Colorado is looking for its first conference win of the season and the Buffs will have another challenge this week when they head to Tucson.
"They came off a tough loss to UCLA," Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre said. "They’re excellent. Their freshman quarterback is an excellent player and makes a lot of plays. They have the biggest receivers in the conference. They have one guy that’s little, but he’s fast as lightning. But, the rest of them are all 6’3 plus, which puts a bind on you in the secondary.
"Defensively, they’re flying around and Scooby, what a great name; he is a heck of a football player. You’ve got to know where number 33 is at all times on their defense. So, it’s going to be a tough test. Rich does a great job with them. They’ve got some very good players. It will be exciting to go up there and play in Tucson.”
The Buffs' defense will have a major challenge in trying to contain one of the best offenses in the Pac-12.
"Their scheme, a lot of it has to do with the whole moving on the run type thing and throwing on the run," MacIntyre said. Solomon's very good at that. A lot of people can throw on the run, but they can’t be accurate on the run. He’s accurate on back shoulders, throwing down the field and throwing it back across.
"He does a good job with that. The thing that it does is it keeps the play alive longer, so therefore you’re covering longer."
Forcing a defense to cover longer means that it will have to be able to make confident decisions in order to succeed.
"A curl turns into a play where a guy redirects and then turns up field and now you have to turn as a DB," MacIntyre said. "So, a lot of times as a DB, you’ve got the main route covered and then it extends and you get in a position where your back is to the ball, you’re in different spots. That’s where that happens.
"If you go look at the quarterback and he starts to scramble, what does the receiver do? He takes off. So, it’s natural to go look at the quarterback and then try to find him. That’s just a natural instinct because you’ve got it stopped and then he takes off. So, you’ve got to get your eyes back on the receiver.
"Then, zones turn into man-type principles in those type situations. So, that makes defending the play tough. We’ve got to do things to keep him from extending the play. He will some, we’ve just got to limit it.”
Arizona's players and coaches have consistently said this week that Colorado is better than its record indicates and MacIntyre believes his team is making progress.
"In all our Pac-12 games except for the USC game, we have out gained our opponent," he said. "We have won our third down battles, we’ve done a lot of really good things, won time of possession, just haven’t won the game.
"All of those things show great progress. Been at the lead at halftime a lot where last year we were never at the lead at halftime except for one game. We’ve made a lot of improvement, it’s just really frustrating not getting the W’s.
"We’ve come a long way, but we’re still not close to where we need to be. It’s really little things. People ask me all the time, ‘What do you do to keep the kids spirits up?’ We show them all the positives, then we show them all the things that we mess up as coaches too. I think that’s critical that you do that. ‘Hey, we should have done this. We should have coached you better here.’