Taking a deeper look into Colorado’s defeat of the Arizona State football program in Week 6.
For whatever reason, the Arizona State football team couldn’t get their offense and defense on the same page during their Week 6 loss to Colorado. At times, both units played well but unfortunately, there wasn’t a time when they were doing it at the same time. All told, the Sun Devils dropped their third consecutive road game to fall to 3-3 on the season. Colorado won the game 28-21.
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The first half ended in a 14-14 tie, yet hopes were high because the offense was playing very well. Sophomore running back Eno Benjamin did his job with nearly 100 first-half rushing yards and the unit as a whole was productive on all three of their legitimate drives — two ended in touchdowns and one resulted in a missed field goal. On the flip side, the defense — save for a forced punt on Colorado’s first drive — was torn to shreds. Like Arizona State, the Buffs’ offense had two lengthy touchdown drives while also missing a field goal on another.
After trading touchdowns to start the second half, the defense got down to business and put the Sun Devils in a very good spot. They forced two consecutive three-and-outs with the score tied 21-21 but the previously dominant offense failed to do anything of note. Before the Buffs finally broke through again to go up 28-21, Manny Wilkins and company had three consecutive drives of 11 yards or less.
Whenever the offense was clicking, the defense was allowing points. When the defense got tough, the offense sputtered. It wasn’t meant to be, I guess, but it’s ironic because both units played really well at times. For those watching, it’s not crazy to say that Arizona State was the better team.
The loss can’t be talked about without mentioning ASU’s missed opportunity on their penultimate drive. It came directly after the Buffs went up 28-21, and wound up being the first time in nearly a full quarter that they picked up a big chunk of yardage. Wilkins hit Frank Darby for 72 yards on the first play of the drive but once they got down to the three-yard line, Colorado’s defense clamped down on four straight plays. A golden opportunity…squandered.
Was the loss disappointing? Of course. But I still believe this is a good football team. Unfortunately, their schedule gets real tough down the stretch. At this point, just getting to a bowl game will feel like a solid accomplishment.
The Arizona State football program will now have a bye week before facing a nationally ranked Stanford team at home on October 18th. Rest up, guys.