Continuing the look at UCLA’s 2016 schedule, here is a breakdown of the Bruins’ ninth opponent, Colorado.
UCLA at Colorado
Thurs., Nov. 3 | Folsom Field
6 p.m., PT FOX Sports 1
2015 in review
Colorado again labored at the bottom of the Pac-12 South with its only conference win coming against lowly Oregon State. The Buffaloes (4-9, 1-8 Pac-12) haven’t won two games in the Pac-12 since their first year in the league and have never finished better than in a tie for fifth place. Against Colorado last year, the Bruins held on for an ugly 35-31 win, despite mounting injuries.
— Time to get out of the cellar? It’s been more than a decade since Colorado had a winning record (2005). The Buffaloes haven’t played in a bowl game since 2007. They’re still far from contending for a division title in the Pac-12 South, but when will Colorado even start challenging for anything besides last place? Head coach Mike MacIntyre has won two conference games in three years. Heading into the coach’s fourth year at the helm with experience on both sides of the ball, the Buffs are hoping they can take at least a small step forward.
— Seasoned veterans Colorado has the more returning starters than any other Pac-12 team. The Buffaloes have nine on offense, nine on defense and return both their punter and place kicker. They have the most experienced starting quarterback in the conference in Sefo Liufau. We’ll see how many wins experience alone earns for the Buffs.
— No fly zone Led by cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, the Colorado secondary was the team’s best defensive unit last year. The Buffaloes were second in the conference in passing yards allowed per game (218.2) and fourth in pass defense efficiency (123.8).
Colorado players to watch
— QB Sefo Liufau The senior quarterback is coming off a Lisfranc injury that cut his junior year short. He was limited during spring camp, but proclaimed he is healthy for fall camp. He has a slew of Colorado records, but has yet to prove himself a winner. He’s already the school leader in total offensive yards (7,842) and pass completions (688) and is only 13 yards away from taking the school’s career passing yards record.
— CB Chidobe Awuzie The star cornerback was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection last year and the first defensive back to ever lead Colorado in tackles for loss (13). He played a team-high 897 snaps on defense in 2015. The junior is on the watch list for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given to the nation’s top defensive back.
— WR Shay Fields Without Nelson Spruce, Colorado is looking for a new No. 1 receiver. Fields, a former high-school teammate of UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Jaleel Wadood, could emerge as Liufau’s favorite target this year. The junior was second on the team in receptions (42) and receiving yards (598) and tied for the team lead in touchdowns (four) last year.
Colorado in GIF form
2016 UCLA schedule
Sat., Sept. 3: UCLA at Texas A&M — 12:30 p.m., CBS
Sat., Sept. 10: UNLV at UCLA — 5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks
Sat., Sept. 17: UCLA at BYU — 7:15 p.m., ESPN or ESPN2
Sat., Sept. 24: Stanford at UCLA
Sat., Oct. 1: Arizona at UCLA
Sat., Oct. 8: UCLA at Arizona State
Sat., Oct. 15: UCLA at Washington State
Sat., Oct 22: Utah at UCLA
Sat., Oct. 28: BYE
Thurs., Nov. 3: UCLA at Colorado — 6 p.m., FOX Sports 1
Sat., Nov. 12: Oregon State at UCLA
Sat., Nov. 19: USC at UCLA
Sat., Nov. 26: UCLA at California
Home games in bold, all times in Pacific Time