl Dorrell indicated in his press conference on Monday that Wray was working his way back into the lineup. The list of players who have been lost for the season … Marcus Bell, WR; Jeremiah Doss, DT; Chris Miller, S/OLB; J.T. Shrout, QB; and Jaylen Striker, CB.

 

Pac-12 Notes … 

Oregon, which was off last week, is ranked 9th in the latest Associated Press Top 25 this week. It’s the 5th straight week that the Ducks have been ranked in the Top 10, their longest streak since finishing the 2014 season in the Top 10 in each of the final 10 polls. Arizona State moved up four spots this season to a season-high No. 18. It is the highest ranking for the Sun Devils since they were No. 17 in the October 13, 2019 poll;

Pac-12 lines for Week Seven:

From VegasInsider.com 

  • California at No. 9 Oregon … Oregon is a 14.0-point favorite (Friday, 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN)
  • Arizona at Colorado … Colorado is a 6.0-point favorite (Saturday, 1:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks)
  • Stanford at Washington State … It’s a pick ’em game (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., MT, ESPNU)
  • UCLA at Washington … UCLA is a 1.0-point favorite on the road (Saturday, 6:30 p.m., MT, Fox)
  • No. 18 Arizona State at Utah … ASU is a 2.0-point favorite on the road (Saturday, 8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN)
  • Idle … Oregon State and USC

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2 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. RobO,

    I expect you to spot and report on the subtle differences in the Buff offense tomorrow. I gotta mow the lawn.

    Hopefully subtle is like Rooney says is a smoke screen.

    Buffs.

    Note: Green smoke for go. 150 meters east of my position. Bring it hard.

  2. JUST WIN BUFFS JUST WIN

    Please Gott put an epiphany in Chevs mind. If that doesn’t work, shoot lightning out of his arse.

    Buffalo Up.

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