Quarterback Steven Montez has played some of his best football the past two weeks. Since getting benched at Washington State on Oct. 21, Montez has completed 43 of 67 passes (64.2 percent) for 692 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.

Montez's only pick in the last six games — which ended a school record 172 passes in a row without one — came on a Hail Mary on the final play of Saturday's game at ASU.

Part of Montez's success has been the deep ball. He struggled with deep passes most of the year, but has been on point in the past two games.

"I think we've thrown more deep balls in practice, so it's just kind of started clicking," he said.

Montez has completed four passes of 50 yards or more this season, all of them in the past two games. He had two others — a 76-yarder to Shay Fields and a 54-yarder to Devin Ross — that were dropped last week.

"We'll catch them," Montez said. "I'm not concerned about that. We'll go out and do a good job this week."

McCartney surging

Senior outside linebacker Derek McCartney has had a great second half of the season for the Buffs, and had one of the best games of his career last week.

McCartney posted career highs in tackles (14) and pass breakups (three) against the Sun Devils, while also recording a sack.

During the last two games, McCartney has five pass breakups, after posting just three in his first 34 career games.


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McCartney has recorded 28 tackles, two sacks and seven third-down stops in the last four games. In the first six games, he had 15 tackles, two sacks and two third-down stops.

Homecoming

Former CU standout Ronnie Bradford will coach against the Buffs for the first time as a full-time assistant. He is the secondary coach for USC.

Bradford played a key role on CU's 1990 national title team. In the Orange Bowl that year, he blocked an extra point against Notre Dame in CU's 10-9 win.

Notable

CU will wear all black this week. The Buffs are 0-6 all-time with the all-black look. Since 2011, the Buffs are 1-15 in black helmets, with the only win coming against Idaho State in 2016. ... After going 4-1 against Pac-12 South opponents last year, the Buffs are 0-3 against the South this year.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33