When grad school at Arizona State takes over your life for two weeks, you have to be on top of what you’re doing. For ASU, the first two weeks have shown that they’re on top of what they are doing. With blowout wins over Weber State and New Mexico, the Sun Devils are 2-0 and looking very good early on in the season.
Going into Saturday’s game at Colorado, the opening of conference play is set to bring a whole new challenge to this team. Despite the 2-0 start, there is still a lot we don’t know about this Sun Devil squad. Most are circling the September 27th matchup against UCLA as a key point of the season, but I think we’ll find out a lot about this team this week.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the squad from Boulder.
When Colorado Has the Ball:
The Colorado Buffaloes come into this game with a 1-1 record after splitting games against in-state rival Colorado State and winning a tight game against UMass. The Buffaloes have yet to win against ASU all time and to make matters worse, they’ve lost all five of those games by at least 18 points. That’s not good. Second year head coach Mike MacIntyre is looking to change that trend while working with a team that’s even younger than ASU. The Buffaloes will have to rely on two of those underclassmen a lot in this one: quarterback Sefo Liufau and reciever Shay Fields. Fields already has 14 catches in two games this year. He and leading receiver Nelson Spruce will be the main targets for Liufau, as the Buffaloes will look to test a young ASU defense that’s already given up a few big plays this season.
When Colorado is on Defense:
On defense, the Buffaloes have struggled for consistency. After getting worn down for 266 yards rushing against Colorado State (thanks in large part to Dee Hart), the D did a better job of defending the run last week against UMass. However, the Buffaloes have yet to face playmaker this season like Taylor Kelly, Jaelen Strong, and D.J.Foster. Foster is third in the FBS in rushing yards through two games and CU will have to prepare for him and the two freshmen, Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard. After giving up 25 points in the first 11 minutes of last year’s game, Colorado will be looking to stay in this game a little longer than they did last year.
Last year’s matchup was a big blowout for ASU and on paper, most would think the same again this year. But with such a young team and many guys playing in their second road game, it may start off closer than Sun Devil fans would like. Ultimately, the overall talent of ASU will be too strong for Colorado to handle. As a side note, the creators of South Park (CU alums) have made a hype video that will debut Saturday night. Unfortunately for CU fans, any sort of weird mess that goes on during that show will probably not translate to results on the field. ASU wins big: 55-17.
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