After Colorado took a 13-10 lead on a 48-yard field goal by Will Oliver with 5:12 remaining in the first half, Arizona outscored the Buffs 34-7 to win their second straight Pac-12 game, 44-20.
Arizona began the game looking a lot like the Wildcats team that torched the Buffs 56-31 last year in Tucson. After Colorado's first drive stalled, UA marched 88 yards in just over four minutes, as Ka'Deem Carey notched the first of his four touchdowns with a one-yard run.
It didn't take long for Colorado to counter. Sefo Liufau found Paul Richardson for a 75-yard touchdown. The CU defense would stiffen, giving Liufau & Co. several chances to take a solid lead into the locker room, but Colorado would only get six points out of four second quarter trips inside Wildcat territory. However, two Oliver field goals did give the Buffs a 13-10 lead.
In the final five minutes of the first half, Arizona made Buffs pay for their failure to grasp a more commanding lead. After Oliver's 48-yard field goal, B.J. Denker and Carey catapulted the Wildcats back in front. Carey capped off a 9-play, 75-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run.
Colorado promptly gave UA the ball back after a three-and-out. Once again, Denker burned the Buffs, the with a 30-yard run off an option read, setting up an immaculate 44-yard touchdown pass to Nate Phillips. Mere minutes after they held a 13-10 lead, Colorado went into the locker room with a 24-13 deficit.
After giving up 65 yards on the first two plays from scrimmage in the second half, the Colorado defense managed to hold UA to a field goal. Michael Adkins II looked explosive during the CU's first drive of the second half. Adkins boosted the Buffs to within seven points with a 1-yard touchdown rush. The 5'10" freshman accounted for 46 of Colorado's 75 yards on their nine-play scoring drive, their only scoring drive of the second half.
After Arizona effortlessly zoomed down the field for another Carey touchdown, Colorado's drive stalled at the UA 4. Instead of kicking the field goal, Mike MacIntyre elected to take another shot at the end-zone. Liufau got flushed from the pocket and tried to find D.D. Goodson, but the ball was overthrown, turning the ball over on downs.
"The guy was open," said MacIntyre when asked whether he regretted going for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal. "We had a chance; we just didn't get it to him."
The Buffs got the ball back after the failed fourth down conversion, but an ill-conceived fake punt run resulted in a second-straight turnover on downs.
Carey found the end-zone for a fourth time in the fourth quarter. Adding injury to insult, Richardson went down with a right ankle injury. He walked off the field under his own power. After the game, MacIntyre said Richardson would be fine.
"We should have won the game," said an emotional MacIntyre in his postgame press conference. "We can beat that team."