The Arizona Wildcats have gone more than two years without winning a game, their last victory coming in October 2019 at Colorado. Now the UA is back on the thick grass at Folsom Field, where it has won four consecutive games.
Since that last win Arizona (0-5, 0-2 Pac-12) has dropped 17 in a row, while Colorado (1-4, 0-2) has lost four straight since a season-opening victory over Northern Colorado.
Who will take this battle for the basement in the Pac-12 South? Here’s what our staff thinks:
Gabe Encinas - Colorado wins 24-10
I have zero hope for a win this season without Jordan McCloud.
I think the team really rallied around McCloud as QB1, and felt like they had a chance to win with him has the leader. Now it feels like all the air has been sucked out of the program for this year. It looks like Gunnar Cruz has lost any confidence he had entering the season, and I’m sure that’s tough to bounce back from mentally.
I expect to see Will Plummer in the game at some point just to try and provide a spark, as we all predict the offense to inevitably sputter. I’d rather ride with Plummer from the start, but I’m just a blog boy.
Low scoring game with two bad offenses, cash those under tickets.
Ronnie Stoffle — Colorado wins 31-13
The season unofficially ended with the news of Jordan McCloud’s knee injury. Saturday will not be competitive and it’s really disappointing because this is a winnable game. Luckily basketball season is right around the corner.
Adam Green — Colorado wins 23-19
Once upon a time I was sure Arizona would beat NAU, only to have the Wildcats lose. From that point on I promised myself I would not pick them to win a game until they proved they could, in fact, win a game.
There’s a chance I’ll be able to predict a win ...next week.
Had Jordan McCloud been healthy, this game would seem exponentially more winnable. Colorado is not a good team, and for as bad as Arizona has been the Wildcats have been competitive in all but one game this season. The Buffs can’t say the same.
Colorado’s anemic offense has one real weapon, RB Jarek Broussard, and if the Cats can slow him down they should be in great shape. Of course stopping the run has been an issue, so that’s hardly a given.
Conversely, Colorado’s defense is average, not good, and an Arizona offense that’s shown a recent ability to move the ball could be expected to do the same in Boulder. But that’s where losing McCloud really, really hurts. Can Gunner Cruz re-establish himself as a capable, competent starter? If so, great, the Wildcats probably win the game. If not, the losing streak continues.
In short, if Arizona can slow the run and play a clean game, they’ll have a real good chance of ending the losing streak in the very place they earned their most recent victory. The Wildcats leaving the field victorious would not be a surprise.
But it just cannot be expected. Not yet.
Kim Doss — Arizona wins 17-14
Arizona has yet to score over 19 points this season, averaging 16.8 points per game. Colorado has done so just once—a 35-point game against Northern Colorado in their only win. The Buffs average 13.8 points per game. I’m going straight with the averages and predicting a close win by the Wildcats. There is so little that’s reliable or expected about this team beyond its tendency to struggle on offense, it’s the most logical course to follow right now.
Ezra Amacher — Colorado wins 20-12
Arizona has had trouble fully capitalizing on scoring drives this season, and I expect that trend to continue with Cruz at QB against Colorado. It would be one thing if the Wildcats could effectively run the football to set up a big play action pass or two, but up to this point they haven’t found consistency on the ground. As for the air attack, I hope Cruz comes out as assertive and accurate, but I’ll have to see it before I believe it. Colorado’s own underperforming offense will do just enough to give the Buffs the win at home.
Brian J. Pedersen — Arizona wins 23-17
The time has finally come.
Arizona has been within one score in the fourth quarter in four of five games this season, and two of the last three have seen the Wildcats be ahead at points in the first half. And not counting the NAU debacle, the combined record of their opponents is 18-4.
The record of their remaining foes is 18-20, starting with a Colorado opponent that has looked far worse in its last few games than Arizona has.
The X-factor is Gunner Cruz, and if he can be the QB we saw against BYU. But I expect the offensive gameplan to take a lot of the decision-making out of his hands and eliminating that element.
There won’t be a field storming in Boulder, but you’re welcome to rush the TV at home after this one.