Mike Leach isn't going to be at Arizona Stadium.

This game still sets up quite well for the Buffs.

Let's put it this way: If Colorado can't compete with Arizona into the fourth quarter, the coaching staff should have to take a bus home.

That will give the locksmith extra time to get the job done at the Dal Ward Center before they return.

Historically, CU owns this series with a 13-1 edge.

The Wildcats (5-4, 2-4) will likely be without concussed senior quarterback Matt Scott, who leads the Pac-12 in passing with 2,848 yards and 20 touchdowns. His replacement, junior college transfer B.J. Denker, has completed 13 passes in relief this season with one touchdown and one interception.

Amazingly, Arizona actually ranks last in the conference in total defense, giving up an average of 498.0 yards per game compared to CU's 497.3 yards per game.

Last week while the Buffs -- now 1-8 overall and alone in the South Division basement at 1-5 in Pac-12 play -- were suffering a 48-0 loss to Stanford, the Wildcats allowed UCLA to score 66 points.

Rich Rodriguez has done a terrific job during his first season in Tucson. Arizona upset Oklahoma State in non-conference play and USC two weeks ago.

With a victory over the lowly Buffs, Rich-Rod will have the Wildcats -- 48-29 losers in Boulder last season with Nick Foles at quarterback -- bowl eligible.


"I knew we were going to have to hang on this season (defensively)," Rodriguez said recently. "We can fix some of that now, some we can fix over the next few seasons."

In other words, the Buffs had better beat Arizona before Rodriguez puts together some speedy recruiting classes.

The Wildcats rank 105th nationally in scoring defense (35.0 ppg) and 117th in passing defense (314.9 ypg).

You have to feel for Jordan Webb, who has been benched this week after starting against ranked opponents the three previous Saturdays.

If Nick Hirschman and/or Connor Wood can't move the chains Saturday, they might want to consider a move to Big Sky country next season.

"No, no we are trying to win now," CU head coach Jon Embree said when asked if benching Webb was about the future. "So it doesn't have anything to do with that."

CU's offensive line should also be able to create some holes big enough for Christian Powell to squeeze through, considering Arizona is also giving up 183.1 yards per game on the ground.

"That's exactly what (a win) would be: Therapeutic," senior tight end Nick Kasa said. "We're just trying to put the losing behind us."

Over the last four seasons, the Buffs' seniors have experienced the thrill of 12 victories and suffered the agony 34 defeats with three games left in their college careers.

As hard as it is to imagine outside of the CU practice fields, this team still has an opportunity to end a wretched season with a winning streak.

Washington and Utah aren't exactly Alabama and Kansas State. The Huskies and Utes visit Folsom Field to wrap up Embree's second season.

"To be able to go and have some success would mean a lot, especially going into these last three games for our seniors," Embree said. "Them trying to finish up on a high note ... they have been through a lot as a group."

Time to add some highlights to the reel for the 2012 football banquet.

Right now the fourth quarter comeback against Leach's Washington State Cougars (2-7, 0-6) is the only footage available.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanThorburn