First look: No. 24 UCLA vs. Colorado

Colorado's last trip to the Rose Bowl featured this beautiful reunion between brothers Gus (left) and Sam Handler — a sight we unfortunately won't see again this year. (Michael Owen Baker/File)

Colorado’s last trip to the Rose Bowl featured this beautiful reunion between brothers Gus (left) and Sam Handler — a sight we unfortunately won’t see again this year. (Michael Owen Baker/File)

No. 24 UCLA Bruins (5-2, 2-2) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (4-4, 1-3)
Kickoff:
Saturday, Oct. 31, 12 p.m., Rose Bowl
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Roxy Bernstein, Glenn Parker, Jill Savage)
Radio: AM 570 (Bill Roth, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Scouting report: Colorado is very consistent in its mediocrity this season, ranking No. 80 nationally in both yards gained per play (5.48) and yards allowed (5.72). … The defensive number is actually a significant improvement over Mike MacIntyre’s first two seasons, which saw the Buffs rank outside the top 100 and give up more than 6.0 yards per play. In 2012, they were dead last at 7.11. … Credit that development in part to the arrival of new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt — a man with an impressive on-field record, but who also got fired by USF for hitting a player and obstructing the school’s ensuing investigation. He has never admitted fault. Colorado is fifth in the Pac-12 with 19 sacks after ranking 11th in the conference for three straight seasons. … The Buffaloes’ offense has become much more run-heavy, though not much more efficient. They’ve run the ball 358 times and passed it 274 times, compared to 451 runs and 545 passes a year ago. They remain in the bottom half of the Pac-12 in scoring (29.8 points) and third-down conversion (39.2%).

Series history: Colorado has only beaten five Pac-12 opponents since joining the conference in 2011. UCLA isn’t among them. The Bruins have won four straight against the Buffaloes, with last year’s 40-37 victory being the only one that came by fewer than 20 points. UCLA also leads the all-time series, 8-2, losing two straight in 2002 and 2003.

Key players:

QB Sefo Liufau, Jr., 6-4, 240 — 160/260, 1,870 yards, 9 TD, 3 INT, 168 rush yards, 5 TD
— He separated the AC joint in his right shoulder a month ago, but hasn’t missed a game. He’s played his best football in his last two games, completing two-thirds of his passes for 479 yards and three touchdowns, while adding three more scores on the ground. Continue reading

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page

Anthony Barr surprised Buffs quarterback pushed him

For the first time in his defensive career, UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr went a full game without recording a tackle for loss.

He still made sure Colorado remembered him. In the fourth quarter of the Bruin’s 45-23 win over the Buffs, the All-American crushed true freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau at around midfield, drawing a 14-yard penalty for roughing the passer.

After popping back up, Liufau got in Barr’s face and shoved him back, just one of several chippy moments between the Bruins and the Buffs.

However, Liufau is listed at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds. Barr is listed at 6-foot-4, 245 — and said during the summer that he was up to 255. On the next play, the latter hit the former again, this time incurring a 15-yard penalty.

Asked how many quarterbacks had ever pushed him before, Barr said: “Not many. Not many. That was also a first.”

What words did they exchange? “Nothing nice.” Continue reading

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page

At a glance: No. 17 UCLA vs. Colorado

No. 17 UCLA (5-2, 2-2 Pac-12) vs. Colorado (3-4, 0-4)
Location:
Rose Bowl, Nov. 2, 4:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1 (Craig Bolerjack, Joey Harrington, Ryan Nece)
Radio: 570 AM (Chris Roberts, Matt Stevens, Wayne Cook)

Last meeting: UCLA beat the Buffs, 42-14, in Boulder as Brett Hundley threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. Colorado was in the midst of a 1-11 season under Jon Embree, who was fired after just two years.

Key storylines: The Bruins need to get their offense back on track after several lackluster efforts this month. The offensive line looks like it’s coming together again after losing three left tackles to injury, but quarterback Brett Hundley has veered from average to mediocre to awful this month. The Buffs provide him an easy target, but a high-volume performance that only looks good in the box score — see his 410 yards against Cal — won’t bode well.

Colorado is simply trying to become competitive. Continue reading

Share this post:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditShare on TumblrShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someonePrint this page