NR (Coaches Poll)
November 12th, 2011
NR (Coaches Poll)
This is a winnable game for the Buffs, one of the few on the schedule. But they won't win with Paul Richardson catching two balls like he did last week. He missed the prior four weeks due to injury and against USC a week ago, he only had two catches. Before that, he was on pace for 12 touchdowns and 1,100 yards. Offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy needs to go back and watch the California game and throw the ball to Richardson at least 12+ times.
The good news is Arizona ranks 112th in the nation against the pass and rank 114th only averaging 0.89 sacks per game. Tyler Hansen and Paul Richardson have the opportunity to have a big game this week.
Pressure QB Nick Foles
For as much as this could be a big game for the Buffs passing attack, the Wildcats are much more potent than the Buffs through the air and the CU pass defense isn't that much better than Arizona's. Even though the Wildcats have struggled this year, Foles still has 3,200 yards passing and 22 touchdowns. He ranks second in completions per game in the NCAA and third in passing yards per game with 362. Expect the Wildcats to throw a ton today against a Buffs' secondary that is decimated by injury.
Buffs DE Josh Hartigan and DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe each have five sacks on the year and will be crucial today in getting pressure on Foles and slowing down the Wildcat passing attack.
The Buffs don't seem to respond when things start to go south in a game, leading to the opposition making a big run on points. Things spiral quickly against the Buffs more times than not. Today and for the rest of the season when the schedule gets a little more manageable, we need to see Colorado start to respond when the other team scores or gets a turnover. There are opportunities against Arizona to score points but the offense will have to do it after Arizona scores and goes ahead, they can't let things compound where Arizona scores 21 and the Buffs become one dimensional.
Respond today, Buffs
Continue the Wildcats' Turnover Trend
In the last three losses for the Wildcats, they have turned the ball over 11 times, just under four times a game. If the Buffs can win the turnover margin battle today and keep Arizona behind the eight ball on the road, Colorado could emerge victorious.
Battle of the Undisciplined
This game might be decided by which team isn't the most undisciplined team in the nation. We have talked all year about how the Buffs rank towards the bottom of the NCAA in penalties per game (118th actually out of 120 at 8.00 per game). Today, CU plays a team that amazingly averages more penalties a game in Arizona. The Wildcats rank 119th. Two teams that have struggled all year are horrible in turnover margin and penalties per game. It will be interesting to see who wins the battle of penalties and turnovers.