CU at Arizona: “T.I.P.S.” for a Buff Team Looking for Respect

… Related … If you prefer your predictions verbally, “CU at the Game Podcast: “T.I.P.S.” for CU at Arizona, can be found at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, or pretty much wherever you download your favorites. Or, if you would prefer, you can listen to the podcast here on the website.

At halftime of CU’s home game against UCLA, the CU band opened with Aretha Franklin’s “R-E-S-P-E-C-T”.

Too bad the football team was in the locker room, as the soul anthem needs to become the Buffs’ theme song as the calendar turns to October.

The Buffs went 0-4 in September, and looked historically bad in doing so. The Buffs have been outscored by 126 points in their first four games, becoming the first Buff team in school history to lose four straight games by 25 or more points. To make matters worse, the Buffs have actually been in three of the four games, facing deficits of 7-6, 20-10, and 21-10 at halftime, only to be outscored 92-14 after the break.

This just in … that’s coaching, folks.

CU’s games in November – Oregon; at USC; at Washington; and Utah – are all but conceded to be lopsided affairs, so for the Buffs, it has to be an October run or nothing.

The first game is against an Arizona team which finished 1-11 last season; an Arizona team which had one win in its previous 24 games before opening this fall with a 2-2 record.

An Arizona team which just gave up 599 yards of total offense in a 49-31 loss to California.

Can the Buff offense find its voice against a struggling Wildcat defense?

Let’s find out …


This Week’s “T.I.P.S” for CU at Arizona – Saturday, 7:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

T – Talent

The uniform may be different, but the name should sound familiar.

Arizona’s quarterback is the former Washington State quarterback, Jayden de Laura. Although officially still just a sophomore, de Laura already has over 4,500 career passing yards, with 1,149 yards in four games this fall. Against Cal this past weekend, de Laura had 401 yards passing, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

“Very confident quarterback, very experienced quarterback who’s been a big catalyst for their offense,” Dorrell said of de Laura. “He’s given that offense the life and the confidence you’d want. He knows how to read defenses, can extend plays, has really good vision and can move the safeties with his eyes.”

The Wildcats have three receivers with over 200 yards receiving so far this fall (CU has one, Daniel Arias, with 206), led by junior Jacob Cowing, who has 386 receiving yards and six touchdown (the entire CU offense has five). Against Cal, Cowing had seven catches for 133 yards and a touchdown.

The Arizona rushing attack, meanwhile, is led by Michael Wiley. The junior has 210 rushing yards in September, with three touchdowns.

Overall, Arizona as the 62nd-ranked offense, gaining just over 425 yards per game, with the Wildcats scoring almost 30 points a game. In fact, Arizona has scored over 30 points in three of its four games, with the lowest point total (17 points against Mississippi State) matching CU’s highest point total of the season.

The Wildcat defense, meanwhile, has struggled. Not as much as the CU defense, mind you, but has struggled nonetheless. Arizona is giving up an average of 416 yards and 34 points per game, ranking the Wildcats 108th in the nation in scoring defense. Arizona has surrendered at least 20 points in every game so far this season, and was torched for 599 yards and 49 points by California last weekend.

Linebacker Jerry Roberts has been in on a team-leading 35 tackles while overall UA has recovered four fumbles and plucked a pair of interceptions.

So … Arizona can score. Arizona also gives up yards and points.

Will this be the week the Colorado offense push past the 20 point total?

And, if the Buffs find a way to score more than two touchdowns for the first time all season … will it be enough to keep up with the Arizona offense?


I – Intangibles

Is it now a legitimate question to ask: Do the Buff players still want to play for this coaching staff?

Given CU’s struggles, Dorrell’s job status is in question moving forward, but his players have, at least to the media, thrown their support behind him.

“I’m not gonna lie, it’s difficult,” tackle Frank Fillip said. “I’ve been through (coaching changes) a couple of times, but I know that from our standpoint, we’re behind him. We love coach Dorrell and we believe in him and we think that we can turn this around.”

Linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo, who transferred to CU from West Virginia this summer, said, “I came to CU because of coach Dorrell. He has my 1000% faith. Bottom line, he can’t go out there and play. The coaches, they can’t go out there and play. We’re the players.”

Safety Trevor Woods was also asked whether he believes the morale of the team has remained positive: “I do. guys work hard. You know, it’s just when it comes down to is, you know, that’s the biggest problem. Everybody’s going out there. You know? We’re doing everything we can. We just gotta execute. It’s the biggest thing.”

From one perspective … What else would you expect them to say? Until Dorrell is no longer the head coach at Colorado, he is the head coach at Colorado, and players interested in seeing playing time are going to be company men.

But you have to wonder where the Buffs’ heads are at after a September of historically bad play. Every week, we hear great things about how well the Buffs are sticking together, and how excited they are about the upcoming game (mercifully, Karl Dorrell has stopped talking about how great each practice is going. Perhaps someone told him that the CU offense might be doing well in practice … because they are going up against the CU defense).

How true are those statements?

Meanwhile, in Arizona, there should be plenty of motivation for the Wildcats. The Buffs have won the last two games in the series, including a 24-13 win in Tucson in 2020. The Buffs won last year, 34-0, pulling away in the second half. It gave the Buffs – and their fans – a pleasant afternoon, beating up on the worst team in the league.

No doubt Arizona players would like nothing more that to repay the favor.

For the past several years, teams and their fans have looked forward to seeing Arizona on their schedule. An easy win. A pleasant Saturday with little concern about the ultimate outcome. A chance for the home team to pad the stats, and for the coaches to get younger players some playing time.

Sounds like how teams view Colorado these days.


P – Preparation/Schedule

Colorado is a 17.5-point underdog to Arizona.

How absurd is that number? For a little perspective, Arizona wasn’t favored against anyone in its previous 13 games and had been the underdog in its previous 18 Pac-12 games, dating back to 2019. Wildcats hasn’t been this big of a favorite in a Pac-12 game since 2017 vs. Oregon State.

Yes, Virginia, Colorado football is that bad.

But perhaps not quite as bad as we thought.

Colorado is a well-documented 0-4, while Arizona, a 1-11 team in 2021, is 2-2. But let’s take a look at the opposition …

— Arizona defeated San Diego State in the opener, which seemed impressive at the time … but … the Aztecs are 2-2, with the wins over Idaho and a 17-14 result over a Toledo team which gave up 77 points to Ohio State. The Wildcats’ other win was a 31-28 decision over North Dakota State – the best FCS team in the nation, mind you, but an FCS team nonetheless. Arizona got thumped by Mississippi State, 39-17, before giving up almost 600 yards to Cal in a 49-31 loss this past Saturday. Buff fans can look at Arizona’s 2-2 record with envy, but no one is considering the Wildcats as Pac-12 title game contenders;

— CU’s opponents, meanwhile, are a combined 14-1, with the lone loss an Air Force stumble on the road against Wyoming. Minnesota, which dominated Colorado, took Michigan State to the woodshed this past weekend, winning 34-7 on the road (with MSU’s touchdown coming with 17 seconds to play). The Golden Gophers are currently ranted 20th in the nation, while TCU, Air Force and UCLA have all been in the “others receiving votes” category at least one week this season.

Working in Arizona’s favor, though, is what lies ahead for the Wildcats. While CU has to run the Oregon, USC, Washington, Utah gauntlet in November, Arizona’s next four games is the same murderer’s row … Oregon; at Washington; USC; at Utah.

Arizona may be 2-2, but is looking at 2-7 – and no chance at a bowl bid – if the Wildcats don’t take care of business against Colorado.

No reason to hold anything back against the Buffs … it’s payback time for the Wildcats, so the Arizona coaches and players will be looking for a feel good game against Colorado Saturday night.


S – Statistics 

Ugh … Do we have to?

You just have to laugh … to keep from crying.

The major stats:

  • Offense … Rushing (114th nationally) … Passing (116th) … Total yards (126th) … Scoring (129th);
  • Defense … Rushing (131st – dead last) … Passing (7th – thanks, Air Force!) … Total yards (122nd) … Scoring (126th).

Depressing stat of the week, Part I

  • Not only is CU last in the nation in rushing defense, that stat isn’t going to change any time soon. The Buffs are giving up 323.2 yards per game. The No. 130 team, Hawai’i is giving up 260.8. Hawai’i has played five games, giving up a total of 1,304 yards. Colorado, in four games, have given up 1,293 … Translation, in order to “climb” to 130th nationally, the Buffs would have to surrender no more than 10 total rushing yards to the Wildcats;

Depressing state of the week, Part II

  • Time spent in the lead. This is not normally a stat which carries much weight, but it does demonstrate how depressing the season has been for CU fans. The Buffs have been in the lead for 5:08 of game clock this season, coming in the first quarter of the first game against TCU. Time spent in the lead by CU’s opponents: 261:04. That’s a whole lot of Buff watching … with the Buffs behind.

Stats to watch (i.e, stats which will play a role in deciding the game)Turnovers … Jayden de Laura does have six interceptions in four games, and the Wildcats do have eight turnovers overall. Figure the Buffs will about four turnovers –   … Third down conversion defense  … Not that there is much reason for hoping the Colorado defense will finally find its magic, but, if the Buffs are to have any chance at all, they have to find a way to get off of the field. The Buffs haven’t been forcing too many third downs, but, when they do … opposing offenses are converting. The opposition has a 55% conversion rate on third downs (26-of-47), putting CU in 129th place nationally.


Prediction … 

Colorado is a 17.5-point underdog to a team which has been a doormat … but isn’t acting like one.

Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch has a 3-13 record in Tucson, with a 1-9 record in Pac-12 play.

And Wildcat fans love him.

Karl Dorrell is 8-14 at Colorado, with a 6-8 record in Pac-12 play.

And Buff fans … many are ready to move on.

The difference is trajectory. Arizona, despite its 1-11 record, pulled in the 21st-ranked recruiting Class this past off-season. The Transfer Portal was a net positive for the Wildcats. Jedd Fisch has energized the fan base.

Meanwhile, at Colorado … well, you know.

CU’s October schedule … at Arizona … bye … California … at Oregon State … Arizona State. These are the only games standing between Colorado and its first winless season since the very first Colorado football team went 0-4 … in 1890.

The winless watch has begun.

Once again – until or unless the CU football team can give us reason to believe otherwise – you take the opposition and give the points.

Prediction … Arizona 33, Colorado 14

2022 Predictions … (Straight up: 3-1; Against the Spread: 3-1) … 

  • Prediction: Colorado 27, TCU 24 … Actual: TCU 38, Colorado 13
  • Prediction: Air Force 42, Colorado 17 … Actual: Air Force 41, Colorado 10
  • Prediction: Minnesota 49, Colorado 10 … Actual: Minnesota 49, Colorado 7
  • Prediction: UCLA 38, Colorado 13 … Actual: UCLA 45, Colorado 17


16 Replies to ““T.I.P.S.” for CU at Arizona”

  1. The Buffs will score more. The Buffs will improve on run defense (vs a poor running team). But de Laura torches them on the passing game. UA 41 CU 24

  2. Buffs somehow find a way to cover the point spread…On another point, short of a few senior players who will have no more eligibility it makes little sense to quit on the field. With transfer portal and NIL opportunities it seems to me that ball players seeing the field would want to show up if their future football aspirations include exploring a change of scenery. Yes the stats say only 54% of 2,300+ portal guys in 2020 and 2021 landed at other places. But it should also be noted that a several of those guys who didn’t land elsewhere were probably buried on team depth charts with no body of work to sell to other schools…GO BUFFS

  3. Welp according to all the krap floating around their ain’t a team on the schedule that wants to be the first to lose to the Mighty Buffs.

    Sheesh everything is against them

    Go Buffs.

    Win 24-17

  4. Should easily go undefeated this year and ATS
    AZ-38 CU-20
    Buffs going crazy with offensive explosion and season high 20 pts

  5. Ok, I’m going w/ the spread is just Vegas tired of giving up money on CU. They’ll cover. Maybe. I sure wouldn’t bet on it, but whatever.

    In other news, from Brian Howell:
    From my own research, the list of Power 5 teams that have started a season with 4 consecutive losses by 25-plus points:
    1893 – Tennessee
    1921 – UCLA
    1932 – Louisville
    1950 – Virginia Tech
    1957 – Indiana
    2022 – Colorado#cubuffs

    — Brian Howell (@BrianHowell33) September 26, 2022

    That’s pretty historically bad, indeed. I do like Owen though, and think he’ll be a great QB. Hopefully for CU. Would love to see him shock the world and lead the team to a win Saturday.

    Go Buffs

    1. “From Brian Howell”
      “From my own research”
      which is it?
      and after the initial redundant trolling. I see…..
      The continuing whipsaw effort of earache to dominate the comment board bannally continues.
      you got anything else going on?
      Somehow I doubt if the Buffs win against AZ it will “shock the world.”
      and if the Buffs do win it will be a team effort….one in which the D will have to finally take part in.
      and maybe desperation from the OC to save his and a dormant HC’s skin.

      1. That was a tweet from Brian Howell, the whole thing. So he was saying it was his own research. Have another cup of joe, joe.

        As to Saturday’s game? A Buffs win would be a stunning upset. Would love to see Owen bust out the win. And yes, he will need his receivers to drop fewer balls. Among other things, like the defense making tackles.

        Go Buffs

      1. Who knows? I don’t. I guessed 56-3 for Minn game, 45-17 for UCLA. All luck. Only reasoning for this game: A) McCown continues progress B) AZ has bad defense plus maybe C) a lucky break somewhere. I will be in a remote location and won’t see the results until Monday. I’ve gone to TCU, AF, UCLA games and watched Minn. Maybe this game will work like when I remove myself during some other TV games and go to the bathroom and something good happens.

  6. Just in….we are ranked #2 in ESPN’s Bottom Ten right behind the Rams up the road. A STRONG loss to Arizona could leapfrog us to #1…..Go Buffs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *