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BOULDER,CO-September 24: University of Colorado Boulder's ...
University of Colorado Boulder’s head coach, Karl Dorrell, during the UCLA game on September 24, 2022. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

Game at a Glance

• Matchup: Colorado Buffaloes (0-4, 0-1 Pac-12) at Arizona Wildcats (2-2, 0-1)

• Kickoff: 7:40 p.m. MT

• Where: Arizona Stadium in Tucson

• Capacity: 50,782. Playing surface: FieldTurf

• TV: Pac-12 Network

• Radio: KOA (850 or 630 AM & 94.1 FM)

• Odds: Arizona by 17.5

• Series: CU leads 16-8

All that hard work Colorado put in during the offseason didn’t produce a win in the season opener.

All the efforts to work even harder in recent weeks haven’t produced better results on game day, either.

Nevertheless, head coach Karl Dorrell and his Buffaloes keep pushing and working to turn the tide on a season has been nothing short of embarrassing.

“We’re going to continue to just keep hammering the details of fundamentals, the scheme,” Dorrell said. “We’re going to keep minimizing and kind of really evaluating what we think our players can do effectively. That’s where we are; we’re trying to uncover every stone that’s out there with what we’re doing from a scheme and personnel standpoint.”

When the Buffs hit the field at Arizona Stadium on Saturday night, they’ll be seeking their third consecutive win against Arizona.

About a year ago, the Wildcats were in the same boat the Buffs are in now – in the midst of a hopeless season. Arizona got one win in 2021 and got hammered, 34-0, in Boulder.

Now, it’s the Buffs trying to avoid the embarrassing defeat.

“We’re always hopeful,” Dorrell said. “We’re building this game plan to win. We’re building this game plan to going down here and have success and play well.

“Yes, we’ve beaten this team in the last couple of years but those years don’t matter anymore because this team is a different team than previous teams. … We feel like we have what it takes to win; we do. Our players feel that way, our coaches do.”

Although Arizona isn’t a great team, the Wildcats are dramatically better than they’ve been the last two years. They were 1-23 in their last 24 games before this season, but they are now 2-2.

For CU to win, it will have to come up with its best performance of the year to this point.

There is confidence at quarterback, which helps. True freshman Owen McCown made his first career start in a 45-17 loss to UCLA last week, throwing for 258 yards and a touchdown and rushing for a score.

While McCown was far from perfect, he guided CU to its best day on offense, and he hopes to do even better against a struggling Arizona defense.

“I think we can get after them,” McCown said. ‘I think we showed a little improvement last week against UCLA, but I think the goal is really to come out with the win.”

To get the win, McCown will have to be better than he was last week, when he had two critical turnovers.

“He knows he can improve his game,” Dorrell said. “He’s got a game under his belt to study, which he did the day of the game. He was there studying that night. So he’s going to clean up his issues. He’s got a great disposition about learning and really digesting the things that he’s made mistakes on.”

McCown is far from the only player – or coach – needing to learn from mistakes.

With each loss, Dorrell’s job status comes into question, and he knows that at some point all that hard work he keeps talking about needs to produce a win.

“We have a lot of things to clean up, but we feel we’re very capable – very, very capable – of cleaning those things up and really shoring ourselves up,” Dorrell said. “There’s a lot of motivation about getting it right.

“We do feel there’s some youth in our program, but we do feel there’s enough veteran experience that we need to play better in certain areas where we do have that experience. We feel we can really get ourselves out of this hole. We do feel that way right now.”

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