The Colorado Buffaloes travel to Tucson on Saturday as the surprise of the season in the Pac-12 South. Sitting atop the division at 7-2 (5-1 in conference play), the Buffs have stumped everyone. I can’t think of anyone who predicted them to be the the 12th-ranked team in the nation and leading the South Division. They are looking to continue their success Saturday in Tucson against a struggling Arizona Wildcats team.
Let’s take a look at five Colorado players who will look to lead their squad to another win.
Sefo Liufau, QB (#13)
2016 Stats: 110-for-165, 1,322 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT; 85 car, 260 yards, 2 TD
Liufau is a pretty solid dual-threat quarterback for the Buffs and his stats show it. He has, however, had to deal with injury issues. He left a very close game against Michigan due to a foot injury. After that, Colorado’s offense had some issues moving the ball with Steven Montez at the helm, who ended up playing solid football in the ensuing couple games.
Liufau, however, is back and playing well. Last year against the ‘Cats, Liufau did have a good showing (28-of-43 for 339 yards) and almost led the Buffs to a win (38-31). This year, he looks for redemption in Tucson.
As mentioned above, Liufau is a dual-threat. He can stay in the pocket and deliver a good ball down the field. However, if flushed out of the pocket, he can just as easily use his legs to hurt you and take off down the field. The Wildcat defense has to contain him with a spy.
Phillip Lindsay, RB (#23)
2016 Stats: 143 car, 818 yds, 10 TD; 33 rec, 303 yds, 1 TD
Lindsay is the workhorse for Colorado coming out of the backfield. He is solidly built (5-foot-8, 190 pounds) and plays extremely physical. He is a strong and smart runner and can be used to catch passes out of the backfield. His 5.7 yards per carry are a testament to his playing style.
Last year, Lindsay was a headache for the ‘Cats. He didn’t have a particularly explosive game stats-wise (23 carries, 91 yards) but he did have a very consistent game. He is an integral part of the Buffs’ offense and will play a huge role Saturday as he did last year.
Shay Fields, WR (#1)
2016 Stats: 34 rec, 602 yds, 6 TD
Fields is Colorado’s most dynamic receiver. He is a true burner and has great hands. Because of this, he is the deep and big play threat. He has smoked secondaries on a consistent basis this year. He is able to get behind the defense and snag passes for huge chunks of yards.
Last year against the ‘Cats, Fields burned the secondary for 168 yards on eight catches and two touchdowns. This year, Arizona will have to shut him down — and Devin Ross for that matter — in order to limit Liufau’s options and slow Colorado down.
Chidobe Awuzie, CB (#4)
2016 Stats: 39 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 3.0 sacks, 1 INT, 8 PBU, 2 forced fumbles
Awuzie is the stud corner for the Buffs. He is great in coverage and can even pass rush and play the run when called upon. He is the anchor in the secondary and makes plays on the ball on a consistent basis. He will look to shut down Arizona’s passing game this Saturday. If that happens, it will be another long day for the ‘Cats.
Kenneth Olugbode, ILB (#31)
2016 Stats: 93 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 2 INT, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble rec
Olugbode is a defensive stud. As a matter of fact, he is near the top of the conference in tackles. He is an effective run stopper and can even drop back and play the pass with great results for Colorado. He is going to be a challenge for the ‘Cats to handle. If the offensive line communicates, it can be done.