Colorado (2-2) at Arizona State (3-2)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 12, 10 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sun Devil Stadium (71,706) -- Tempe, Arizona. Television:
Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Colorado 1-1, ASU 3-0. Away Record: Colorado 0-1,
ASU 0-1. Neutral Record: Colorado 1-0, ASU 0-1. Conference Record: Colorado
0-2, ASU 1-1. Series Record: ASU leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: In a Pac-12 matchup at Sun Devil Stadium the Arizona State Sun
Devils will attempt to bounce back from a difficult loss when they host the
Colorado Buffaloes, who are in search of their first conference win.
The first two games in league play for the Buffaloes have not gone especially
well. In losses to both Oregon State and Oregon, Colorado has been outscored
by a combined 101-33. Prior to entering the league schedule the Buffaloes had
actually found some success with wins in their first two games.
As for Arizona State, it dropped out of the national rankings this week after
a heartbreaking, 37-34, setback against Notre Dame in Arlington. With the loss
the Sun Devils fell to 3-2 overall. In terms of league play, Arizona State has
split its first two contests with a loss at Stanford (42-28) and a win over
These teams have met four previous times, all within the last decade. Arizona
State has been victorious in all four of those meetings, including a 51-17
rout in Boulder last season.
Under first-year head coach Mike MacIntyre Colorado has developed into a
healthy offensive squad. The Buffaloes are posting just over 400 yards of
total offense each week, while scoring 28 points per game. Though not ranked
in the upper echelon of the conference, those numbers are respectable.
Connor Wood is the man under center but his uneven play has kept the Buffaloes
from improving even more. Though he has thrown for 1,092 yards and eight
touchdowns, he has completed just 54.4 percent of his pass attempts and has
been intercepted six times. His season-long streak without an interception is
just 22 passes.
Thankfully when Wood is able to complete passes the Buffaloes generally get a
great deal of production. Paul Richardson (31 receptions, 621 yards, five TDs)
has been eating up opposing secondaries and is currently second in the Pac-12
in receiving yards. Nelson Spruce (16 receptions, 206 yards, TD) is more of a
possession receiver to complement Richardson's big-play ability.
Colorado has been much more of a passing team under MacIntyre, with only 441
total rushing yards on the campaign. Christian Powell (51 carries, 163 yards)
and Michael Adkins (20 carries, 116 yards) have been the most productive
backs, though each is still searching for the first rushing touchdown of the
season for Colorado.
There was not much that Colorado could take away from its loss to Oregon that
was positive. The Buffaloes were gashed for 755 yards of total offense, which
was the second most ever surrendered by the program in a single game. Overall
Colorado has been letting up 482.5 yards per game, which ranks above only
California in the conference.
Addison Gillam (51 tackles, 2.0 sacks) is the team-leader in tackles, while
Chidera Uzo-Diribe (6.0 TFL) is an important contributor up front.
Versatile is the word that best describes the Sun Devils on offense. From
dual-threat quarterback Taylor Kelly to the stable of running backs that make
as many plays through the air as on the ground, Arizona State is a tough team
to stop, or even slow down.
Under center Kelly gets a lot of attention. He has thrown for 1,732 yards and
14 touchdowns already, completing 63.3 percent of his pass attempts. Although
he has been intercepted six times, Kelly is still the third most prolific
passer in the Pac-12. Kelly has the ability to make plays with his legs as
well, but has been limited to just 129 yards rushing so far.
There are a litany of skill position players making an impact for the Sun
Devils. All running back Marion Grice seems to do is score touchdowns. Grice,
who leads the team in rushing and has more than 100 touches on the campaign,
has scored a Pac-12 leading 13 touchdowns (eight rushing, five receiving)
already. Fellow running back D.J. Foster (31 receptions, 329 yards, TD) hasn't
been much of a factor in the running game but is second on the team in
receptions and yards.
Jaelen Strong (39 receptions, 569 yards, three TDs) is putting on a clinic at
wide receiver this year. Strong is third in the conference in receptions as
well as receiving yards. Tight end Chris Coyle (13 receptions, 224 yards, two
TDs) hasn't put up huge numbers yet, but is a reliable contributor.
Generally the offenses's brisk pace has taken a toll on the Sun Devils
defensively. Arizona State is allowing teams to score an even 30 points per
game, while ranking eighth in the conference in total defense (393.0 ypg). The
Sun Devils have just seven sacks, but 11 forced turnovers rank third in the
league. Alden Darby (27 tackles, two INTs) and Osahon Irabor (23 tackles, 4.5
TFL, two INTs) have each made an impact in that regard.
It is clear that Colorado has taken a step forward offensively. However,
Arizona State has the type of offense that the Buffaloes are still trying to
emulate. The multiple weapons Arizona State has will allow it to blow past
Colorado and get back in the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arizona State 45, Colorado 20
10/09 10:45:17 ET