Other than Cal, Arizona’s most success in recent years has come against Colorado. The Wildcats are 7-3 against the Buffaloes since they joined the Pac-12, though two of those losses have come in the past two meetings.
That includes last year’s 34-0 loss in Boulder, but those were very different teams on both sides.
This year, Colorado (0-4, 0-1 Pac-12) is among the worst teams in the country while Arizona (2-2, 0-1) has already doubled its win total from 2021. The UA is favored by 17.5 points, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, its largest spread against an FBS opponent since 2017.
Who will win this matchup? Here’s what our staff thinks:
Kim Doss — Arizona wins 42-21
Colorado scored the most points this season last week against UCLA. That high point was 17. They should do just a touch better against an Arizona defense that has had its own struggles, but not considerably.
Arizona’s offense has been doing relatively well against most opposition this season. The Wildcats have often stopped themselves with too many turnovers. Even with those issues, Arizona is putting up just under 30 points per game against far better competition than the Buffs.
There’s no excuse for this one to be close.
Ezra Amacher —Arizona wins 38-10
If there’s any remaining game on Arizona’s schedule that it must win, it’s this one. Colorado is flat out terrible and probably the worst Power 5 team in the country. The Buffaloes defense has allowed 38 or more points in each of their first four games, and none of those opponents have particularly impressive offenses. I expect Arizona’s offense to carve up Colorado with a healthy mix of passing and running plays. What will be most interesting to watch is whether Jayden de Laura is more decisive with his decisions to throw the ball or tuck it and run. de Laura might not have game-changing speed, but he’s proving to be a duel-threat option. His versatility will be on display here.
Arizona’s defense should gain some needed confidence after the horrendous performance at Cal. The Wildcats are facing an inexperienced quarterback who doesn’t have many talented skill players around him. If Colorado scores on more than two drives, it’ll be a disappointment.
Arizona wins this one comfortably.
Adam Green — Arizona wins 37-17
Last week was, shall we say, not great. Though it may have helped Arizona this week, because you have to think there’s no chance for any kind of let-down or overlooking of the Buffs after what happened over the final 30 minutes against the Bears.
If Arizona is as improved as we think we’ve seen, they should have little trouble with Colorado. The Buffaloes are quite bad and from all accounts have very little going for them. The Wildcats, on the other hand, have an offense that is capable of being as explosive as any in the country. Unlike last season where the Cats couldn’t punch the ball in with a first-and-goal from the one, this year should see Jayden de Laura guide more than enough touchdown drives to light up the scoreboard.
Conversely, Owen McCown, talented as he may be, likely doesn’t have enough experience or talent around him to keep up.
Brandon Combs — Arizona wins 49-17
I don’t believe I need to say too much here, but I just might anyway.
Arizona’s defense played horribly against Cal last week. No question. Johnny Nansen took full responsibility for that, and that is something I like. It shows true leadership. And the players take notice of that too. I believe that the defense will come out inspired against a BAD Colorado offense. The key for Nansen will be to rotate fresh players in and to get some younger players some experience.
Offensively, I expect massive production against a bad Colorado defense. Not much to say here. JdL has really settled down, for the most part, since his game against Mississippi State. After a stellar game against Cal, even with the forced INTs, JdL should come out slinging again.
I don’t think this one will be even remotely close.
Brian J. Pedersen — Arizona wins 40-20
There’s a theory that even bad offenses can score against bad defenses, and Arizona proved this a year ago by scoring 34 points (double its average) against a USC D that was last in the Pac-12.
Arizona now has a good offense, one that has proven to be hard to stop by anyone but itself. Colorado has yet to show the ability to slow an opponent down, forcing only nine punts and allowing 15 red-zone touchdowns.
The UA defense has struggled the last few weeks but has a chance to get right against a woeful CU offense. The Buffs will get enough points to hit the over, but Arizona will finish with its biggest win over a Pac-12 opponent since winning 35-14 at Oregon State in 2018.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.