No. 9 COLORADO BUFFALOES (10-2 overall, 8-1 in Pac-12)
6 P.M. FRIDAY, LEVI’S STADIUM, FOX, 1000 AM/97.7 FM
COACH: Mike MacIntyre (20-29 in 4th year at Colorado; 36-50 in 7th year overall)
AGAINST THE HUSKIES: Washington leads the series 9-5-1.
SCOUTING REPORT: After joining the league in 2011, Colorado finished in last place in the Pac-12 South in its first five seasons. During that time, the Buffaloes won five league games, total. They have won eight this season, capping a worst-to-first journey with a 27-22 victory over Utah to clinch the division title. … CU’s turnaround can be attributed in large part to its defense, which is tied with Washington for eighth in the country in yards per play allowed (4.67) and ranks 13th in scoring defense (18.8 points per game). Colorado also ranks 22nd nationally in sacks per game (2.75). The Buffaloes are led by linebackers Kenneth Olugbode (86 tackles, 6.0 TFL), Rick Gamboa (64 tackles, 3.0 TFL) and Jimmie Gilbert (53 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 10.0 sacks), and their stellar secondary features three seniors and a junior. … Senior quarterback Sefo Liufau – a Tacoma native and Bellarmine Prep alumnus – is at the forefront of a Colorado offense that averages 34.8 points per game. Liufau, listed at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, is described by UW coach Chris Petersen as a “power runner,” and has rushed for 483 yards and seven touchdowns this season in addition to 2,150 yards passing with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. Liufau completes 64.6 percent of his passes. … CU’s leading rusher is Phillip Lindsay, who has totaled 1,136 yards and a league-best 15 touchdowns. He has also caught 41 passes for 371 yards. … The Buffaloes have three wide receivers with 41 or more receptions – Devin Ross (65 catches, 758 yards, 5 TDs), Shay Fields (50 catches, 819 yards, 9 TDs) and Bryce Bobo (41 catches, 521 yards, 2 touchdowns). … UW and Colorado did not play each other in the regular season. The Huskies have won their last five meetings against the Buffaloes, the most recent a 38-23 victory in Boulder in 2014. Colorado has not beaten Washington since it joined the Pac-12 in 2011.
DID YOU KNOW: Liufau is not the only Washington native on Colorado’s roster. The other is third-year sophomore linebacker Drew Lewis, a Sammamish native and Eastlake High School alumnus who began his collegiate career at UW but was dismissed prior to the 2015. Lewis wound up at Colorado after a year at Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College, and is listed as a second-string inside linebacker.
Sept. 2 W, 44-7, vs. Colorado State
Sept. 10 W, 56-7, vs. Idaho State
Sept. 17 L, 45-28 at Michigan
Sept. 24 W, 41-38, at Oregon
Oct. 1 W, 47-6, vs. Oregon State
Oct. 8 L, 21-17, at USC
Oct. 15 W, 40-16, vs. Arizona State
Oct. 22 W, 10-5, at Stanford
Nov. 3 W, 20-10, vs. UCLA
Nov. 12 W, 49-24, at Arizona
Nov. 19 W, 38-24, vs. Washington State
Nov. 26 W, 27-22, vs. Utah
Dec. 2 vs. Washington (Pac-12 championship)