1. Colorado has struggled in Pac-12 play in recent years in a tough Pac-12 South. How would you compare this year's Colorado team to teams from previous years?
Jack Barsch: This team is unquestionably better than the past few years’ iterations, and anyone that says otherwise is furthering an agenda or stuck on the fact that CU hasn’t won a PAC-12 game yet. This Buffs team is better in every measurable category on defense while weathering the exact injuries that hurt the most, and while the offense has been disappointing the past three weeks, it looks to get back on track as Sefo heals up and some players come back from injury. The biggest headscratcher is Sefo’s regression from last year, but that’s question No. 2. Overall, this CU team is just a deeper team with more talent than years past, and the injuries that are hurting now (LT and LB, mainly) would’ve done more than hurt, they would’ve killed last year’s team (and you could argue they did).
2. How would you rate quarterback Sefo Liufau's performance so far this year? Has he outperformed, underperformed, or met expectations?
Jack Barsch: He’s most definitely underperformed, though there is plenty of debate whether or not that rests on his injured shoulders. He’s been hurt and battered this year, and the offensive line struggles and the seeming unwillingness to scheme for the run game and the quick pass doesn’t help much. Liufau has missed some wide open throws this year, and doesn’t have as great of a command of the offense as we as fans would expect. I think it’s only a matter of time before he gets back in rhythm, and if it happens to be this week, all of us would be very happy. He needs to start doing well for this time to win more games.
3. Outside of the obvious candidate (Nelson Spruce), what Colorado players have the potential to do damage against Arizona?
Jack Barsch: Offensively, Shay Fields, the 2nd receiver, did very well against ASU and Oregon, and he should continue his good play in conference play through this week. He has the speed to beat you deep and the craftiness to get some chunk plays. For the love of all that is holy, I hope CU gets the middle of the field involved more as the season goes on, so for pure hopefulness, I hope Dylan Keeney, the pass-catching TE, and George Frazier, the biggest Swiss army knife in the world, get some play. Also look for Patrick Carr to break some big ones. But the biggest name heading into this week is Phillip Lindsay. He has made the most of his opportunities, emerged as a vocal leader as a sophomore, and has fans clamoring for him to get more touches. FEED THE BIG LITTLE MAN!
4. What is your prediction for this game?
Jack Barsch: I’ve been accurate so far in conference play, so I hope I keep that streak going. However irrational this is, and I know it’s irrational, I think the Buffs get back on track on Saturday and win their first conference game in 14 tries. Man, that was sad to type out. This program needs a win badly, and the Wildcats are getting a pissed team. Please win, Buffs.
Thanks to Jack for taking the time to answer our questions! You can follow him on Twitter at @JackBarsch, and for more coverage of this game from the Colorado side of the ball, be sure to check out the Ralphie Report.