The Arizona State football program will need a big game on the ground from Eno Benjamin against Colorado in Week 6.
Out of all the games the Arizona State football program has ever played, no one has ever had a game on the ground like Eno Benjamin did a week ago against Oregon State. Benjamin, now in his first season as the Sun Devils’ starting running back, trampled the Beavers for 312 rushing yards on 30 carries en route to a 52-24 win. The performance absolutely shattered the previous record of 250 yards by Ben Malone in 1973 (also against Oregon State).
Besides his massive yardage total, the sophomore speedster also notched three touchdown runs, three receptions, and an eight-yard receiving touchdown.
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The only problem, however, is that Arizona State didn’t do anything else all that great against the Beavers. And when they line up to play No. 21 Colorado this week, they’ll have a much tougher time scoring a win if they’re not on their game.
Colorado, a team that hasn’t lost yet, has an excellent passing defense. They currently rank in the Top 25 in total passing yards allowed (No. 24) and yards allowed per attempt (No. 13). Manny Wilkins, the quarterback in charge of beating the Buffs, has been a tough study recently. He hasn’t turned the ball over, and that’s great, but at the same time, he was wildly inaccurate at times against Oregon State.
Luckily, Colorado’s rushing defense isn’t great. Rather than ranking in the Top 25, the group is No. 46 in total rushing yards allowed and No. 70 in yards allowed per attempt. Just last week, they were gashed by UCLA running back Joshua Kelley for 124 rushing yards on only 12 carries.
On the flip side, they totally shut down UCLA’s passing game on the way to a blowout win.
So if Colorado’s passing game is as good as billed, it’ll be up to Eno Benjamin again. Truthfully, I believe he’s up to the task. After all, the only two times he’s struggled this year came against the two best rushing defenses in the country (Michigan State; San Diego State). Otherwise, Eno has gone for 100-plus against all other opponents.
The Arizona State football program will play a rare early game on Saturday against the Buffs. Gametime is set for 4:00 P.M ET with the Pac-12 Network broadcasting the contest nationally.