November 4th – at Arizona State           Arizona State 41, Colorado 30

Arizona State scored 24 fourth quarter points, erasing a ten-point deficit to defeat Colorado, 41-30. The Sun Devils went for 583 yards of offense, including 381 yards on the ground. ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins passed for 202 yards, rushed for 95 more, while running back Demario Richard had 25 carries for 189 yards and a touchdown.

The Buffs had leads of 10-0, 17-7 and 27-17, but squandered multiple opportunities to put away the Sun Devils. Steven Montez completed 23-of-40 passes for 345 yards, while Phillip Lindsay had 140 yards of total offense (80 yards rushing; 60 yards passing). It made little difference, though, as the Arizona State had seven second half possessions, scoring on five of them.

The loss left Colorado with a 5-5 overall record, 2-5 in Pac-12 play … and in last place in the Pac-12 South.

For a team which had been out-scored by an average of 46-16 in its first four trips to Sun Devil Stadium to face Arizona State, the Buffs opened their #Pac12AfterDark game in fine fashion, forcing a three-and-out from the ASU offense.

On their first possession, the Buff offense moved smartly down the field. A five-yard run by Phillip Lindsay on third-and-one got the drive going, with a 13-yard run by quarterback Steven Montez pushing the ball near midfield. Third down completions to Devin Ross (for nine yards) and Bryce Bobo (for 19) put the Buffs in the red zone. There, Montez missed a wide open Lindsay at the five yard line, which would have given CU a touchdown. Instead, the Buffs had to settle for a 34-yard field goal by James Stefanou to take a 3-0 lead with 9:33 to play in the first quarter.

After the teams traded punts, the Sun Devils put together a ten-play drive. The effort was wasted, however, when kicker Brandon Ruiz missed a 45-yard field goal, keeping it a 3-0 game.

The Buffs then put together a 13-play, 74-yard drive to post the first touchdown of the game. Three straight runs by Phillip Lindsay netted 17 yards to open the drive, with a 12-yard run by Montez setting the Buffs up in ASU territory to open the second quarter. After Montez hit Shay Fields for a 16-yard gain on third down to keep the chains moving, Phillip Lindsay took over. Runs of six, four, four, three, and a touchdown run for seven yards made it Colorado 10, Arizona State 0, early in the second quarter.

The Sun Devils rolled the dice on their next drive, going for it on four-and-one at their own 49-yard line. The Demario Richard effort, though, was stuffed by freshman linebacker Jacob Callier, giving the Buffs the ball at midfield.

After a Montez-to-K.D. Nixon pass went for 12 yards, the Buffs were poised to take control of the game. On third-and-seven at the ASU 34-yard line, Montez hit Devin Ross for six yards. The Buffs lined up quickly to go for it on fourth-and-one at Sun Devil 28-yard line, but couldn’t get set up, and had to take a time out. Given a chance to set up for the fourth down play, the Sun Devils stuffed the Buffs on their fourth down effort, with Phillip Lindsay being stopped for no gain.

Bolstered by the defensive stop, the Arizona State offense came to life.

It took the Sun Devils only six plays to cover 72 yards, with a pass interference penalty and a 21-yard run by quarterback Manny Wilkins moving the ball into CU territory. Three plays later, Wilkins threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver N’Keal Harry.

With 5:38 left in the half, it was now a 10-7 game.

The teams then traded punts, but the Buffs picked up yardage in the exchange, taking over at their 49-yard line with 2:20 to play before the break.

A 20-yard completion from Montez to Jay MacIntyre was followed by an eight-yarder to Shay Fields and a 15-yarder to Bryce Bobo, which set the Buffs up at the ASU one-yard line with 1:35 still to play. Using poor clock management, the Buffs did score – on a one-yard Phillip Lindsay run – but left the Sun Devils with 1:07 of clock and two time outs.

The Sun Devils took advantage.

Two completions from Manny Wilkins to Kyle Williams and John Humphrey, each going for 16 yards, gave the Sun Devils an opportunity to score. With seven seconds remaining, Wilkins hit Williams for a 25-yard touchdown.

The game could even have been tied at the break, with ASU successfully converting on an onsides kick attempt. A 55-yard field goal attempt by Brandon Ruiz, though, was unsuccessful, allowing the Buffs to escape with a lead at the break.

Still, what could have been a Buff blowout was now very much a game.

Halftime score: Colorado 17, Arizona State 14

The teams traded three-and-outs to start the second half, but the Buffs got the better of it because CU had a better punter. After the CU offense failed to gain a first down to open the quarter, Alex Kinney booted a 67-yarder, downed at the ASU one-yard line.

The Buff defense held the Sun Devils without a first down, but ASU punter Michael Sleep-Dalton could only answer with a 33-yard effort, giving the Buffs the ball at the 39-yard line.

The CU offense, though, could not fully take advantage.

Three plays netted only three yards. Faced with a fourth-and-seven at the ASU 36, Mike MacIntyre opted for a field goal attempt. James Stefanou made the decision work out, hitting a season-best 53-yarder to make it a 20-14 game four minutes into the third quarter.

While the Buffs were able to post three points after gaining three yards in three plays, the Sun Devils worked much harder to post their next points. Arizona State went 59 yards in 15 plays, methodically working its way down the field. The Sun Devils stalled, however, at the CU 16-yard line. A 34-yard field goal by Brandon Ruiz got ASU to within three, at 20-17, at the six minute mark of the third quarter.

Less than a minute later, it was 27-17.

After two runs netted 15 yards, Steven Montez hit Shay Fields for a 54-yard touchdown, giving the Buffs a ten-point cushion for the third time in the game.

The Buff defense then gave their teammates on offense a chance to put the game out of reach, forcing a three-and-out from the Sun Devil offense. The Buff offense, though, could not take advantage, with a drop by Devin Ross on first down leading to a quick three-and-out.

Arizona State made it a one score game ten plays later.

The Sun Devils covered 76 yards, but once again stalled in the CU red zone. A 37-yard field goal by Brandon Ruiz left the score at Colorado 27, Arizona State 20, with 13:37 left to play.

Given yet another chance to take control of the contest, the Buff offense again failed. Steven Montez was sacked twice in the span of five plays, forcing a punt attempt. Alex Kinney’s offering, however, was partially blocked, with Arizona State taking over at the Colorado 40-yard line.

With the Buff defense reeling, the Sun Devils marched quickly downfield. It took the Arizona State offense only seven plays to cover the 40 yards, with Demario Richard tying the score at 27-27 with a five-yard scoring run with 8:38 to play.

Momentum was clearly on the side of the Sun Devils when Steven Montez dropped back to pass on the next play from scrimmage. On a broken play, Montez found a wide open Phillip Lindsay, who took the ball 60 yards down to the ASU 15-yard line. The Buffs were not able to take advantage, however, gaining four yards on the next three plays, settling for a James Stefanou 28-yard field goal.

The Buffs were back in front, but the lead was tenuous, at 30-27, with 7:09 still to play.

It took the Sun Devils only five plays to answer.

A 40-yard by Demario Richard gave the ASU offense the ball at the CU 26-yard line. Two plays later, Eno Benjamin bulled his way in from 19 yards out, giving the Sun Devils their first lead of the game, at 34-30, with 5:33 left in the game.

The Colorado offense had plenty of time to regain the lead, and needed only three plays to get to midfield, with Montez hitting Chris Bounds for 11 yards and Bryce Bobo for another eight. There, however, the drive stalled, with Steven Montez being sacked for a fifth time to kill the drive.

Rather than go for it on fourth-and-14, Mike MacIntyre opted to punt, hoping that the CU defense would be able to get the ball back to the CU offense.

Instead, Demario Richard ran right up the middle for 63 yards, not being tracked down until he reached the Buff 17 yard line. A few plays later, Manny Wilkens added insult to injury, scoring from a yard out with 46 seconds to play.

The Buffs made it to ASU’s side of the field in the final seconds, but Steven Montez threw an interception in the end zone on the final play, ending a school record streak of passes without an interception.

Final score: Arizona State 41, Colorado 30

“We just have to go back to work again,” MacIntyre said. “We have to make corrections and find ways to make plays. We can still do some good things.”

Colorado had 454 yards of total offense, but surrendered 583. The Sun Devils ran over, through, and around the Buff defense for 384 yards on the ground.

Steven Montez had 345 yards passing, and had several long passes dropped, but it was still not enough. “Tough to swallow,” Montez said through gritted teeth after the game. “It sucks. Now we have to take what we did wrong and fix it.”

Here is the YouTube video of the game, courtesy of CU at the Gamer Paul:


Game Notes … 

— The loss dropped the Buffs to 1-8 all-time against Arizona State; 0-5 in games played in Tempe;

— Steven Montez set a new school record for consecutive completions without an interception. The streak reached 174, coming to an end with a meaningless interception in the end zone on the final play of the game (previous record: 152 passes, Sefo Liufau, 2015-16);

— Shay Fields had six catches for 128 yards and a touchdown. Fields finished the game with 2,548 career receiving yards, second in school history. On the night, Fields passed Charles E. Johnson (2,447), Scotty McKnight (2,521) and Rae Carruth (2,540). With two games left in his career, Fields trailed only Nelson Spruce (3,347) on the all-time list;

— Injuries suffered by offensive lineman Tim Lynott, Jr., and defensive back Ryan Moeller could be season-ending;

— Derek McCartney (14) and Rick Gamboa (13) had career-highs in tackles;

— Freshman kicker James Stefanou was 3-for-3 in field goal attempts, including a season-best 53-yarder. The three field goals gave Stefanou, named earlier in the week as a semi-finalist for the Lou Groza award, 16-of-18 field goals on the season.


35 Replies to “Arizona State 41, Colorado 30”

  1. First time I’ve posted all season. Was at the game in Tempe, I thought we looked good early as has been the case much of the season. But we can’t sustain 60 mins., in the trenches. Not stout enough on pass blocking and D line. I do agree with Eric’s comments that always blaming Lindgren for bad things that happen offensively and somehow Chev is the hero is silly. They are talking to each other on the headphones the whole game, deciding on plays and Lindgren has the advantage of being upstairs to view the whole field and he’ll see things Chev won’t and suggest stuff. The drops are on the receivers but I think Montez has Elway-syndrome, i.e., he has a rifle but throws the ball too hard almost all the time. He needs more touch, certainly fitting into narrow gaps you put some heat on it but that’s a coaching thing that they need to work on.
    There will be a lot of new faces on the staff next year as to be expected but they need to recruit better linemen and perhaps new line coaches. I see Chev as a great recruiter who would likely stay over Lindgren but I’m not sure he’d want to be up in the press box during games so who calls the plays? Will be an interesting off-season, probably a long one this year since I don’t see them winning another game at this point. I saw them at 7-5 or 8-4. They should have beaten both Arizona teams but unfortunately Drew Lewis’ late hit on Dawkins unleashed Khalil Tate onto the world. Bet the guy gets a few Heisman votes…

  2. Yo Stuart and P Looch,

    Although the Buffs mathematically have a chance to win another game, they won’t. They make poor rushing teams in the Pac-12 look like Barry Switzer’s 1980’s Oklahoma Sooners.

    One could say that head coach Mike MacIntyre quit on his team by taking away their last chance for a win. The Sun Devils ran it down Colorado’s throats all 2nd half, and Colorado was unable to stop them. Despite that, he choose to punt the ball back to ASU with less than three minutes left.

    Most of us figured that ASU would run out the clock but Colorado failed to stop any runs and the Sun Devils scored another clinching touchdown.

    The score against USC next week will be as embarrassing as the Washington and Washington State games. Mark that prediction. Whatever the line is, the Trojans will probably triple it.

    Sadly, a season predicated on promised great success has turned out to be yet another lost season in Boulder. At least it’s almost time to hit the slopes. Or maybe go traveling. Anything other than more wasted time.

    With more than three decades watching this team, I can say this was the most disappointing season. Not the worst season, mind you, but the most disappointing.

    2012 was almost comically bad, and you just had to hope for a miracle win. I still remember OC Eric Bieniemy calling a QB sneak on first down because he hadn’t noticed that the Buffs had gotten a first down the play before. It was sad then, and funny now. Nobody expected the 2012 Buffs to do anything, so they didn’t really disappoint.

    This year, however, Mac made bold statements before the season. And since no one is allowed to watch practices, we had to take his word for it. I feel now like the guy is living in a bubble. He surrounds himself with yes men and no one is willing to tell the emperor he has no clothes.

    Is Mac even capable of evaluating talent? Or is he blinded by the glare from his COY glory? I don’t know. But I do sense the man has lost the faith of his team. When they had their one winning season, Mac hogged the glory. When they lost, the guy looked at everyone but himself.

    I don’t know. Maybe the guys on the team really love him and would run through walls for him. I kind of doubt it though. That’s how Bill McCartney’s players felt about him and it still shows more than 20 years later. I don’t sense the same thing now.

    I wish them luck, and hope things change for the better. We’ll see. I hope MacIntyre realizes that the reason that his teams get out-coached in the Pac-12 is NOT because people are spying on his practices.

    I watched Bill McCartney’s Buffs practice every day, and they were good even when you knew what was coming. They played in two national championship games and should have played in another. Not a bad stretch. Mac had a long list of assistants who went on to become head coaches because they learned from a master, as Mac had done himself under Bo Schembechler.

    I just don’t see the same thing from Mike MacIntyre. I wish I did.

    Lastly, not all has been negative. The shining beacon has been Phillip Lindsay. I’ve loved watching him play. Bill McCartney talked about guys like him as the key to everything if you want to win. I hope he breaks the record for rushing yards, although it will be hard now. He would deserve it. Bieniemy played behind a bunch of guys who would go on to block in the NFL. Lindsay hasn’t had that luxury.

    Wait ’til next year.


    1. Ditto on Phil. He is a special person. Nothing will ever keep from giving it his all. unfortunately not all 18 to 22 year olds have that all consuming fire in their heart. If Mac is going to survive here with the same ol same ol he better find a bunch more like Phil

  3. The defensive line is terrible. Why MacIntye decided to punt with 3 minutes to go, when they hadn’t made a stop in the 2nd half, was beyond me. 5-7, no bowl game.

    1. 3 years ago Mac recruited 6 D linemen. Only one, Leo Jackson, made any kind of impact.

      In fact only one other guy in the whole class seemed to have a “nasty” factor and that was Watanabe who had other problems that sent him home.

      In fact only Fields, Witherspoon in that entire class had any kind of significant impact.

      Mac seems to be able to find decent skill position players but I am beginning to wonder if he is somehow (subconsciously?) unable to accept players that have a real mean streak when they hit the field

  4. It is one of the oldest cliche’s in college football. “Football is Blocking & Tackling.” Until the guys up front are able to sustain an above average skill in those two areas over 60 min. the Buffs will remain a mediocre football program. Oh sure there are all kinds of other things that go into a highly precision team, but the two basic ingredients to good sound football have remained elusive this entire season.

  5. Another tough loss. People can clamor about the coaching and play calling all they want. Flea flicker was a terrible call, right? Fields had nearly 30 yards between him and the next defender. Musta been Chev’s play call. Lindsay wide open wheel route. Oops. Terrible call. Running Lindsey to the left on goal to go doesn’t work? It does more often than not. Surely, that was Lindgren’s call.

    Punting on 3rd and 14 from midfield, with 3 minutes left? Ok, so they’ve actually converted several third and longs. But, the odds are not in the favor of that gamble. How many plays really exist for 3rd and 14? Come on, you offensive gurus around here. Tell us the play call you’d have used.

    Go for it, and make it, you’re a genius. Go for it and don’t, you’re an idiot. Punt, and the defense finally gets a stop? You got a chance. They don’t? And you don’t. Super easy call to make on a Sunday morning, isn’t it?

    To me, this season builds a stronger fire of focus for next year, among players and coaches. We’re seeing Montez grow up before our eyes. There’s talent coming up. Each year under Mac, we’ve seen the next group’s talent level exceed those ahead of them.

    Can the CU D ever stop the run? That’s the most glaring issue, that I can see. Was under Leavitt, and for the last… errr… lost decade, of CU football, too.

    I assure you, Mac’s not blind to that either, and they’re doing what they can in coaching, recruiting and playing, to fix it. But, for now, that’s my concern w/ USC.

    They got some dudes who can run. Load the box? Darnold has some dudes to throw to. But? It’s college football. It’s the Pac 12. Anyone, pretty much, can beat anyone on any given day. Here’s to hoping Saturday is CU’s day to steal a win.

    This team is still tied for like their fifth best record in 17 years. Underachieving our expectations? Yes. Reason to fire everyone and start over? I sure don’t think so. They’re still building. And, they still got a chance for a bowl, and those extra practices – which, I actually agree w/ our friend VK – are huge.

    Go Buffs.

    1. You’re preaching to the choir iwith your first few comments, Eric. Please note that several comments prior to yours placed some of the blame for this loss on the players themselves. I also disagreed with punting with approx 3 minutes left since our D had shown no signs of stopping ASU in the fourth quarter. Might have been wiser, however, to have made that a four down series all along… try to get a good chunk of the 14 yards on 3rd down and then hopefully have a shorter 4th down try. That’s how I would have called it, since you asked. This was a total team loss, IMO… players and coaching.

      1. Definitely a team loss. It’s always a team win, or a team loss. Unless you have a dude like Khalil Tate, or Bryce Love, or those “dudes” who can truly carry a team single handedly.

        As to the punt vs. going for it, I think if they had 4th and short to middle yardage? They go for it. 4th and 14 is pretty hard. That’s my sense. They’ve gone for it plenty on 4th down this year. I think they made a calculated decision, and… didn’t work out.

        Go Buffs.

    2. Thanks for your permission Eric. I will continue to clamor for a coaching change…….”and any one, pretty much”…can beat anyone else in the PAC 12? It looks now like there is the same chance for the Buffs in the next game like the one in “Dumb and Dumber.”
      If somehow the Buffs succeed and beat Utah under the any one can beat anyone “rule”and get to a rubbish bowl I wont be there. I drove to SA last year and got physically sick. I can easily see it turning out worse this year.

      1. Right on EP. Why root for CU at all then?

        I was at the Pac 12 Championship game. Fun first half. Second half, not so much. I still stayed until the end. The bitter end.

        Go Buffs.

        1. I want the Buffs to win. Thats also why I want to get rid of the coaches Einstein (direct segway to his theory of insanity). Another high profile destruction in a bowl game will hurt recruiting more than not being in a bowl

  6. The only priority this offseason has to be to improve the offensive and defensive line, by any means necessary (recruiting, transfer, juco, etc…). If we don’t do that, any other changes/improvements will be irrelevant – including coaching changes.

  7. Down by 4, 3 minutes left in game, your driving down the field, you have not been able to stop ASU offence for most of second half, game on the line and you PUNT on forth down……..Coach Mac…. you didnt give the boys a chance to win with that call….shame on you……last year seems only like a dream…back to the old CU…..Pac 12 South basement… 1st ….back to basement… there a coaches award for that ?
    The future does not look bright
    Disgruntled Buff

  8. Shay Fields makes that catch in the first quarter and this would have been a different game, right? Sometimes fixing those little things does in fact make a big difference. As it stands now, that one fraction of a second is the difference between a bowl game and a lost season. Sunday is going to be a rough day for him. We get to move on at least.

    Overall this is the team we were expecting all season, isn’t it? The offense produced, and the defense got worn down late in the game. High scoring close games.

    But hey it was way more fun to watch than the ineptitude and self-destruction vs. UCLA or UA or WSU. I thought so. The Buffs are executing better. They have a punchers chance to hang with USC at home. Home advantage is huge in the Pac-12 this year. And expect a similar game at Utah. I’m an optimist for a change.

  9. Disappointing. Dropped TD passes (UCLA, ASU) by our highly touted receiving corp may be the difference this year in getting CU to a bowl game. Clearly the rushing D was atrocious but you have to seize the moment on O and make the plays.

    CU still theoretically in the bowl hunt. I don’t see them upsetting USC. Could be a big rout, like 55-17. Then it will likely come down to a 5-6 CU squad going up against a 5-6 Utah squad in Salt Lake for bowl eligibility.

  10. from last to first and first to last and altitude conditioning doesnt exist. Time to see if Tad can finally coach some offense

  11. Disclaimer: I picked em to win. I was hopeful. The Buffs need those extra 15 practices. The Banker is wrong. The staff is terrible. This is not a fun team to watch. Please someone “Steal” Mac. The womens teams all look pretty good.

    Clearly there is no one in charge of the Mighty Buff Football Program.

    The “rebuilder” has done his job. And now he is lost.

    He quotes Bill Belichick (like he does other pro coaches) once in a while.

    Bill Belichick always gets rid of guys one year early. RG should have congratulated Mac last year on a great year and had him move on. Most of you would be clueless in this area. It’s not like Mac only had a year. 4 years is plenty for a “rebuilder”

    Anyway once again CU is stuck with overpaying a coach, just cause it’s the market. Once again CU will be paying out the nose a long time for middling coaching.

    I gotta tell ya Mac looks lost and totally out of his element on the sidelines.


    Note: Never forget the impact of Leavitt.

    Note 2: Chose the FlimFlamMan over Peterson
    Note 3: Chose the FlimFlamMan2 over Leavitt

    Hopeful note: Please make a bowl. Please.

    Special Mention: It is said that the players take on the personality of their coach. This team has certainly taken on the personality of MickeyMac.

    ……………….ALL TALK AND NO WALK……………

    1. “Most of you would be clueless in this area.” Thanks for enlightening us, oh wise one.

      Now, where’s my Total Sarcasm emoji…

      1. I can understand why you say that

        Being told the truth is hard to take when you live
        under a MazMushroom


  12. It’s more complicated (with more blame to be spread around) than this but….make the TD catches that were dropped against UCLA and ASU, and this team is 7-3. I have made comments about Mac and Lindgren but players do have to make the plays when it counts. Disappointing. Chev has some work to do with the receiving crew. Of course, running D atrocious also. Still a theoretical chance for a bowl but I don’t see it happening. ASU was the best chance to seize the moment.

  13. There are waaaay too many fingers to point. The play calling in crucial situations remains less than quality. Third and three inside the 5 yd line and a hand off to Lindsay headed straight to a defense stacked in the box shows nothing. So many other options. Tight end maybe……like you called later in the game? Truly dreadful play calling.
    And Kinney running right into the oncoming tacklers? Missed balls, misthrown balls and terrible tackling pretty much sums it up.

  14. Three plays in the first half easily could have been touchdowns. The game should have been a blowout. “Players make plays, players win games.” As much as I found offensive play calling in the second half curious, and as frustrating as it is to see inability to make adjustments on defense… a lot of this loss is on the shoulders of the players.

  15. A) Buffs blew chances B) ASU picked on the Wigly miss match. C) the D line just got worn down and couldn’t hold up down the stretch.

    Don’t know if this team is bowl material this year.

  16. A tale of two receiving corps, one side makes better adjustments than the other… and where the hell were the calls to Lindsay in the second half?

    1. You giving up, Mark? You’re not quitting on this team are you? We won’t stand for our Buffs quitting, so fans can’t quit. We all should play as hard as we can until the final whistle….. right? Fans included

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