Arizona actually out-gained Colorado, 417-388, but the scoreboard told a much different story: Buffaloes 49, Wildcats 24. And it could have been even more lopsided. Mike MacIntyre's squad led, 42-10, entering the final quarter.
“They played hard and I was proud of them,” the Buffs' head coach said of his team during his post-game interview on KOA radio. “We had a little lapse there for a little while [in the fourth quarter] but they kept playing.”
The 49 points Colorado put up was the most scored by the Buffs in conference play. Colorado had scored a total of 30 points in its previous two wins.
“We had some hiccups and sometimes we could have done a little bit more on offense but I think for the most part we did a lot better than the last couple weeks,” said senior quarterback Sefo Liufau, who threw for three touchdowns and rushed for another.
“Ultimately it comes down to me,” he added. “I am not the only one out there always making plays but I have a good opportunity to put us in the right place to let the playmakers go make plays.”
With two of the Buffs' offensive linemen sidelined due to injury, Liufau was pressured often and sacked twice on Saturday night. He has also been active as a runner, with a total of 30 rushing attempts the last two games.
“My body is a little sore but if this is the last year that I would ever play football and I had to give everything, I'd give everything for this team,” Liufau said. “If I am done because I am beat up after this year, then so be it because these guys are brothers to me and I think we have something really special going on. … If you are scared to take a hit, then football is probably not the sport for you.”
The Wildcats had three drives end with missed field goals by Josh Pollack. Arizona also had 143 penalty yards on 13 flags, many at crucial times.
"Those are killers," Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "It's hard for us to stop somebody and we finally stop them, to give them a first down on a penalty with poor technique. You're not a good football team when you do those things and you don't give yourself a chance to beat anybody."
Phillip Lindsay ran for 119 yards and three touchdowns, helping the Buffaloes to their best start since the 2001 squad also opened 8-2. Colorado will return home to take on Washington State, who also improved to 8-2 on Saturday with a 56-21 win over Cal.
“We're rolling right now. It is a fun and exciting feeling. But we are nowhere where we want to be,” Lindsay said. “It is going to be a tough stretch (versus Washington State and Utah) but the good thing is we get to be in our home state, [with our] home crowd. It is going to be electrifying and it is going to be a show now.”
Colorado remains in sole possession of first place in its division, half a game ahead of USC, which upset Washington on the road Saturday and owns a tie-breaker advantage over the Buffs.