Matchup Preview: Arizona Football takes on the Buffs in Boulder

Following a tough loss to UCLA, Arizona Football (0-5, 0-2) returns to action against Pac-12 foe, the Colorado Buffaloes (1-4, 0-2).

We are now officially into week 6 of the college football season, and Arizona Football is unfortunately still seeking their first win.

Coming in, the Wildcats own the nation’s longest active losing streak at 17 games, and perhaps the benefit to them is that they have a more favorable matchup against Colorado, however, the challenge won’t be easy by any means.

Arizona will have to shuffle around at quarterback once again, especially after Jordan McCloud suffered a tough leg injury in their loss to UCLA on Saturday.

And with Arizona’s struggles on offense, the silver lining is that they are also facing a team that has had their fair share of offensive struggles as well.

Colorado enters this one after suffering a big loss to USC, however, Colorado will be playing at home, and this is very much a winnable game for them as well.

The last time Arizona traveled to Boulder, the Wildcats came away with a win, which coincidentally was their last win as a program. We will see if Arizona can repeat their performance against Colorado and snap the losing streak.

Getting to Know the details with Arizona Football’s matchup against the Colorado Buffaloes

Team: Colorado Buffaloes

Conference: Pac-12

2020 Record: Finishing with a 4-2 (3-1) record in the abbreviated Covid season, Colorado ended the year with a 55-23 loss to Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

Head Coach: Karl Dorrell enters his 2nd season with the Buffaloes as the head coach, having compiled a 5-6 record. Prior to Colorado, Dorrell had decent success at UCLA from 2003-07, compiling a 35-27 record (40-33 overall).

Key Returners/ Starters:

Offense

This is a group that has seen their fair share of struggles as we noted earlier, but they at least have serviceable play at quarterback with Brendon Lewis under center, as the Buffaloes’ signal-caller has thrown for nearly 500 yards and two touchdowns. However, Colorado seems to be more of a running team.

At running back, the Buffaloes get plenty of use out of Jarek Broussard and Alex Fontenot as the two have combined for over 400 yards rushing with four touchdowns.

At receiver, they have a few different targets with Brady Russell, Brenden Rice, and Dimitri Stanley getting a majority of the work with 25 receptions for 243 yards.

Defense

On defense, the Buffaloes have been good, but not great. Overall, they are surrendering just 23.8 points per game but given up on average 383.6 yards per game.

Largely led by senior linebacker Nate Landman, he leads all Colorado defenders with 46 total tackles (39 solo), with 5.0 tackles for loss, three pass deflections, and a forced fumble.

Outside of Nate, they do have some solid playmakers in Mark Perry (S), Isaiah Lewis (DB/S), Guy Thomas (LB), Carson Wells (LB).

Key Injuries/Absences: 

Colorado

  • QB – JT Shrout (Suspended) – Shrout is battling a knee injury, and there’s no timetable for his return.
  • WR – Maurice Bell (Achillies) – Bell suffered a torn Achilles and will miss the entire 2021 season.

Arizona 

  • LB – Jabar Triplett (Knee) – Still recovering from offseason knee surgery.
  • QB – Jordan McCloud (Leg/Knee) – Suffered a leg injury against Colorado and should be for a while.
  • DL – JB Brown (Opt-Out) – JB has decided to sit out the rest of the 2021 season.

Game Information: 

When: Saturday, October 16th, 2021

Time: 12:30 PM MST (Arizona Time)

Watch: Pac-12 Network, FuboTV 

Spread: +6.5 Arizona (Also, don’t forget to use WynnBet to enhance your betting experience)

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

Overall Series Record: 15-8 Colorado. The Buffaloes lead this series after winning 10-straight from 1950-60, however, Arizona has dominated this series late, winning seven of the last nine matchups.

Last Meeting vs. Arizona: The last time these two teams met, Arizona lost 24-13 to Colorado in Tucson in 2020.

My Prediction: Colorado 24 Arizona 20 – This is Arizona’s most winnable game left on the schedule, however, without McCloud, I don’t like the Wildcats’ chances, largely because they play on the road and throw Cruz back into the mix. To me, that makes this game seem less winnable. While I think Arizona keeps it close, they ultimately come up short in getting that elusive first win.