Dropping its first Pac-12 game of the season, Arizona Football (2-2, 0-1) returns to action against Colorado (0-4, 0-1) in search of its first conference win of 2022.
We’re rolling right along in the 2022 Arizona Football season, and with the Wildcats fresh off of a huge loss to the Cal Golden Bears, the Wildcats will have to prepare for their first Pac-12 home game of the season.
Returning to action this Saturday for week five of the 2022 season, the Wildcats should have an “easier” challenge on their hands here as they take on Pac-12 foe, the Colorado Buffaloes.
Coming in, the Buffaloes are winless and are last in the Pac-12. Through four games, Colorado has been outscored 173-47. Granted, the Buffaloes have played a challenging schedule; however, in those games, they have not shown to be a competitive team.
While Arizona enters this one heavily favored, nothing is guaranteed with this group, and the Wildcats need to be ready as they take on Colorado in this important conference matchup!
Getting to Know the details of Arizona Football’s opponent, the Colorado Buffaloes.
Team: Colorado Buffaloes
Conference: Pac-12 Conference
Head Coach: Karl Dorrell enters his third season as the Buffaloes’ head coach and has compiled an 8–14 (6–8) record. Before Colorado, Dorrell coached at UCLA from 2003–07 where he guided the Bruins to a 35–27 (24–18) record with five bowl appearances in all five seasons spent in Pasadena.
2021 Record: Finishing the 2021 season with a 4–8 (3–6) record, the Buffaloes ended the year with a 28–13 loss to conference foe Utah in Salt Lake City.
Key Returners / Starters:
After a rough offensive outing in 2021, the Buffaloes have installed an entirely new offensive scheme. Now running more of a pro-style offense, the Buffaloes are led at quarterback by JT Shrout and Owen McCown who have gotten the most looks but so far, things have been challenging for Colorado.
As a team, the Buffaloes rank 126th overall on offense, averaging just 261.2 yards per game, 11.6 points per game, and just five offensive touchdowns.
However, against a bad Arizona defense, perhaps that is just what the doctor ordered to help jumpstart this offense.
Out of the backfield, the Buffaloes use a trio of Deion Smith, Charlie Offerdahl, and Alex Fontenot who get a majority of the work. Together, they are serviceable and could challenge Arizona’s defensive line.
Beyond that, the Buffaloes do have some downfield threats that should challenge the Cats but look for wideout Daniel Arias to get a majority of the targets, as the senior already has 13 catches for 206 yards in four games.
For the Wildcats to be successful, it means they once again must maintain solid gap responsibility and attack the line of scrimmage. Luckily, the Buffaloes are not as talented on offense as the Bison or Bears were; however, the Cats need to bring it on Saturday if they are going to win.
Switching to a 4-3 defense this year, so far, things have not been working well for the Buffaloes. Through four games, they are surrendering 467.8 yards per game and 43.3 points per game, and currently, Colorado ranks dead last as they are giving up 323.2 rushing yards per game.
Largely led by its playmakers which include linebacker Quinn Perry, defensive back Trevor Woods, linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo, and defensive back Isaiah Lewis, they are easily the Buffaloes’ most productive defensive players thus far.
Along the defensive line, Colorado has seen their fair share of struggle. Not only facing challenges in stopping the run, but the Buffaloes have a difficult time pressuring the quarterback. Overall, the Buffaloes’ offensive line has just 2.5 tackles for loss and zero sacks.
However, in the secondary, Colorado possesses some solid playmakers. Led by the play of defensive backs Lewis and Woods, together, the Buffaloes are holding teams to 144.5 yards per game and 11.56 yards per completion.
Unfortunately as a group, Colorado hasn’t forced many turnovers this year. Through four games, the Buffaloes have just one interception and two forced fumbles. Their five takeaways overall rank tied for 83rd.
While Arizona should have the advantage here, the Wildcats cannot afford to get complacent. Arizona has to find a rhythm and move the ball and stick with what works, otherwise, they could lose this one.
Game information and details for Arizona Football:
When: Saturday, October 1st, 2022
Time: 6:30 PM MST
Watch: Pac-12 Network
Where: Arizona Stadium – Tucson, AZ (50,782)
Overall Series Record: 16-8 Colorado. Having met quite a few times in their collective history, this is a series that has picked up over the past few years, especially since the Buffaloes joined the conference in 2011. Since joining the Pac-12, Arizona has won seven of the last 11 meetings. However, Colorado has won the last two-straight meetings between the schools.
Last Meeting vs. Arizona: Last year in Boulder, the Wildcats were boat raced in a 34-0 thumping at the hands of the Buffaloes.
My Prediction: Arizona 34 Colorado 23 – Arizona is not a very good football team, but luckily to our advantage, this is likely the only team that the Wildcats will face this season that is worse. Arizona is favored in this game and rightfully so as Colorado is ranked near the bottom in nearly every statistical defensive category.
However, with Arizona’s defensive struggles, this one should be an intriguing matchup, and unfortunately, even with Colorado’s ineptitude on offense, they will find a bit of rhythm as they will make this a somewhat competitive game until the Cats ultimately run away in the end.