Week 6 Preview: Arizona Football to take on the Buffs in Boulder

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 7: Linebacker Nu'umotu Falo Jr. #42 of the Colorado Buffaloes celebrates after a second quarter fumble recovery against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Folsom Field on September 7, 2019 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 7: Linebacker Nu'umotu Falo Jr. #42 of the Colorado Buffaloes celebrates after a second quarter fumble recovery against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Folsom Field on September 7, 2019 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

After surviving against UCLA, the Arizona Football team (3-1, 1-0) will travel to Boulder for their first, Pac-12 road game against Colorado (3-1, 1-0).

The Arizona Football team is on a roll! After beating the UCLA Bruins in a nail-biter on Saturday evening, they are now winners of three-straight!

In the Wildcats’ wake, they have dispatched Northern Arizona, they beat Texas Tech somewhat comfortably, and snuck by UCLA to now improve to 3-1 (1-0) on the season!

Arizona Wildcats
Arizona Wildcats /

Arizona Wildcats

In the midst of the Wildcats’ winning streak, a lot can be credited to the defense. That group has done a complete 180, a stark difference from the same group that gave up 86 points in the first two games.

Although the turnaround and effort has been great, however, here’s where the real work begins.

In the first four games so far, Arizona’s combined opponent record is just 9-10. The upcoming road looks incredibly daunting with Colorado (3-1), Washington (4-1), and USC (3-2) all looming.

Aside from playing on the road this week, the biggest challenge will be getting Khalil Tate and J.J. Taylor healthy. If those two are ready to go, their chances of winning improve significantly.

With that said, here’s our preview:

Know Thy Foe:

Team: Colorado Buffaloes (3-1, 1-0)

Conference: Pac-12 Conference

2018 Record: 5-7 (2-7); lost to Cal 33-21 in the final game of the season last year.

Head Coach: Mel Tucker enters his first season as head coach with the Buffaloes after previously serving as the defensive coordinator at Georgia the past three seasons.

So far he’s been impressive, helping lead Colorado to a 3-1 (1-0) record. He has the Buffaloes playing well, and this weekend will be a HUGE challenge for the Wildcats.

Key Returners/ Starters: Offensively, the Buffaloes are led by quarterback Steven Montez and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. who may be the best receiver in the conference. Additionally, running backs Alex Fontenot and Jaren Mangham have become quite the one-two punch in the backfield!

But the talent doesn’t stop there! Colorado is pretty talented at receiver, and will challenge the Wildcats vertically. Look for Tony Brown and K.D. Nixon to get a lot of production as well.

Defensively is where Colorado has seemed to have struggled the most, currently ranking 117th in country in total defense. However, where they do excel is in the turnover margin, averaging 1.75 per game and ranking No. 2 overall.

It’s worth noting that Colorado has had a few injuries, but nonetheless, they will be led by linebacker Nate Landman and safety Mikial Onu (assuming he’s healthy). In addition to that, the Buffaloes have a pretty decent pass rush, having some big boys really able to fill up that interior.

Look for Terrance Lang to challenge the Wildcats along the line, and the Buffaloes also have some talented linebackers that could challenge Arizona. Keep eyes out for Davion Taylor, Jonathan Van Diest and Alex Tchangam most notably.

Key Injuries: 


  • Khalil Tate – QB (Hamstring) was banged up against Texas Tech and missed the UCLA game. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s ready to play versus Colorado.
  • J.J. Taylor – RB (Ankle) was nicked up against the Red Raiders too, and also missed the UCLA game. We will see if he is ready to go against Colorado.


  • Aaron Maddox – S (Leg) Was sidelined due to an injury, and his return is unknown
  • Jarek Broussard – RB (Knee) Will miss the entire 2019 season due to injury.
  • Jacob Moretti – OL (Knee) Suffered a season-ending knee injury.
  • Chris Miller – CB (Sternum) Is questionable after injuring his sternum, and it is uncertain if he will play against Arizona.
  • Mustafa Johnson – DL/DE (Ankle) Questionable for Arizona after leaving the game against ASU.
  • Carson Wells – LB (Concussion) Questionable after dealing with concussion-like symptoms
  • Mikial Onu – S (Leg) Questionable vs Arizona after dealing with a leg injury
  • Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR (Unspecified) Questionable after leaving the previous contest with an unspecified injury.
  • Delrick Abrams Jr. – CB (Shoulder) Questionable against Arizona after suffering a shoulder injury

Game Information: 

When: Saturday, October 5th, 2019

Time: 1:30 PM MST

Watch: Pac-12 Network

Where: Folsom Field – Boulder, CO (50,183)

Spread: -4.5 Colorado

Overall Series Record: 14-7 Colorado. The Wildcats and Buffaloes have a little bit of a history, with Arizona dominating the series as of recent. Arizona has won the last two meetings, including six of the last eight!

Last Meeting vs. Arizona: Arizona beat Colorado in Tucson last year by a 42-34 final. The Wildcats outgained the Buffaloes 566 yards to 383 yards. Tate threw for over 350 yards and five touchdowns, while Taylor ran for 192 yards on 40 carries.

My Prediction: Colorado 34 Arizona 30. I think this game is more of a toss-up, but I honestly think it’s more dependent on whether Tate and Taylor can play. Colorado can put up points, and they are going to be a tough challenge for the Wildcats to stop.

I think we may need to see this group pound the ball, and find ways to move the chains to keep the defense off the field as much as possible. The Buffaloes aren’t great defensively, so Arizona needs to find ways to take advantage of it.

Ultimately, if Tate and Taylor can’t go, I think the Cats just come up short in this one.

Record so far: 2-2

More. On Arizona Football. light

At Zona Zealots, we’re hoping the Cats can continue to build on their momentum and perhaps get the big win in Boulder. As always, Bear Down, Arizona and beat the Buffaloes!