Few players in the history of Colorado football have made as many big plays at Shay Fields.

It's why the junior receiver is often referred to as "Big play Shay."

During the past two weeks, however, the big play has been missing for Fields and the rest of the CU offense.

"It's always a little frustrating," said Fields, who four plays of at least 50 yards this season and nine for his career. "But it doesn't matter if we get seven big plays or two big plays or none, as long as we come out with the W, I'm fine with it."

The big play was a key part of the offense for the No. 16 Buffaloes (7-2, 5-1 Pac-12) early in the season. They had at least three passing plays of 20-plus yards in each of their first seven games, racking up 27 overall.

CU hasn't had any 20-yard passes in the last two games, however.

"We've missed some opportunities," co-offensive coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini said. "If you miss opportunities, sometimes you don't get those opportunities back. We were hitting those earlier and we have to get back to hitting them. The only way you do that is going back to practice and working hard."

The Buffs have done that this week as they prepare to visit Arizona (2-7, 0-6) on Saturday.

Fields said everybody on offense just needs to take care of their individual job and the big plays will come.

"The linemen just need to block, the running backs need to do what they have to do, the quarterback has to get people the ball and the receivers need to just routes and get open," he said.


Advertisement

While the Buffs have found a way to win both of the last two games, Fields believes that getting back to the big plays is important.

"Those big plays, they open up the play-action game, the run game," he said. "Especially since we go deep, teams will back up and we can run it down their throat."

Arizona has not yielded a lot of 20-yard passes this season. The two longest plays of Fields' career have gone against the Wildcats, however. He caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Sefo Liufau in 2014 and a 72-yard touchdown from Liufau last year.

Unified Buffs

Tuesday's presidential election was one of the most polarizing elections in United States history, and it has prompted passionate and visceral responses from many Americans — including some of the CU football players, who expressed their opinions on social media.

A day after the election, however, CU head coach Mike MacIntyre said he wasn't concerned that the election will cause any problems in the locker room, which is filled with more than 100 young men of diverse backgrounds.

"I don't think I have to worry about it dividing the team," he said. "As they get older, they start developing opinions and philosophies and that's what's great about America. Everybody can find their path to their dream, and that's part of college, too. It's part of them venturing out.

"In high school they probably never thought of it. They get to college and they talk about it in classes and it's expanding their horizons. All of that is good. But, our team is unified 100 percent."

Kicking competition

Freshman kicker Davis Price returned to practice this week after missing two games with mononucleosis. MacIntyre said Price and junior Chris Graham have both kicked well in practice this week.

"We'll just keep working and see what happens at game time," he said.

Since Diego Gonzalez went 3-for-3 on field goals in the opener against Colorado State, the Buffs have made just 10 of 21 field goals.

Gonzalez suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 3, since then Price, Graham and even punter Alex Kinney, have taken turns kicking.

Notable

CU is looking to win back-to-back conference road games for the first time since 2004. ... CU has recorded at least one takeaway in 22 consecutive games. Arizona ranks last in the Pac-12 in turnover margin, at minus-8. The Wildcats have had 18 turnovers this season.

Brian Howell: howellb@dailycamera.com, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.