Colorado Offensive Preview

Arizona will be back home this weekend to take on Colorado for Homecoming. Read on to find out about the Buffs' offense, including how Sefo Liufau is playing, who the star receiver is, and more.

It has been three weeks since Arizona has played a home game and the Wildcats are hurting for home field advantage after struggling mightily on the road against UCLA.

Arizona will now turn its attention to Colorado, who will visit Tucson for Homecoming weekend. The Buffalo will enter the game on a five-game losing streak after starting the season off with an acceptable 2-2 mark.

The record doesn’t do much justice for how good Colorado has played at times this season. The Buffs have lost several close games throughout the season, including a 40-37 double overtime thriller to UCLA just two weeks ago.

Part of the reason that Colorado has been so close to getting over the hump has been the play of quarterback Sefo Liufau. The signal caller has gotten better as the year has progressed and is at the top of his game heading into the matchup with Arizona.

Liufau has completed 274 of his 420 attempts this season for 2,590 yards and 25 touchdowns. The problem that is plaguing the quarterback is his interceptions, as he has thrown 12 this year. He has been consistent in throwing at least one pick in all but one game so far and needs to fix that before Colorado's offense can take the next step.

One reason that Liufau has been so successful is because of star wide receiver Nelson Spruce. The junior has been phenomenal for Colorado this campaign, catching 90 passes for 1,002 yards and eleven touchdowns. Spruce is one of the top receivers in the conference and should see the best of Arizona’s defense.

In comparison, the second leading receiver for Colorado is Shay Fields, who has caught 40 balls for 317 yards and three touchdowns. In third sits D.D. Goodson with 37 catches for 374 yards and two scores.

Aside from the passing game, Colorado has put forth a strong running game by committee. Michael Adkins II, Tony Jones, and Christian Powell have combined for over 200 carries so far. Adkins leads the way for the Buffs with 80 touches for for 397 yards and three trips to the end zone.

Jones recently joined a special club at Colorado for players who have rushed for over 1,000 yards and had 500 yards receiving. He was able to do this with help from his 338 yards rushing and three touchdowns this season.

The third head of the Colorado rushing attack is junior Christian Powell. After some impressive performances throughout the past two seasons, Powell has tapered off a bit in his third campaign, rushing for just 309 yards and a single trip to the end zone.

Arizona will need a solid defensive effort to stop Colorado’s offense. The Buffs have been close to upsetting several opponents this season and the Wildcats will need to make sure that this isn’t the week that Colorado finally puts all the pieces together.

Players to watch:

#46, RB Christian Powell: The running back has had big games in his past, but hasn’t had any real breakout games this season. It could be that Powell is trending down, but he has the ability to have a huge game.

#3, WR D.D. Goodson: With a lot of pressure being focused on Spruce, Goodson may see a few more catches than normal. The Wildcats will need to make sure that all bases are covered and not let Goodson find any openings for big plays.

#13, QB Sefo Liufau: As with most teams, the offense goes through Liufau. If the Wildcats can shut him down, Colorado’s offense could become stagnant, which would wreck the game for the Buffs.

Keys to the game:

  • Contain Spruce: If Arizona struggles to do anything on Saturday, it cannot be containing Nelson Spruce. The junior is a stud and can hurt the Wildcats in plenty of ways. Letting him get loose would almost certainly mean points for Colorado.

  • No big plays: Arizona’s defense did well against UCLA for the most part, except for the long touchdown given up late in the third quarter. The Wildcats need to have a similar or better effort in order to win.

  • Get stops on third down: Another disappointing aspect of Arizona’s loss was the proficiency on third down for UCLA. The Wildcats have given up plenty of third downs throughout the season, but it hadn’t really hurt them until the game against UCLA. Arizona will need third down stops to beat Colorado.

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