The unbeaten Colorado tries to proceed in opposition to Arizona – Republic World
Colorado Senior Wide Receiver K.D. Nixon enjoys the Buffaloes' 3-0 start to the season and the relevance for the Pac-12 race.
He's also there long enough to know that this is not the time to get comfortable. Especially in 2020.
Colorado will face winless Arizona (0-3) on Saturday in a matchup that looks very favorable for the Buffaloes. But Dixon cited the COVID-19 virus and memories of his second season – when Colorado started 5-0 and then lost the next seven games – as two big reasons he's not celebrating yet.
"Since you know it can take any week, you need to stay focused," said Nixon. “You can never get too happy or too complacent. We'll just keep pushing, not even worrying about a bowl game or a Pac-12 championship, and pushing for 1-0 every week. "
Arizona suffered a 27-10 defeat by UCLA, which was a difficult game from the start. Quarterback Grant Gunnell injured his shoulder in the first game of scrimmage, and freshman Will Plummer had to take the lead for the rest of his game. Plummer completed 17 of 35 passes for 151 yards and threw two interceptions. He also ran 49 meters.
Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin said he wasn't sure Gunnell would play on Saturday. Sumlin said Plummer did a good job against UCLA that he was confident in both quarterback against Colorado.
"For a man who has never played at this level it was a pretty good feat to go out there and do what he did," said Sumlin. "Could it have been better? Yes. There were mistakes he made." but he played with his legs. "
First year Colorado coach Karl Dorrell said he's trying to make sure his team doesn't underestimate the Wildcats.
"It's easy to fall into this trap," said Dorrell. “You can see that they are 3-0, but they can be very explosive offensive. They have good skill players. "
Colorado is one of two remaining undefeated teams in the Pac-12 West alongside USC. The Trojans have half a lead in the division because they are 3-0 in the conference and the Buffalo 2-0.
Colorado's game against USC on November 28 has been postponed due to virus problems in the USC program. The Buffaloes found a substitute game against San Diego State and won 20-10. Colorado is the only Pac-12 program to play a non-conference opponent this season.
Despite the strange circumstances of 2020, Dorrell feels like in a good place for his program.
"I like where we go," said Dorrell. “The next few games are really important, all of which are known to be important, but we're in a pretty good position at the conference. We have to run our own business. "
SUCCESS VS. THE BUFFALOS
Arizona's Sumlin leads the program in its third season and has set a mediocre 9:18 record during that time, but some of his successes can be seen against Colorado.
The Wildcats have a 2-0 record against the Buffaloes during Sumlin's tenure, including a 42:34 win in 2018 and a 35:30 win last season. Arizona could use a good mojo: the program has lost a total of 10 straight games dating back to last season.
The Buffaloes have scored in their first three games in all 12 quarters. This is the first time since 1998. Quarterback Sam Noyer has completed 62% of his passes for 650 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in three games. He has also completed four touchdowns. Jarek Broussard leads the team with 432 yards.
A big reason Arizona started 3-0 is the inability to stop the run. The opponents ran 229 yards per game in the three defeats.
UCLA were the youngest team to take advantage of the game, running 281 yards in the 27:10 win. Sumlin said his defensive staff did a good job at halftime keeping the Bruins at seven points in the second half, but the damage had been done.
"We've missed too many tackles, that's work in progress," said Sumlin.
Image credit: AP
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