CU Buffs (0-3) vs. UCLA (3-0); noon, Saturday, Folsom Field
TV/Radio: Network Pac-12/630 AM, 94.1 FM
Line: UCLA -21.5, 57 plus/minus
Time: 72 degrees, sunny
What there is to know
Something has to give. Besides the health of UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet, perhaps Buffs fans could hang on to this: Bruins allow opponents to score when they reach UCLA’s red zone 85.7% of the time and reaching the end zone 57.1% of the time. their travels.
On the other hand … In three games, opponents UCLA have entered the 20 just seven times, half of what the Buffs have allowed (14) in their first three games. Less encouraging: CU is last in the Pac-12 by a country mile in red zone odds (five in three games), red zone scores (three), red zone touchdowns (one) and rate of red zone TD conversion (one in five, 20%).
Hello Hawk! In three games, the Buffs’ 30 points are the fewest scored by the program since 2006 (23). That 2006 team, coach Dan Hawkins first, opened the season 0-6 and finished 2-10 (2-6 Big 12).
Chasing the story (again). The Buffs need at least one touchdown against the Bruins to avoid becoming the CU team with the fewest points in four games since 2006 (36 points). Since the end of World War II, only four CU teams have scored less than 38 points in their first four games. The 1966 Buffs only managed 36 (2-2 record). The Buffs of 64 scored 31 points (0-4). The ’47 Buffs have just 16 points (2-2) to open the season.
CU S Trevor Woods v UCLA RB Keegan Jones. Despite a few (sometimes questionable) targeting calls, Woods was one of the few bright spots on a Buffs’ battered running defense. Jones, who could have a lot of work on Saturday, averaged 4.1 yards per carry on 34 field goals in relief of Charbonnet this season.
CU WR Daniel Arias vs. UCLA CB Devin Kirkwood. Given the power of Bruins coach Chip Kelly’s offense, there’s a lot the Buffs can’t afford to do — but the drops are pretty high on this list. When Arias clung to the ball, he was a first machine. Kirkwood, meanwhile, leads UCLA in pass breakups (three) and picked up a fumble against South Alabama last week.
Sean Keeler, sports columnist: UCLA 34, CU 10
Hey, remember when Karl Dorrell beat Kelly in an empty Folsom Field? Good time. It feels like about 10 years ago now. As of the first week of November 2020, the Bruins are 14-7, while the Buffs are 5-13. Rick George doubles over Dorrell. Phil DiStefano doubles down on the Pac-12 network. CU boosters double the antacid.
Matt Schubert, Associate Sports Editor: UCLA 38, CU 13
If there’s one hope to hold on to, it’s that the Buffs have been playing well at UCLA at Folsom Field, winning three straight since 2016. And that’s about it. CU’s offense remains in a coma no matter the QB, the defense is already depleted, and athletic director Rick George is Kevin Bacon in “Animal House” imploring Buffs fans to “keep calm, it’s okay.”