Know Your Opponent: UCLA vs Colorado


After a rough 2-2 start to the conference schedule, UCLA gets back to back games against the two worst teams in the Pac-12. The Colorado Buffaloes visit the Rose Bowl this Halloweeen and UCLA hopes to keep the momentum from last weeks victory over Cal building towards the end of the season. Here is your Colorado Preview!

Match-up History

UCLA is 8-2-0 against Colorado lifetime, and has one the last four in the series. Colorado’s victory over Oregon State last weekend broke a 14 game conference losing streak for the Buffs that dates back to Nov. 16, 2013 (against Cal). The Buffaloes almost broke the streak last year against the Bruins in a 40-37 double OT loss. The Bruins jumped out to a 17-0 lead and led 34-17 heading into the 4th quarter, but Colorado scored 17 straight points to send the game into overtime. UCLA needed a Brett Hundley TD run to win the game in the second overtime.

"Did You Know This About the Buffs:"

Colorado Offense

Junior quarterback Sefo Liufau has had an up and down career as a Buffalo, and many thought he would take a big step forward in 2015. He has had some big games this year (389 yards against ASU and 339 against Arizona in back to back games), but he has also put up bad numbers in multiple games (under 170 yards against Hawaii, UMass and Oregon State). For such a big body (6-4, 235) Liufau moves pretty well and seems like he would be a good runner, but he doesn’t do it much.

However, he rushed for 44 yards against Oregon State last week, and and he already has 5 touchdown runs on the season. UCLA should expect to see him test them in light of the Bruins struggles with quarterback runs this year. Also, if Colorado ends up in a lot of short yardage situations, expect Liufau to get a good chunk of the action.

When Liufau does air it out, he has two very worthy targets in Nelson Spruce and Shay Fields. Spruce is already Colorado’s all-time leading receiver (receptions and yards) and he only needs four receptions to break the Pac-12 reception record (259) held by Arizona’s Mike Thomas. Fields missed the game against Oregon State and is extremely iffy for this Saturday. If he does play, he is a local LA kid, he had back to back 100 yard reception efforts against the Arizona schools, and he is a deep threat for the Buffaloes.

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Without Fields on the field, Colorado will have trouble getting big chunks of yardage. Fields caught passes of 67 and 72 yards against the Arizona schools.

Without him against Oregon State, the Buffs did not have an offensive play of 25+ yards. The Colorado rushing game is a true committee effort.  After leading rusher Michael Adkins II went down with an injury against Colorado State, Phillip Lindsay has led the Buffalo ground game with 96 attempts and 465 yards (4.84 yards/carry). Colorado had some huge rushing games in the non-conference schedule, but until the 188 yard effort against Oregon State last week, the Buffaloes were held to 85 rushing yards per game and under 3 yards per carry in their first three Pac-12 Games. Like UCLA, Colorado has been stung by recent offensive line injuries. With all that in mind, quarterback Liufau is most likely the Buffs most dangerous runner.

"Did You Know This About Colorado’s Defense:Leavitt’s defense has given up 104 fewer pts (and picked off seven more passes) than last year’s Kent Baer led defense had thru eight games. — Adam Munsterteiger (@adamcm777) October 29, 2015"

Colorado defense

Colorado has a new defensive coordinator this in Jim Leavitt, and although the Buffalo’s defense has played better so far this year, they have still struggled in many areas. Colorado has already given up 23 plays of 30+ yards (11th in the Pac-12). They held the lowly Oregon State offense to 13 points and no big plays last week, but they gave up over 42 points a game in their other three conference games. They are also the worst defense in the Pac-12 against the run (even worse than the Bruins), and they have given up 270 rushing yards per game against conference teams.

The talent level of the Buffaloes still isn’t up to par with the rest of the Pac-12 South. As a result, expect to see a lot of blitzing from the Buffaloes in an effort to manufacture pressure. Colorado’s best defensive player is defensive back Chidobe Awuzie. He is the team’s best coverage back, and he also leads the team in sacks and tackles for loss.


If UCLA plays anything like they did last week against Cal, they should cruise to victory. Colorado doesn’t have the offensive firepower to challenge UCLA on the ground and the Colorado defense won’t be able to stop all the weapons that Josh Rosen and Noel Mazzone have at their disposal. The only thing that will stop UCLA will be another bout with complacency.

If the Bruins get out to a big lead, it would be wise for them to remember last years comeback by the Buffaloes. Otherwise, this should be a game that allows some of the injured Bruins to get some rest, and a game that gives some of the Bruins younger players a chance to get more experience.


UCLA 35 Colorado 13

Go Bruins!