On the surface, the Colorado football team is coming into this week's game against Arizona looking a lot like it did a year ago when facing the Wildcats.

CU is 1-8 and riding a five-game losing streak. All five have been blowout losses, by an average of 42.0 points.

A year ago the Buffs went into Arizona week with a 1-9 record and a seven-game losing streak. They had been blown out in five straight games, by an average of 34.2 points.

Last year, CU snapped their skid with an impressive 48-29 win against Arizona.

Sure, history could repeat itself with the Buffs ending their slump by beating the 'Cats on Saturday in Tucson, Ariz. Then again, this year's slump feels nothing like last year's.

As rough as last year was, the Buffs at least had an experienced senior quarterback, an experienced senior running back and an experienced senior wide receiver. All three were signed by NFL teams this summer.

They also had a defense with several veterans that, when healthy, played fairly well.

This year, they have disarray at quarterback on an offense that ranks 122nd nationally in scoring (ahead of Idaho and Massachusetts). Defensively, the Buffs have allowed 46.2 points per game, ranking 124th -- dead last -- in the country.

Beyond the statistics, there is a general sense of hopelessness among those who follow the program. And, reality is setting in for those in the program.


"We just haven't been able to compete like we need to, and that is something that we need to be better at," head coach Jon Embree said after Saturday's 48-0 loss to Stanford.

Following that loss, athletic director Mike Bohn said that nobody is happy and he vowed that changes will be made -- and soon.

One of those changes could come at quarterback. Jordan Webb struggled again and was pulled again. Backups Nick Hirschman and Connor Wood struggled, too.

Regardless of when or where those changes come, the Buffaloes face a daunting task against the Wildcats this week.

Arizona was the vulnerable team last year. The Wildcats were just four weeks removed from firing head coach Mike Stoops and walked into Folsom Field with a 2-7 record.

This year, the Wildcats have been schizophrenic, but first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez has guided them to a winning record (5-4) and a spot in last week's Associated Press top 25 rankings.

Arizona dropped out of the rankings after a stunning 66-10 loss to UCLA on Saturday, but that came after an equally stunning 39-36 win over Southern Cal.

This isn't the best team CU will face this year -- far from it, in fact -- but it's a squad loaded with talent.

"(Stoops) definitely left some pieces in the cupboard for Rich Rodriguez and his staff," said CU defensive coordinator Greg Brown, who was on Arizona's coaching staff in 2010.

Even if the Wildcats don't have dual threat quarterback Matt Scott, who left Saturday's game with a possible concussion, they present plenty of problems for a CU team in dire straights.

"I'm taking a real hard look on what we do on both sides of the ball, and make sure that we give our kids the opportunity to be successful," Embree said.

Nine games into his second season as the Buffaloes' head coach, those opportunities have been too few and far between.

Embree's Buffs are 4-18 since he took the reins of the program in December of 2010. At 1-8 this season, the future doesn't seem as bright as it did even a year ago, but Embree has not lost his hope.

"We're not even through the second year, and as I told the team, things will be better," he said.

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