Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
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Buffaloes at a glance
Last week: Bye; defeated New Hampshire 45-14 on Sept. 15
Steven Montez, Jr.: 69-for-94, 855 yards, 8 TD, 2 INT
Sam Noyer, So.: 3-for-5, 14 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Travon McMillian, Sr.: 33 att., 290 yards, 3 TD
Beau Bisharat, Jr.: 20 att., 144 yards, 0 TD
Kyle Evans, Sr.: 29 att., 109 yards, 1 TD
Laviska Shenault, So.: 26 catches, 455 yards, 3 TD
KD Nixon, So.: 17 catches, 181 yards, 1 TD
Jay MacIntyre, Sr.: 9 catches, 55 yards, 2 TD
LB Nate Landman, So.: 34 tackles, 6 TFL, 2 INT
LB Rick Gamboa, Sr.: 24 tackles, 1 INT
DE Mustafa Johnson, So.: 23 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 6.5 TFL
5 Buffs to watch vs. UCLA
CB Delrick Abrams Jr.: UCLA’s Theo Howard is one of the most talented receivers in the Pac-12, and Abrams may be assigned to keep him in check most of the night.
DE Mustafa Johnson: He leads the Pac-12 with 1.17 sacks per game. UCLA, meanwhile, is allowing 4.0 sacks game; nationally only two teams (Kent State and UTEP) are allowing more.
LT Josh Kaiser/William Sherman: The Buffs have used both players at left tackle this year. Whichever one is in the game has to do a good job of protecting QB Steven Montez’s blind side.
QB Steven Montez: He will always be a key to the game, but he’ll go into this week looking to continue the momentum he established in non-conference play.
WR Laviska Shenault: The national leader in catches and receiving yards per game, Shenault is a matchup problem for just about any team.
Bottom line for CU
The Buffaloes got through nonconference play without a loss and looked good throughout the three games. From here on out, the games have greater meaning, though, and Colorado has to take advantage of having a winnable game at home this week. This is just the 12th time since joining the Pac-12 in 2011 that the Buffs go in as the favorite, and they are 9-2 in the previous games. To make another run at the South division title, the Buffs have to get a victory in this game.
Bruins at a glance
Last week: Bye; lost to Fresno State, 38-14, on Sept. 15
Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Fr.: 41-for-75, 522 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT
Wilton Speight, Sr.: 8-for-12, 45 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT
Kazmeir Allen, Fr.: 21 att., 161 yards, 1 TD
Bolu Olorunfunmi, Sr.: 28 att., 76 yards, 4 TD
Martell Irby, Fr.: 19 att., 71 yards
Theo Howard, Jr.: 11 catches, 185 yards, 1 TD
Caleb Wilson, Jr.: 8 catches, 128 yards
Chase Cota, Fr.: 7 catches, 98 yards
SS Adarius Pickett, Sr.: 40 tackles, 1 PBU
LB Krys Barnes, Jr.: 22 tackles, 2 PBU
OLB Keisean Lucier-South, Jr.: 12 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 PBU
5 Bruins to watch vs. CU
RB Kazmeir Allen: UCLA has not been explosive in the run game, but Allen has averaged 7.7 yards on 21 carries, including a 74-yard touchdown run in the opener.
OLB Jaelan Phillips: He has yet to really get going, but as a freshman last year he had 3.5 sacks and seven tackles for loss in only seven games.
SS Adarius Pickett: He’s been UCLA’s best player on defense, and he’s one of the top safeties in the Pac-12.
QBs Wilton Speight/Dorian Thompson-Robinson: It’s unclear which player will start, but the Buffs are ready for both. Speight is a senior and a veteran pocket passer. Thompson-Robinson is a freshman dual threat that could hurt the Buffs with his feet.
TE Caleb Wilson: One of the country’s most dangerous tight ends, he caught 38 passes for 490 yards in only five games last year, but suffered a season-ending foot injury against Colorado.
Bottom line for UCLA
Despite the poor start to the season, this game offers the Bruins a chance to hit the re-set button in conference play. Get a win in Boulder, and it could change the momentum enough for the Bruins to make a push for bowl eligibility. Lose this one, and UCLA is likely facing the prospect of a third consecutive losing season.