College Football
Preview
Colorado at Arizona
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 5, 2020
Where: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona

Colorado, the most surprising team in the Pac-12, will try to stay unbeaten when it travels to play Arizona on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.

Not much was expected of the Buffaloes. They entered the season with a new coach (Karl Dorrell), new quarterback (Sam Noyer won the job) and a preseason prediction of fifth place in the Pac-12 South -- just ahead of Arizona.

But while the Wildcats (0-3, 0-3 Pac-12) continue to struggle -- losing a school-record 10 consecutive games -- the Buffaloes (3-0, 2-0) surge into Saturday's game.

They have a solid running game that churns yardage and controls the clock, and Colorado possesses an overall efficient operation that has yet to fail in the red zone. Moreover, the Buffaloes have the fifth-best turnover margin nationally at plus-1.33 per game.

Jarek Broussard has been a workhorse, gaining 432 yards on 90 carries and rushing for more than 120 yards in each game. Colorado's average time of possession is 35 minutes, 11 seconds, the fourth-best mark in the country.

"We want to be a team that has the ability to run the football and has some great passing concepts," Dorrell said.

"That is the style of play that is really important for us to have. ... It is the same thing defensively. We have to be good against the run. We have to be good in coverage. We are making a number of positive changes and improvements in those areas on our defensive side. It is definitely working in that direction. We want a sound system of play."

That defense was more than sound in Saturday's 20-10 win over San Diego State. The Buffaloes allowed 155 yards and had 11 tackles for loss -- four from linebacker Carson Wells and three (all sacks) from standout linebacker Nate Landman.

It likely will remain a mystery which quarterback the Colorado defense will see.

Arizona starter Grant Gunnell suffered a shoulder injury on the first play of Saturday's 27-10 loss at UCLA and did not return. Coach Kevin Sumlin did not elaborate on Monday on Gunnell's status or the nature of the injury.

"This is college football, I don't have to (tell you)," he said.

True freshman Will Plummer stepped in for Gunnell and went 17-of-35 passing for 151 yards and two late-game interceptions that Sumlin said weren't "necessarily his fault." Plummer, whose brother Jack is a quarterback at Purdue, also ran 12 times for 49 yards.

"For a guy that has never played at this level, to go out there and do what he did, I thought it was a pretty good performance," Sumlin said.

Arizona has lacked explosive offense so far, creating just one play of more than 34 yards.

Colorado has been methodical, too -- just one play of 40-plus yards -- but has taken advantage of its opportunities. The Buffaloes are 13 for 13 in the red zone, including 11 touchdowns.

Noyer has completed 52 of 84 passing attempts for 650 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has rushed for four touchdowns.

"Everything is geared on maximizing our potential with what we have here in this building," Dorrell said. "That is the mindset the whole team understands."

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Colorado 3-0 W3 34.3 28.0 2-0 1-0 3-0 0-0 2-0
Arizona 0-3 L3 22.3 35.0 0-1 0-2 0-2 0-0 0-3
Last Meeting
Colorado Arizona
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/5/19 ARIZ 35 COLO 30 496 159 337 488 84 404
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Colorado S. Montez 66.7 299 1 0
Arizona K. Tate 75.6 404 3 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Colorado A. Fontenot 21 94 4.5 0
Arizona G. Brightwell 11 27 2.5 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Colorado T. Brown 10 141 14.1 0
Arizona C. Peterson 3 99 33.0 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Colorado T. Brown 1
Arizona N. Tilford 2
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Colorado S. Noyer 61.9 650 4 2
Arizona G. Gunnell 68.4 547 6 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Colorado J. Broussard 90 432 4.8 3
Arizona G. Brightwell 49 224 4.6 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Colorado D. Stanley 13 202 15.5 1
Arizona S. Berryhill III 18 193 10.7 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Colorado S. Noyer 4
Arizona S. Berryhill III 3
Quickchart Matchup
Colorado Colorado Off vs  Arizona Arizona Def
Colorado 409.7 yards
Arizona 460 yards
Colorado 3.7 yards/rush
Arizona 5.2 yards/rush
Colorado 7.6 yards/attempt
Arizona 7.8 yards/attempt
Arizona Arizona Off vs  Colorado Colorado Def
Arizona 358.3 yards
Colorado 343.3 yards
Arizona 3.6 yards/rush
Colorado 4.2 yards/rush
Arizona 6.3 yards/attempt
Colorado 5.7 yards/attempt