CU offensive line vs. UCLA front seven
This hasn't been a great year for the CU line to this point, but there is potential for a turnaround against a UCLA team that hasn't been able to stop the run. The Buffs have yet to play with their projected starters up front, but could finally see that group together this week. Regardless of who plays, it's essential for the Buffs to win the battle in the trenches.
CU quarterback Steven Montez vs. UCLA secondary
Montez is off to a good start to his career, but he had a rough game against Washington and his three interceptions were costly to the Buffs. CU needs the sophomore to bounce back. He doesn't have to be the star of the game, but he has to be sharp with his throws, reads and decision making. A strong day for Montez will be huge for CU.
CU linebacker Drew Lewis vs. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen
Lewis has been arguably the MVP of the Buffs' defense so far this season. Rosen has been the best player on the field for UCLA. One great part of Lewis' game this year has been his ability to get to the quarterback on blitzes. He doesn't have any sacks, but he's applied a lot of pressure and delivered some big hits on quarterbacks. If he can get in Rosen's head early on, that could really help the CU defense.
CU defensive line vs. UCLA's run game
The Buffs were worn down up front against Washington last week, giving up 265 yards on the ground. The starting group of Leo Jackson III, Javier Edwards and Chris Mulumba has to set the tone right out of the gates. From there, the Buffs have to use their line rotation to stay fresh and stay stout against the run.