CU's defense vs. Arizona QB Khalil Tate

Tate hasn't been the same type of player he was last year, when he just destroyed the CU defense. Still, given what happened a year ago, the Buffs will be paying close attention to Tate all night and this game could come down to how well they can stop him.

CU defensive line vs. Arizona offensive line

Arizona has the best rushing offense in the Pac-12, and the Wildcats always run the ball well against Colorado. This is a much better CU defensive line than the one that gave up 413 yards on the ground to the 'Cats last year, though. The winner of this battle will be huge.

CU offensive line vs. Arizona front seven

It's a key every week, because CU's line has yet to consistently play well. The group had a nice game against Arizona State earlier this year, but has been shaky otherwise. With potentially three freshmen in the starting lineup for CU, Arizona will look to exploit the Buffs' weakness.

CU CBs Trey Udoffia and Dante Wigley vs. Arizona WRs Shawn Poindexter and Shun Brown

The two CU corners were shredded by Oregon State in the second half last week. Arizona is sure to try picking on the Buffs' corners this week, and Brown and Poindexter have been the two top targets all season.

CU's confidence vs. Arizona's confidence


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Colorado is looking to rebound from a horrible loss and trying to tune out the outside noise. Much of that noise is about how the Buffs may not win another game. Arizona is all of a sudden riding high, bouncing back from two straight losses to upset Oregon last week. Are the Buffs mentally defeated, or ready to fight? Are the Wildcats too cocky, or focused to finish the season strong?

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