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Arizona vs. Colorado: Five Buffaloes to know

The Buffs boast one of the nation's best receivers

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After taking down the Oregon State Beavers, the Arizona Wildcats will now head to Boulder to take on the Colorado Buffaloes. As always, here are five opposing players to watch for this Saturday.

Nelson Spruce, WR, #22

Plain and simple, Nelson Spruce is Colorado's best and most consistent player. He's recorded 37 catches for 440 yards this year, and has had at least five catches and 60 yards in every single game this season. Last season he had nearly 1,200 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns, and against the Wildcats he had 9 catches for 89 yards. He's not the greatest athlete in the world, but he's a tremendous route-runner and has exceptional hands. Apparently he didn't drop a single pass last season despite being targeted 160+ times.

His stellar plays has led him to be named as a candidate for the Biletnikoff (the nation's best receiver) and Maxwell (the nation's best player) Awards, and he was also a unanimous preseason All-Pac-12 First-Team selection by numerous publications. In other words, Arizona is going to have their hands full trying to cover this guy this weekend.

Sefo Liufau, QB, #13

The man throwing Spruce the ball is Sefo Liufau. All things considered, Liufau had a tremendous sophomore season in 2014. He completed 65% of his passes and accumulated 3,200 passing yards with a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 28 to 15. He has regressed a bit this season, however, as he's only completed 59.8% of his passes with a TD-to-INT ratio of 6 to 3. It has led to some talk of Liufau possibly being benched, but as of now, he's still Colorado's starter. And that's probably a smart decision. According to, Liufau has been the Pac-12's third best quarterback this season behind only Jared Goff and Kevin Hogan (Anu Solomon is fourth).

Against Arizona last season, Liufau went 24-33 for 252 yards and a touchdown, though he did throw two interceptions as well. So despite Liufau's struggles this season, he's just as dangerous as any other QB in the Pac-12. The Wildcats better not take him lightly.

Phillip Lindsay, RB, #23

So we know the Buffaloes have the talent to move the ball through the air, but their ground game isn't bad either. While they have a trio of running backs that they use -- three of their running backs have more than 40 carries and 200 rushing yards -- I listed Lindsay here because not only is he the team's leading rusher (328 yards) and leader in yards from scrimmage (452), but he also had quite the game against the Wildcats last year when he ran for 114 yards on just 17 carries. Arizona's defense has been susceptible to the run this season, and Lindsay has proven that he can take advantage of that.

Chidobe Awuzie, CB, #4

Colorado's defense is ranked in the bottom half of the Pac-12, but they do have some talented players in their secondary. One of them is Chidobe Awuzie. The junior has played cornerback this season, but has experience in every secondary position. He leads the team in tackles (35), tackles for loss (5), and is tied for the team lead in sacks (2). He also is second on the team in passes defended (4) and is one of seven Buffaloes to have an interception this year.

Kenneth Crawley, CB, #2

While Awuzie is the left cornerback, Kenneth Crawley, another talented member of the secondary, is the right cornerback. He's a "long" corner, which helps him disrupts the passing game. He leads the team in passes defended (6), and also has an interception this year, along with 1.5 sacks. He's tied for second on the team in tackles (30) too. Against the Wildcats last year, Crawley broke up two passes, and it'll be interesting to see this Colorado secondary matchup against Arizona's deep and talented receiver group once again.