Last November 10th, B.J. Denker got his first career start as the Wildcats QB after Matt Scott suffered a concussion the week before. What a lot of fans apparently overlooked coming into this year was that Denker did actually complete 12 of his 14 pass attempts for 136 yards that day.
But Ka'Deem stole the show, and that definitely is weighing on new Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre's mind heading into this week's meeting at Folsom Field.
During the weekly Pac-12 coach's teleconference, MacIntyre said that Carey gives him fits when studying the Wildcats on film. "I get a headache watching him on film."
So how has Colorado changed? Well, Rich Rodriguez thinks that they'll be tougher defensively this year.
"They're a little more experienced, a little bigger, a little more physical. They're playing better. The new staff has done a nice job of creating a new atmosphere it seems like."
Only three players listed as defensive starters on the Colorado depth chart are underclassmen (DT Josh Tupou, MLB Addison Gillam, CB Kenneth Crawley). Their linebackers are decently-sized, all listed at 220 or 225 pounds, but they struggled against Arizona State two weeks ago. The Sun Devils were able to put up 276 yards on 58 rushing attempts.
Addison Gillam leads the team far and away in tackles. The freshman linebacker has accounted for 67 total tackles this year. Derrick Webb is the second-highest tackler, but trails Gillam by 25 tackles (42 this year).
The Buffs' secondary is definitely taller than the Arizona receivers. But, Colorado comes into this game ranked 104th out of 123 teams in FBS in passing yards allowed. Their rushing defense is 78th in the country.
Last week against Charleston Southern, true freshman Sefo Liufau made his first collegiate start at quarterback, and Michael Adkins, also a true freshman, made his first start at running back. Liufau came in late in the first quarter of the ASU game, so he basically has two full games under his belt. So far, he's gone 32-for-46 with 367 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs.
Colorado's leading receiver is Paul Richardson, who has already picked up 782 receiving yards this season, good for ninth-most in the country. Those numbers give Richardson 130 yards per game (4th in the nation). By comparison, Arizona's leading receiver, Nate Phillips, has 199 receiving yards this year (the entire team has 976).
Richardson is the cousin of Arizona CB Shaquille Richardson, which makes for an interesting family battle. Paul is 6-1, 170 while Shaq is 6-1, 188.
By the numbers
Statistical comparisons of the Buffs and Cats
Arizona - 431.2 YPG - 54th
Colorado - 382 YPG - 82nd
Arizona - 369.2 YPG - 41st
Colorado - 443 YPG - 96th
Arizona - 162.7 YPG - 111th
Colorado - 255.7 YPG - 47th
Arizona - 268.5 YPG - 13th
Colorado - 126.3 YPG - 102nd
Arizona - 199.5 YPG - 21st
Colorado - 268.5 YPG - 104th
Arizona - 169.7 YPG - 73rd
Colorado - 174.5 YPG - 78th
Points per game
Arizona - 35 PPG - 37th
Colorado - 28 PPG - 77th
Arizona - 19.8 PPG - 21st
Colorado - 36 PPG - 107th
Colorado's head coach is in his first year at CU after spending the last three years as San Jose State's head man. Last year, SJSU went 12-1, the first time the Spartans had a ten-win season since 1987. 16 players from last year's team earned All-WAC honors.
MacIntyre's definitely a defensive-minded coach, spending nine total years as a defensive coordinator in college football (Davidson, UT-Martin, Temple and Duke), and another five years as a defensive backs coach in the NFL (Cowboys and Jets).
The Buffs own the Wildcats all-time. Colorado has an overall record of 13-2 against Arizona. The first meeting took place way back in 1931, when CU came to Tucson and defeated UA 27-7. Other than last year, the Wildcats' only win happened on September 27th, 1986 in Boulder by a score of 24-21. That was the last time the teams had met before CU joined the Pac-12 in 2011.