Buffs Vs. Bruins: Quick Facts and Figures
Isaiah J. Downing – USA TODAY Sports
CU’s defense has forced five fumbles this season.
Neill Woelk, editor
COLORADO BUFFALO (0-3, 0-0 Pac-12)
vs. UCLA BRUINS (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12)
ROCK — Karl DorrelThe Colorado Buffaloes need to be successful.
After an 0-3 start to the season in non-conference play, the Buffs get that chance on Saturday when they open their Pac-12 schedule against UCLA — a Colorado team have beaten the last three times the Bruins have been to Boulder .
The home side have won the last seven games between the two programs. Colorado had a chance last year to snap that streak, taking a 20-7 lead at the Rose Bowl, only to see the Bruins rack up an unanswered 37 points and win on the road, 44-20. Quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson threw for 257 yards and rushed for 98 in the game while Zach Charbonnet rushed for 67 yards and three touchdowns.
Thompson-Robinson and Charbonnet are back this year for UCLA and the Bruins have no problem putting numbers on the scoreboard, averaging over 40 points per game.
The Buffs, meanwhile, are still trying to extricate themselves from an attacking funk that dates back to last season. CU is averaging just 10 points per game (129th in the nation) and has scored just three touchdowns in three games — and just one in the first half.
It’s an issue the Buffs have been focusing on for the past week, as Dorrell and his team have made getting a quick start a priority.
Dorrell did not publicly announce his starting quarterback this week. Brendon Lewis started Colorado’s opener with J.T. Shout receive the call within the last two weeks. The two took snaps with the No. 1 offense this week in practice, but Dorrell said CU also worked as a real freshman Owen McCown in the rotation – and any of the three could get the starting call against the Bruins.
TO START UP: 12:01 a.m. Folsom Ground (50,183)
TV, RADIO: The radio show will air on KOA (850 AM, 94.1 FM) with Voice of the Buffs Mark Johnson and Gary Barnett in the pit and Andy Lindahl on the sidelines. KOA coverage begins at noon with the pregame show. The Pac-12 network will air the telecast with Roxy Bernstein and Lincoln Kennedy in the booth.
ON THE INTERNET: The game can be heard on the Internet at CUBuffs.com, and www.850koa.com in the Denver-Boulder metropolitan area. Live stats will also be available on CUBuffs.com.
THE COACHES: Colorado head coach Karl Dorrel is in his third year at the helm of the Buffs. Dorrell is 8-13 at CU and 43-40 overall as a head coach.
Chip Kelly is in his fifth season as head coach at UCLA, where he compiled a 21-25 record. He is 67-32 overall as a head coach.
Dorrell is 1-1 against UCLA (he was 0-1 against Colorado as head coach of UCLA). Kelly is 2-2 against Colorado at UCLA (4-2 overall, with two wins at Oregon).
THE SERIES: Colorado trails the all-time streak 12-5, with a 4-4 record at Boulder. The home team has won the last seven matches.
WHAT IS AT STAKE: Colorado needs a win to avoid a 0-4 start. The Buffs have won three of their last four conference openers — including two against UCLA.
LAST EXIT: The Buffs fell behind early and never recovered as they gave up a 49-7 decision to Minnesota. UCLA overcame an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat South Alabama, 32-31, on a field goal when time expired.
TEAM LEADERS: wide receiver Daniel Arias leads CU with nine catches for 124 yards. Deion Smith is the Buffs’ leading running back with 159 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. Shrout is 22 for 55 for 232 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Defensively, linebacker Quinn Perry has 29 team-leading tackles while his teammate Josh Chandler Semedo has 20 tackles, including a sack and two more stoppages for loss. Isaiah Lewis at the sole interception of CU.
Thompson-Robinson threw for 662 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. Charbonnet rushed for 189 yards and Kazmeir Allen had 16 catches for 122 yards.
DB Mo Osling leads the Bruins with 17 tackles while defensive lineman Grayson Murphy and linebacker Laiatu Latu each have two of the UCLA quarterback’s six sacks.
KEY MATCH: Colorado’s first seven against UCLA quarterback Thompson-Robinson. The Bruins veteran is making everything happen for the UCLA offense. He’s a threat to run, can extend plays outside the pocket with his feet, and isn’t error-prone. The Buffs have to find a way to disrupt it in the pocket – and make sure it doesn’t come loose when it jostles.
NEXT: The Buffs hit the road next Saturday to face Arizona in a 7:30 p.m. game in Tucson (Pac-12 Network).