CU co-OC Darrin Chiaverini vs. Utah DC Morgan Scalley
In his first season as the Buffs’ play-caller, Chiaverini has had some good moments, but not against quality defenses. Led by Scalley, Utah has a top-three defense in the Pac-12. Against other top-five Pac-12 defenses (Washington and Washington State), CU has averaged 13.3 points and 275 yards.
CU LT Will Sherman vs. Utah DE Bradlee Anae
Sherman’s athleticism and talent have helped him put together a solid season, but his lack of experience shows up against talented veterans such as Anae. Sherman had a rough day against Washington State and will have to be at his best against Anae and the Utes.
CU QB Steven Montez vs. Utah LB Chase Hansen
As usual, Montez’s ability to move the offense and play sharp is vital. Utah’s got a very good defense, but Hansen is the player that Montez has to watch every play, because he can make plays all over the field.
CU defensive line vs. Utah RB Armand Shyne
Utah’s strength on offense is running the ball, with Shyne leading the way. Between Shyne and Zack Moss (who played the first nine games before a season-ending injury), the Utes have had a 100-yard rusher in seven of 10 games.
CU’s brotherhood vs. Outside noise
For most of the season, the term “brotherhood” was used a lot by the Buffs, but that word hasn’t been heard a lot in recent weeks. As the losing streak continues, there’s a lot of criticism of the Buffs and questions about whether coach Mike MacIntyre is fighting for his job. Blocking out the noise and leaning on the brotherhood could be critical for CU.