3 ways Arizona will beat Colorado, 3 ways the Wildcats will lose
3 ways UA will win
If you’re reading this, then you’re probably well aware that UA running back Ka’Deem Carey had a record-breaking day last year against Colorado.
Carey, of course, had 366 yards against the Buffaloes in 2012, plus five touchdowns and 34 yards receiving.
Last year Carey ran for 204 yards at Utah a week after his 366 against Colorado. Then last week the All-American ran for 234 against UU, including runs of 30 and 44 yards. It looks like he is due for at least 200 yards on Saturday.
Carey, who has a streak of nine games in a row of rushing for 100 yards and leads the nation in rushing, is playing the best he has all year.
B.J. strikes back?
Beleaguered senior quarterback B.J. Denker isn’t generally on this side of the “Three Ways,” but he could be due for a big game against a team he’s had success against in the past.
Last year, in his first NCAA start, Denker fumbled on the first play, leading to a Colorado touchdown — but his fortunes improved.
He ran for 44 yards against the Buffaloes and passed for 136, completing 12-of-14 passes. He even had a 214.5 quarterback rating, the best of any UA quarterback in 2012 — even Matt Scott, who is cashing NFL checks now — or maybe he has direct deposit?
Colorado the cupcake
Colorado is improved this year, but the team is still not the same caliber as Washington or USC.
Arizona stands at 4-2, but its two losses were at Washington in the rain and at USC in the Trojans’ first game without former head coach Lane Kiffin. Basically, the Wildcats beat the teams they were supposed to and lost to the teams they were expected to.
At 3-3, CU has already tripled its 2012 win total, but two of those wins were against FCS teams. It was allowed to play a second team from the lower division because its game against Fresno State was canceled due to the Boulder, Colo., floods.
—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520
3 ways UA will lose
Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey set a record against Colorado last year with 366 rushing yards and five touchdowns. It would make sense Carey wants to repeat himself this year, but it would also make sense that the Buffaloes want to stampede him.
It hurts giving up that many yards to one person, and the Colorado defense will make sure to avoid that embarrassment. The Buffaloes may be at the bottom of the Pac-12 South, but the Colorado red-zone defense is No. 4 in the conference, at 78.8 percent compared to Arizona’s 91.7 percent, which is 11th.
Carey might be hungry, but Colorado sure does not want the guy in its end zone. Or on the field at all, really.
Let it pass
Arizona is at the bottom of the Pac-12 in pass efficiency, with 115.7. That means every team in the conference can pass better than the Wildcats, or should I say senior quarterback B.J. Denker — especially Colorado, who ranks eighth in the Pac-12 with 130.4 pass efficiency.
Buffalo junior quarterback Connor Wood was demoted in favor of true freshman Sefo Liufau, and still has better numbers than Denker. Wood has completed 82-for-154 and seven interceptions, Denker has completed 91-for-164 and two interceptions and Liufau was 14-for-20 in his first start last week against Charleston Southern.
The other Richardson
Arizona senior cornerback Shaquille Richardson has some big competition this weekend in his own cousin, Colorado’s star junior wide receiver Paul Richardson.
Paul and Shaquille Richardson spent their childhoods competing against each other on and off the field. Though Shaquille Richardson is a potential NFL draft pick, Paul Richardson happens to be fourth in the nation with 130.3 receiving yards per game.
It will be quite the battle for the Wildcats, as long as their defense can keep a close eye on these two friendly rivals.
— Follow Megan Coghlan @MeganCoghlan