Here's what I know about this years Buffs squad - improved over 2012 (which wasn't a high bar to clear, we were there back in 2003). You've beaten Colorado State, and that earns you points in my book because I'm still bitter over 1994. You've got two wins over FCS teams, which normally would be something that's looked down on but given the circumstances with the flood and Fresno St. not being able to reschedule, is perfectly understandable. The Pac-12 has been trouble for you guys so far this year. You've burned a freshman's redshirt. Your offense is pass first and your yardage is 2-1 pass-run. You also don't run the quarterback at all, so it's pretty much a pocket passer offense. Paul Richardson is a monster. What's your assessment of your defense? I know the numbers are pretty bad, but even then there's usually some guys doing some good things. How do you feel about your running game? The numbers aren't high, but are you confident you can run for a first on third and three, or is it a dicey proposition? What else characterizes the Buffs this year? As for the Wildcats, this is a slightly odd year for the program. Last year we had Matt Scott and he was pretty freakin' good. This year, we have BJ Denker, who's only start last year was against... the Buffs. The quarterback competition this year was won by Denker, even though there are a lot of people who think he's not even good enough to be a D-1 QB. But that's where this year is odd, because we have Denker and then a bunch of distant seconds behind him. We have a freshman QB who looks to be the real deal but he's redshirting this year, and we also have a transfer from Texas who has to sit out a year, and he looks like he's really good. We also lost a bunch of wide receivers to injury and departures (a couple of key guys just quit, which is the wonders of a second year in a coaching regime; this happens a lot.) Our best receiver from last year tore his ACL and he's out most if not all this year. So we went from a team that could throw the ball all over the place and run it like they stole it to a team with a senior first year starter and a bunch of freshman WRs. (This is top secret, but we're gonna be running the ball a lot this week. Don't tell your coach.) Where Denker excels, however, is running the ball. He is extremely FAST. He avoids a lot of sacks just because he's able to outrun almost any pass rusher. You've all heard of Ka'Deem Carey by now, and if you haven't I'll spare you the bad news on him (hint - he may be pretty good.) Teams are keying on Carey, and that's not really stopped him this year, in large part because Denker is a serious threat to run. Denker has 327 yards and 8 TDs on the ground this year. As for passing, that was troublesome for him early on, but he's gotten better as the season progresses. He had a horrible outing against Washington (14-35 for 119 yards, 0 TDs and 2 INTs) which may have been due in part to cold, very rainy and very windy weather. Just as we were starting to panic he goes into USC and puts up 28-44 for 366 yards, 4 TDs and 0 INTs.) Something happened in the second half of that game and it was like a switch had been flipped with him. Last week against Utah he went 18-30 for 168, 1 TD 0 INT. This is more like what we expect to see, 20-30 pass attempts per game for 150-200 yards. RichRod concentrates mostly on short quick routes which makes the defense lay off the running game. He'll only throw deep 2-3 times a game. Carey is a flat out beast. He is easily the best offensive player I have ever seen at Arizona. He makes you put him on the ground and usually gets 2-3 yards on the way to the ground. He doesn't have that top gear but he explodes for the first 20 yards in the blink of an eye. Then the defense is trying to tackle a guy from behind who routinely carries tacklers for extra yards. He's a junior but expect to see him in the NFL next year. The defense is improved. But that wasn't going to be a tall order - they were near dead last in FBS in a lot of categories. Arizona was in a lot of shootouts last year (39-35 against Oregon State, 54-48 against Stanford, both losses, 39-35 against USC, 59-38 against Oklahoma State, 49-48 against Nevada, all wins) and if the defense could have gotten just one stop in some games they'd have won 10-11 games. Hell, we gave up 31 points to last year's Buffs team, which didn't help the stats. This year they seem to be understanding the scheme a lot better. They won't get to the QB much but they excel in pass coverage. They're decent against the run. They are generating a lot of turnovers. You probably won't be able to run up the middle much on them but they've had some difficulty containing guys outside the tackles. Expect the occasional blitz early and then a lot more blitzes as the game goes on. Other things - we suck on special teams and have dropped a bunch of punts this year. Don't expect the team to wear down at altitude; they're very well conditioned, more so than any Wildcat squad I've seen. We have weird uniforms. Our mascot cannot beat up yours. I don't think any Pac-12 mascot can beat up yours.