Friday Fast Facts – Colorado at Arizona State


Colorado at Arizona State … what can we expect?

There’s some bad karma working against the Buffs as they head off to Tempe to face Arizona State (Sat., 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks).

First … The only thing constant about the play of Pac-12 teams this fall has been their inconsistency.

Colorado bounced back from a humbling loss against Washington State to play its best game of the season against Cal.

USC bounced back from a humbling loss against Notre Dame to play its best game of the season against Arizona State.

If the past few weeks have been a guide, then Arizona State is going to bounce back from its 48-17 loss to USC with a great game this Saturday against the Buffs.

Not good.

Second … Sun Devil Stadium has been a House of Horrors for the University of Colorado football team.

The Buffs are 0-4 against Arizona State on the road, with scores of 33-14, 48-14, 54-13, and 48-23 over the past decade.

If history is a guide, the Sun Devils will dominate the Buffs to to tune of a 46-16 beatdown.

Not good.


CU injury report

to be taken with a grain of salt. Last week, Isaiah Oliver was listed as “probable”, but didn’t play …

Linebacker Tim Coleman – Sprained ankle – (Day to Day)
Linebacker Terran Hasselbach – Concussion, Going through protocol – (Day to day)
Center Jonathan Huckins – Concussion, Going through protocol – (Day to Day)
Cornerback Isaiah Oliver – Leg injury – (Day to Day)
Safety Kyle Trego – high ankle sprain, practicing on a limited basis – (Questionable)


Arizona State players to watch:

Manny Wilkins, QB (No. 5) – The junior has thrown for 2,096 yards, with nine touchdowns and three interceptions (for comparison’s sake, CU quarterback Steven Montez has very similar stats: 2,059 passing yards, with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions). Wilkins has only 51 yards rushing on the season, largely due to the fact that he has been sacked 30 times (yes, 30 times … ASU is 127th in the nation in sacks allowed);

N’Keal Harry, WR (No. 1) – Harry has 54 receptions for 713 yards and three touchdowns (CU’s best: Bryce Bobo: 45 catches for 485 yards and five touchdowns). “He’s so big (6-4, 216 pounds) and he’s athletic,” Mike MacIntyre said this week. “He’s able to catch it and not take a hit. They even put him in the backfield and run him at wildcat. He’s an excellent, excellent player”;

Demario Richard, RB (No. 4) and Kallen Ballage, RB (No. 7) – The seniors have almost identical stats: Richard has 100 carries for 379 yards and five touchdowns, while Ballage has 93 carries for 378 yards and five touchdowns;

Christian Sam, LB (No. 2) – Sam leads the Pac-12 – and is 8th in the nation – in tackles per game, with an average of 10.4 tackles per outing. Sam has had six consecutive games with double-digit tackles, including a career-best 15 tackles (10 solo) against USC last weekend;

Alani Latu, DE (No. 44) – The senior had 4.5 sacks in his first five games, but has sat out the last two with a leg injury. Latu is expected to be back in the lineup against Colorado.


Colorado and Arizona State – head-to-head

Okay, we won’t beat this one to death.

Colorado has exactly one win over its next two opponents, with a combined record of 1-18.

The Buffs have never beaten USC (0-11) and have only one win over Arizona State (1-7), with the lone victory being a 40-16 win in Boulder last fall.

Despite the fact that the two schools are only 589 miles apart, the two programs never met on the gridiron until 2006, with the Sun Devils taking both ends of a home-and-home in 2006 and ’07, 21-3 and 33-14.

The Buffs started out 0-5 against the Sun Devils as members of the Pac-12 … and none of the games were close. Arizona State averaged 47.8 points per outing in those five games against Colorado, with an average margin of victory of 29.6 points.

It’s no wonder then that the last time Colorado took a trip to Tempe, the Buffs were not given much in the way of respect. Arizona State was 3-2 heading into the game; Colorado also had a 3-2 record. After the game, a 48-23 beatdown by the Sun Devils, ASU head coach Todd Graham said, “We came out and dominated a team we should dominate”.


In the 2016 season, the Buffs had many “first time since joining the Pac-12” moments, including CU’s first-ever win over Arizona State.

A “first-ever” win in Tempe against Arizona State would be a nice addition to that list this fall.


Colorado and Arizona State … historical

While Colorado has yet to make much of a mark against Arizona State head-to-head, the Buffs have significant advantages over the Sun Devils when it comes to historical records.

Arizona State has a better winning percentage all-time (.607, 24th in history, to CU’s .582, 40th). Otherwise, the advantages are almost all Colorado.

According to Winsipedia, the Buffs lead the Sun Devils in a number of all-time categories:

— All-time wins – 700 (25th) to 604 (49th) (note: the ASU press release for the CU game has the Sun Devils with 599 wins, gunning for win No. 600 a week after Colorado reached the 700 plateau. If I were an ASU fan, I’d go with the 604 wins recognized by Winsipedia, but the ASU athletic department is probably more accurate);

— Conference championships – 26 (10th) to 17 (29th);

— All-time NFL draft picks – 270 (22nd) to 242 (31st);

There are several categories which are close enough to bear watching, including:

— Weeks in the AP poll – Colorado: 302 (26th); Arizona State: 280 (33rd);

— All-time first round NFL draft picks: the teams are tied for 26th all-time apiece … with 24.


Colorado and Arizona State … Notes and Numbers

— Arizona State is almost perfect when the offense gets to the red zone. The Sun Devils are 24-of-25 this season in red zone opportunities, with 19 touchdowns. Arizona State might be a perfect 100%, as its only “blemish” this season in the red zone was a kneel down at the end of the Washington game;

— The aforementioned 13-7 victory over No. 5 Washington represents the highest-ranked opponent defeated by Arizona State in the six-year tenure of Todd Graham. It was the first win over a top-five program for the Sun Devils since taking down No. 1 Nebraska, 19-0, in 1996;

— Arizona State and Colorado have been good at hanging onto the ball this season. The Sun Devils have only seven turnovers this fall (15th nationally), while the Buffs have turned the ball over only ten times (35th in the nation);

— Arizona State is 3-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less this season; Colorado is 1-2;

— In last season’s 40-16 victory in Boulder, Phillip Lindsay had 26 carries for 219 yards and three touchdowns, including a season-long 75-yard score on the first play of the second half, giving CU at 30-10 lead;

— Phillip Lindsay needs 454 yards in his final three games to become CU’s all-time leading rusher (Eric Bieniemy, 3,940), or an average of 151.3 yards per game (remember: CU doesn’t count bowl game statistics);

— Arizona State has Phil Mickelson, but, between the two, Colorado is the only school with U.S. Open titles (Hale Irwin, 3; Steve Jones, 1);

— Some statistical matchups worth noting:

– Arizona State is sixth in the nation in penalties, averaging only 4.0 penalties per game; Colorado, meanwhile, is 93rd in penalties, averaging 6.89 penalties per game;

– Will it be a shootout? Colorado is 91st in the nation in total defense (423.4 yards per game); Arizona State is 101st in the nation in total defense (440.4 yards per game);

– Arizona State is averaging 3.13 sacks per game (12th in the nation), while Colorado is surrendering 2.89 sacks per game (112th nationally)


Pac-12 Notes … 

— Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate won his fourth consecutive Offensive Player-of-the-Week award this week, becoming the first player in league history to do so (USC’s quarterback Rodney Peete won the award three consecutive weeks);

— Khalil Tate has taken the 2017 football season by storm. Here’s a look at what he’s accomplished so far this season (played in six games, with just three starts):

• Rushing Yards/Season – 926 yards (Pac-12 record by a quarterback is 986 by Jake Locker, Washington (2007)
• Rushing Yards/Game – 154.3 ypg (No. 3 FBS)
• Single Game FBS QB rushing record: 327 yards vs. Colorado (Oct. 7)
• Rushing back-to-back games: 557 yards (327 at Colorado; 230 vs. UCLA). Fourth-best in Pac-12 history
• October Rushing Totals: 884 yards (most by a FBS player in a single month in more than a decade)
• Four rushes of 70+ yards: 75 at Colorado, 71 vs. UCLA, 76 at Cal, 82 vs. Washington State
• Eight rushing TDs this season have covered: 58, 28, 47, 75, 45, 71, 76 and 49 yards
• Leads FBS in yards per attempt (13.42)

— An ankle injury was the only thing to keep Stanford junior RB Bryce Love in check last week as he did not play in Stanford’s 15-14 win at Oregon State. Despite missing last week’s game, Love still leads the nation in rushing (198.1 yards per game). Here’s a look at Love’s achievements to date:

• Rushing Yards/Game – 198.1 ypg (No. 1 FBS)
• Stanford single-game rushing record: 301 yards vs. Arizona State (Sept. 30)
• Rushing back-to-back games: 564 yards (301 vs. Arizona State, 263 vs. UCLA). Third-best in Pac-12 history
• Has rushed for 100+ yards in nine consecutive games, with a 50+ yard rush in each game
• Six rushes of 60+ yards this season: 62 vs. Rice, 75 at USC, 69 vs. UCLA, 61 vs. ASU, 68 at Utah, 67 vs. Oregon
• Eleven rushing TDs this season have covered: 10, 75, 51, 53, 69, 61, 43, 59, 68, 5 and 67 yards
• Second in the FBS in yards per attempt (10.27)

— Matchup issues …

  • UCLA at Utah … UCLA No. 3 in the Pac-12 in total offense; Utah No. 3 in total defense;
  • Stanford at Washington State … Stanford No. 3 in the Pac-12 in rushing offense; WSU No. 3 in rushing defense;
  • Oregon at Washington … Oregon ran for 347 yards last week; Washington has given up 292 rushing yards total over past five games;
  • Arizona at USC … Sixth time the teams when both are ranked … but the first time since 1995.


The Phillip Lindsay file:

— CU career leader in all-purpose yards (5,456 – old record: 4,828 – Rodney Stewart, 2008-11);

— Third in all-time rushing (3,487, needs 454 to pass Eric Bieniemy, who had 3,940, 1987-90);

— Second to post two 1,000-yard rushing seasons (first to do it in back-to-back years);

— Lindsay already holds school records for most rushing attempts, quarter (14, v. Arizona this year); rushing attempts, game (41, v. Arizona); most first downs gained, non-quarterback, game (17, v. Arizona); and most career receptions by a running back (106);

— Lindsay is within reach of several other records … Most receiving yards by a running back, career (892 – record: 969, Rodney Stewart, 2008-11); Most touchdowns, career: 35 (record: 42, Rashaan Salaam, 1992-94); most first downs earned rushing, career: 182 (record: 185, Rodney Stewart, 2008-11).


2 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. Yo Stuart,

    I’m hoping beyond hope that the Buffs make it through the Valley of the Sun and walk away with a win. I canceled my trip after the Washington State debacle, but I can say I was there the only time they won in Sun Devil Stadium. It was one of my favorite games ever.

    At least we know the weather will be good. Playing in bad weather does not seem to be the forte of these Buffs. Please no November dust storm haboobs.


  2. I still say it comes down to the trenches. If the Buff D dominates, they keep the ASU run game in check and open potential for pressure on QB. If ASU dominates, their QB picks apart CU and their run game pounds the Buffs.

    If the CU O line dominates- Montez gets in a rhythm, the offense clicks and the Buffs score a lot of points. If they leak like a sieve, it’s another Washington State-eqsque day – and – ugh…

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