Arizona's tempo and scheme made it hard to predict Colorado's defense would have any sort of success on Saturday. Had the Buffaloes baited Arizona into passing the ball often like the UCLA Bruins did, perhaps the Wildcats would have been in trouble.
Instead, it went as expected with the Wildcats pulling away to win 38-20 on homecoming weekend. Colorado put together a valiant fight, but a close game turned on the Buffs late as a run-heavy UA offense wore on a young and depthless defense.
Anu Solomon rushed for 105 yards on 12 carries and Nick Wilson got hot late to finished with 153 yards on 21 totes.
It didn't mean it was pretty. The Wildcats couldn't gain traction for most of the first three quarters, but the defense came through by forcing turnovers and giving the offense confidence once it had followed through with points.
Corner problems: Colorado and Sefo Liufau weren't shy on the first play from scrimmage, throwing a bomb to Shay Fields for an 80-yard touchdown on a post pattern. The coverage wasn't seemingly blown. Rather, freshman corner Cam Denson, making the start, was simply burned by Fields. Denson later on found himself on the ugly end of a play while trying to tackle much larger CU running back Christian Powell.
It's the Holiday season: A very thin cornerback group saw Denson start in place of Jarvis McCall, who was held out with a recovering shoulder injury. Denson was pulled in the fourth quarter for Devin Holiday, who has battled injuries and inconsistencies despite coming in last year with a lot of hype. It took just a few throws his way for Holliday to pick off a Liufau pass -- credit some pressure in the backfield as well.
Getting on the board the hard way: Arizona's offense looked as stumped as it was a week earlier against a more heralded Bruins defense. Tra'Mayne Bondurant, as usual, found himself in the right place at the right time, picking up a fumble from Liufau -- credit Anthony Lopez with the hit and forced fumble -- and scoring a 7-yard score toward the end of the first quarter to tie it at 7-7.
All three of Arizona's touchdowns in the first half came off CU turnovers and helped them take a 21-17 halftime lead. Also in that first half, Liufau lost another ball to help a short, 31-yard Arizona drive. Before halftime, Jourdon Grandon made a diving interception to set up a late score for the Wildcats.
A little more rhythm: Solomon looked to run a little more aggressively this week. His biggest play, a 48-yard run, came when a snap went well over hishead. He also looked more aware in running with the ball when he was dropped back in the pocket. The redshirt freshman finished with 211 yards by completing 21-of-38 passes.