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Keola Antolin could finally have a big game against Colorado

Keola Antolin (Sr. RB)

If there's any time in which Arizona Wildcats running back Keola Antolin could have a breakout game this season, Saturday's contest against the Colorado Buffaloes would be it.

He's yet to have a 100-yard outing this season, but no matter how limited he is with a young offensive line and no matter how you might think Ka'Deem Carey should be the Wildcats' every-down back, Antolin will get his touches against the Buffs.

And Antolin needs a big game against the 117th best scoring defense in the country. Colorado gives up 191 yards per game on the ground, and there's little doubt that UA interim head coach Tim Kish will be keeping Antolin in mind.

Check out Keola Antolin's player profile.

The senior has had it tough this year, and the expectations have been a little too high on him the last two seasons, especially with former Wildcat Nic Grigsby showing that -- injuries aside -- a running back can have big numbers in the Wildcats' spread offense.

So far, Antolin has only run for 449 yards this season. Though his 4.9 average isn't too shabby, the Wildcats have often found themselves down early and throughout their ballgames, taking away opportunities for Antolin and crew to get more touches.

That shouldn't be the case on Saturday. This game might be one of Antolin's last chances at putting on a show, and with an iffy Colorado offense unlikely to put up a lot of points, expect him to get the ball early and often.

Time of possession should, theoretically, be in Arizona's control. The Buffs haven't just struggled on defense -- on offense they are the 112th best scoring team themselves.

Arizona will, finally, have a good shot at keeping the opposition from scoring in the first quarter.

You wouldn't know it by watching the Wildcats this season, but Antolin has been somewhat explosive. He has runs of 15 yards or more in six of Arizona's nine games this season -- it's often been a matter of getting few touches. The 5-foot-8, 195-pound back has gotten double-digit touches only four times this year.

Just as Arizona did three games ago against UCLA, look for quarterback Nick Foles to be involved in the play-calling early, and if you remember, Foles went to the running backs early in the first two possessions of that game.

He called running plays on the first and third plays of both those drives. In the wishbone offense with three backs, Arizona had four runs of 10 or more yards in those two touchdown scoring drives. I expect that Colorado will have seen that film but don't be surprised if the Wildcats go with similar sets anyway.

If the Buffaloes are struggling like they've been all season, Antolin running behind Taimi Tutogi in that wishbone set can only mean good things.

There's no excuse not to use a heavy mix of run on Saturday. If Arizona handles its business, it should be a win simply because of the difference in offensive production between the Wildcats and Buffaloes.

Keola Antolin will have much to do with that. 

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