Defending Pac-12 South Division champ Coloradofinds itself at the bottom of the division and is weighing a quarterback changefor Saturday’s homecoming game against California. Sophomore Steven Montez has startedall eight contests this season, but was replaced by redshirt freshman Sam Noyerat halftime of last Saturday night’s loss at Washington State, and coach MikeMacIntyre said a decision on the starter will be a pregame call Saturday.
Montez is a 7-4 as a starter, including 3-1 as afreshman last season, but owns a so-so passer-efficiency rating of 135.4 andthe Buffaloes are averaging only 22.2 points per Pac-12 game after last week’s 28-0loss in rainy Pullman. “All our quarterbacks have got to go to a differentlevel,” MacIntyre said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “I’m not sayingall the guys aren’t trying. That’s not what I mean. They just have to getbetter at what they do, (and) sometimes if you’re in a rut and not feelinggood, sometimes it’s good to make a change, see what happens and see if thatkeeps you focused.” California, meanwhile, couldn’t carry over the momentumfrom its shocking Oct. 7 rout (37-3) of then No. 5-ranked Washington State infalling to visiting Arizona 45-44 in double overtime last Saturday. Afterholding the Cougars to a field goal, the Golden Bears surrendered 511 total yardsand a season-high 45 points to the Wildcats, but still had a chance to pull outa victory until Russ Bowers’ potential game-winning 2-point conversion pass wasswatted away in the second overtime period.
TV: 2 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: Colorado -3
ABOUT CALIFORNIA (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12): Bowersestablished career highs for completions (29) and attempts (49) against Arizonaand over the last two weeks has completed 50-of-87 attempts for 560 yards andthree touchdowns. Running back Patrick Laird also is coming off one of the bestoutings of his career with 172 total yards and two TDs and ranks seventh in theconference with his average of 103 scrimmage yards per contest. Defensively,linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk has recorded 25 total tackles, including 4.5 forlosses, over the last two games for a unit which is allowing 28.4 points and433.4 yards per game.
ABOUT COLORADO (4-4, 1-4): While the Buffaloes’aerial attack has sputtered, senior running back Phillip Lindsay has been aforce, trailing only Stanford’s Bryce Love in the Pac-12 rushing (136.6 yards)and all-purpose yards (155.4) rankings. Colorado also does boast a veteranreceiving corps led by senior Bryce Bobo, who’s averaging 5.2 catches and 56.4receiving yards. Linebackers Drew Lewis and Rick Gamboa are averaging acombined 15.3 tackles for a defense which is allowing 24.6 points and 422yards.
1. California leads the series 5-3, including a59-56 double-overtime win in their last meeting on Sept. 27, 2014 in Berkeley.
2. Colorado is only 5-12 in its last 17homecoming games, and their 40-16 win over Arizona State last season snapped aneight-game homecoming losing streak.
3. Cal’s Matt Anderson ranks fifth in theconference with 1.38 field goals per game and needs nine more points to surpassDoug Brien atop the school’s career scoring list.
PREDICTION: California 30, Colorado 27