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Arizona vs. Colorado: First look at the Buffaloes

The first weekend of October in Boulder means an afternoon kickoff

arizona-wildcats-colorado-buffaloes-first-look-preview-montez-tucker-shenault Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona heads into its first Pac-12 road game riding a three-game win streak which includes a 1-0 start to conference play. This road-trip will be the Wildcats’ first since Hawaii in Week 0, when they lost 45-38.

Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 5, at 1:30 pm PT. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

Here’s a quick look at the Buffaloes:

2019 Record: 3-1 (1-0)

  • Week 1 win vs Colorado State (52-31)
  • Week 2 win vs Nebraska (34-31, OT)
  • Week 3 loss vs. Air Force (30-23, OT)
  • Week 4 win vs. Arizona State (34-31)

Key Offensive Players: Steven Montez (QB), Tony Brown (WR), Lasviska Shenault Jr. (WR), Alex Fontenot (RB), Tim Lynott (Center)

Key Defensive Players: Nate Landman (LB), Davion Taylor (LB), Delrick Abrams Jr. (CB), Mikial Onu (Safety)

First-year head coach Mel Tucker has the Buffaloes off to a strong start in 2019. Colorado is coming off a bye week, but before that it started conference play by beating ASU in Tempe.

Senior quarterback Steven Montez has been a big reason for this successful start. He has registered 1,164 passing yards and nine touchdowns while completing 67.2 percent of his passes.

If you followed Colorado at all last year, you’ll likely recognize the name Laviska Shenault Jr. The junior wide receiver was torching defenses early last year before suffering an injury which basically derailed his and the team’s season.

He is back this year but left the ASU game early and his status for Saturday is unknown. Luckily, the Buffaloes have managed without in large part to the performance of Tony Brown. He leads the team in receptions (19), receiving yards (301) and touchdowns (four).

The offense has been very balanced between the running and passing attacks. As a result, running back Alex Fontenot has recorded 298 yards with four rushing touchdowns and has added another 40 yards on eight receptions.

The offensive line has been solid as well behind center Tim Lynott. Through four games, the group has only allowed five sacks. It also helps Montez has the ability to escape if the pocket is collapsing.

Defensively, the biggest name to know is linebacker Nate Landman. He leads the team in total tackles with 41, which is 13 more than the second-leading tackler in safety Mikial Onu.

As a team, the Buffaloes rank 117th in total defense by allowing 466.5 yards per game. For scoring defense, they’re ranked 96th by allowing 30.8 points per game.

In the two games Khalil Tate has played against Colorado, he has posted video-game numbers with 846 yards of total offense and 10 total touchdowns.

Assuming he’s healthy, and given Colorado’s current defensive ranks, it’s probably safe to assume he keep it rolling against them.

The winner of this game will sit alone at the top of the Pac-12 South. If Tate and J.J. Taylor are healthy, the Wildcats will have a strong shot at starting conference play 2-0 and extending their win streak to four.