Preview: Utah at Colorado

When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 26, 2016
Where: Folsom Field, Boulder, Colorado

Each of the five Pac-12 meetings between Utah and Colorado have been decided by one possession. And it’s expected to be no different Saturday night when the ninth-ranked Buffaloes host the 20th-ranked Utes with the Pac-12 South Division title on the line.

Colorado, which entered 2016 with all of five Pac-12 wins in its first five seasons in the conference, is 7-1 this year but still needs a win in Saturday’s regular-season finale to wrap up its first division title since winning the Big 12 North in 2005 – also the program’s last winning season. However, if Utah can spring the road upset, USC would win the South due to its head-to-head win over the Buffaloes and play in the Dec. 2 Pac-12 Championship Game. But that’s something Colorado doesn’t want to begin to consider given how deep into this Cinderella story it already is. “We look at going 1-0 each week – that’s what we’ve been about all year,” Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon told the Boulder Daily Camera earlier this week. “It makes it very easy to be successful each week when you just focus on that individual game – not the accolades, not what you’re going to accomplish – but just going out and doing what we’ve done all year to be successful. When those accomplishments come, and the game is over, we definitely enjoy and appreciate it.”

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Colorado -10

ABOUT UTAH (8-3, 5-3 Pac-12): The Utes would’ve also been in the thick of the South title talk this week, but last Saturday’s last-second upset loss to visiting Oregon knocked Utah out of the running. The Utes, though, feature the Pac-12’s second-best rushing attack (213.4 yards per game) behind senior running back Joe Williams who has rolled up 1,013 yards and nine touchdowns in five games since “un-retiring” in mid-October. Defensively, the Utes are allowing 23.6 points and 387.3 yards per game and are led by likely conference defensive player of the year Hunter Dimick, a havoc-wreaking senior end who leads the Pac-12 in sacks (14) and tackles for loss (19.5).

ABOUT COLORADO (9-2, 7-1): The Buffaloes have won five straight games, which is the program’s longest winning streak since 2002, and are 5-0 at home for the first time since 1994 – their last perfect season at Folsom Field. A good deal of the credit belongs to senior quarterback Sefo Liufau, who last Saturday threw for 345 yards and rushed for a career-high 108 yards and three TDs in a 38-24 win over visiting Washington State to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors. Meanwhile, the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week is Colorado reserve safety Nick Fisher, who had six solo tackles, including four on third or fourth down, and one pass defensed last week for a unit which leads the conference in total defense (322.4 yards allowed per game) and pass defense (190.4 yards). 


1. Utah has won four straight and four of five in the series with Colorado, including a 20-14 home victory a season ago, since the programs entered the Pac-12 in 2011.

2. The Buffaloes’ win over then-No. 20 Washington State last week snapped the program’s 23-game losing streak against ranked foes.

3. Both teams rank in the top 15 nationally in turnover margin with Utah a plus-9 and Colorado a plus-8.

PREDICTION: Colorado 27, Utah 20

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Utah 8-3 L1 30.9 23.6 4-2 4-1 2-0 0-0 5-3
Colorado 9-2 W5 35.5 18.5 6-0 3-2 8-1 0-0 7-1

Last Meeting

Utah Colorado
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/28/15 COLO 14 UTAH 20 324 216 108 307 49 258

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
UTAH T. Wilson 38.5 108 1 1
COLO C. Apsay 44.4 145 1 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
UTAH J. Williams 34 187 5.5 1
COLO P. Lindsay 9 48 5.3 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
UTAH K. Scott 3 31 10.3 1
COLO N. Spruce 5 111 22.2 1
TDs Player TD
UTAH K. Scott 1
COLO P. Lindsay 1
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
UTAH T. Williams 56.0 2419 14 5
COLO S. Liufau 67.0 1880 10 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
UTAH J. Williams 158 1088 6.9 9
COLO P. Lindsay 199 1081 5.4 15
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
UTAH T. Patrick 38 606 15.9 5
COLO S. Fields 43 741 17.2 8
TDs Player TD
UTAH J. Williams 9
COLO P. Lindsay 16

Quickchart Matchup

Utah Off vs  Colorado Def
435.5 yards
321.5 yards
4.9 yards/rush
3.8 yards/rush
7.3 yards/attempt
5.6 yards/attempt
Colorado Off vs  Utah Def
478.3 yards
387 yards
4.3 yards/rush
4.1 yards/rush
8.2 yards/attempt
7.3 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Utah Overall Colorado
8-3-0 W/L 9-2-0
6-5-0 ATS 10-1-0
6-5-0 O/U 5-6-0
30.9 Pts For 35.5
23.6 Pts Against 18.5
Utah A/H Colorado
4-1 W/L 6-0
3-2-0 ATS 5-1-0
3-2-0 O/U 2-4-0
35.4 Pts For 40.8
26.0 Pts Against 11.7
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