This game was selected because of the importance of this matchup for the PAC-12 South. The current standings have Utah as the heir presumptive, followed by a 2-way tie for 2nd between USC and Arizona. There are only two games separation between the top and the bottom. This game could have major ramifications towards the final standings in the PAC-12 South. Entering this game, Utah has the tiebreaker over USC and Arizona.
The Arizona Wildcats come in at 3-3 in the conference and 4-5 over all. Arizona has struggled since the start of the season with new-hire Kevin Sumlin. The Wildcats boast a much better home record, 3-2, than road record. 1-3. The Wildcats are averaging 4.59 yards/rushing at home (which is actually slightly lower than on the road) but almost a full yard more per pass attempt at home for 7.6 (versus 6.9 on the road). They also have scored double the (offensive) touchdowns at home as opposed to on the road (22 at home, 11 on the road) which accounts to nearly an 11 point differential between home game and road game scoring (34.6 and 23.3 respectively). Surprisingly the Arizona Wildcats actually have a higher opponent competition percentage at home than away (62.6% to 61%), however they’ve only allowed 4 passing touchdowns at home, as opposed to 12 on the road. Their rushing defense is pretty much a constant around 4.4 yards/attempt, however they have given up 5 more rushing touchdowns at home, 11, as opposed to on the road where they’ve allowed 6.
The University of Colorado Buffaloes have a 2-3 record in the conference and 5-3 overall. The Buffaloes started the season with 5 straight wins including a rivalry game, a Big Ten matchup, and two conference rivals. However, they have lost several straight matchups, falling from a peak of 19th plummeting into oblivion since. The Buffs are averaging a full 1.5 yards/rushing attempt less on the road (3.5 yards/carry) and average 0.3 yards per carry more on the road (6.7/yards per attempt). The Buffaloes offense scores just shy of 10 points less per game on the road (27.8) versus home (36.3) and the touchdown differential is 5 touchdowns fewer on the road. The Buff also share a slightly higher opponent completion percentage on the road (~2%) but the touchdown numbers are exactly the same. One item that is definitely worthy of note is that the number of defensive interceptions is substantially higher on the road (5) than at home (2). Rushing defense however, Colorado allows a full yard more per attempt on the road than at home as well about 60 yards per game more than at home.
This game should set up nicely to showcase the talent on both sides and their opponents tend to be weaker in the opponents stronger area. For Colorado, this means that the passing game might be more open than the run game (at least in non-red zone situations) whereas the Wildcats might seek to take advantage of the Buffaloes generosity (on the road) in the running game. This ought to be a great spectator game with the game expected to involve nearly 60 points and perhaps even better, it’s expected to be a very close game!
Last Update: November 2nd, 2018