When looking at the statistics, it is easy to see why Arizona has yet to notch a conference win this fall. The Wildcats rank last in the Pac-12 in turnover margin, redzone offense, third down conversion, third down conversion defense and time of possession.
Last Saturday, the Cougars’ 90.3 percent completion rate against Arizona was the highest in FBS history with 30 or more completed passes, while Wildcats quarterback Brandon Dawkins completed just five of his 15 pass attempts in the game.
From the outside looking it, it appears the wheels are falling off for Arizona. But the Buffs cannot afford to take that view as they prepare for their final regular season game away from Folsom Field.
“I guarantee they'll come out foaming at the mouth after what happened to them last week,” Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre said of Arizona.
"They should have beat Washington at their place earlier this season,” he added. “They lost in overtime and gained  yards against Washington's great defense so that says enough right there and our kids know that and understand that.”
Post-UCLA game punishment
Less than nine-and-a-half hours after the Buffaloes' contest against UCLA concluded, Colorado's players were back at the football facilities. Even though it was a victorious effort, the team was being reprimanded for its lack of discipline in the game. The Buffs were penalized 12 times for 128 yards.
“It is really important they understand that we have to just play in-between the whistles, no matter what happens, even if they started it,” said Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre. “You have to realize it is all about the team, not about you.
“It is really important [to address it] because you don't want it to raise its head and all of a sudden you get one of those in a critical situation on a game winning drive that knocks you out. It hurt us the other day. When I looked back at it and went over it, we basically gave them three to seven points off of it and basically took away about 10 points from us. That is a huge difference in the game.”
Senior defensive lineman Jordan Carrell, one of the Colorado players flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty against the Bruins, said MacIntyre's message was heard loud and clear.
“We paid for it that next morning and while the punishment wasn't fun, it was useful for our team. We learned from it,” Carrell said. “That's not who we are, and I feel like it was a good point that Coach 'Mac' made. We just have to be smarter. We served our punishment and we have moved on.”
Additional notes -
*** The Buffaloes opened as a two-touchdown favorite over the Wildcats. The line has moved to Colorado -15.5 at most sportsbooks, according to VegasInsider.com.
*** Football Study Hall, which uses advanced stats for its predictions, gives the Buffs a 91 percent chance to beat Arizona and currently gives Colorado a 53 percent chance of winning out and finishing the regular season 10-2.
*** Colorado sophomore Isaiah Oliver was named the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against the Bruins. His 68-yard punt return for a touchdown with 5:27 remaining in the game was the first by a Buff since Stephone Robinson brought one back against Kansas in 2005. And Oliver's 124 punt return yards last Thursday night was the most in a game by any Pac-12 player this season and the fourth-most of any FBS player.
“He plays on all our special teams and plays gunner and does a great job at corner,” MacIntyre said of Oliver. “He is an excellent player.”
With Oliver's selection, the Buffaloes have now received six Pac-12 Player of the Week accolades this season. CU had a total of six selections in its first five seasons in the Pac-12 before seeing the high number of honorees this year.