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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football: Colorado Buffaloes look to continue rolling versus Wildcats

Alex McIntyre
Arizona wide receiver Trey Griffey (5) misses a catch while playing against Stanford at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29. The Wildcats lost to the Cardinal 34-10.

The Arizona Wildcats football team welcomes No. 16 Colorado to Arizona Stadium tonight at 8. 

At 2-7, Arizona has been eliminated from earning a bowl berth but still has three games remaining. The WIldcats are coming off and looking to rebound from a huge loss to Washington State in Pullman last weekend.

“There is no excuse from that poor performance, but you have to look at it and learn from it,” said head coach Rich Rodriguez. “There [are] a lot of young guys that are playing that need to learn from it and as coaches we need to learn ourselves,” he added.

Colorado is coming into this match at 7-2 with a 5-1 Pac-12 Conference record and the Buffaloes are in sole position of first place in the Pac-12 South.

Colorado’s calling card this season is defense, and the Buffaloes have taken the Pac-12 by storm. The defense is the second stingiest in the conference, allowing just 155 points (17.2 per game), only 2 points more than Washington.

Linebacker Kenneth Olugbode anchors the team with a league-leading 93 tackles to go with two sacks and two fumble recoveries. Linebacker Jimmie Gilbert anchors the pass rush with seven sacks to go with 36 tackles and nine tackles for losses.

“They are always in the right spot and you can tell they have played a lot of football,” Rodriguez said. “They are aggressive and tackle extremely well and they are playing with a lot of confidence.”

Colorado’s offense is led by quarterback Sefo Liufau who is 110-for-165 for 1,322 yards and seven touchdowns to two interceptions. Liufau has also contributed on the ground, running 85 times for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Phillip Lindsay paces the rushing attack with 818 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 5.7 yards per carry.

Arizona’s offense is still implementing the platoon system at quarterback, with Brandon Dawkins and Anu Solomon splitting time.

Dawkins has thrown for 1,055 yards and six touchdowns while adding 597 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. Solomon has seen action in three games and has thrown for 335 yards and one touchdown to two interceptions.

“We will keep working with Solomon and Dawkins, I think we will still play both of them,” Rodriguez said. “There is no set thing and we will see how they will practice but we have to get productive play out of it.”

Due to injuries to Nick Wilson and J.J. Taylor, converted wide receiver Samajie Grant gets the start at running back. He has carried the ball 27 times for 141 yards while catching 20 passes for 249 yards.

Shun Brown leads Arizona in all receiving categories with 25 catches for 406 yards and three touchdowns.

Arizona travels to Corvallis, Oregon, next weekend, to take on another 2-7 team in Oregon State. After that is the season finale against ASU on November 25. ASU is 5-4, so if the Sun Devils were to drop their next two games, Arizona would decide their bowl fate.

Tonight’s kickoff against Colorado is slated for 8 p.m. in Arizona Stadium and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.

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