Friday Fast Facts – Colorado v. Arizona State Edition

Trivia question of the week: No. 10 Washington is a 21.0-point favorite on the road against UCLA. But … just how long has it been since the Huskies have beaten the Bruins in Pasadena (You’ll never believe the answer, found below) …

Pac-12 lines and television schedule … 


— No. 21 Colorado … a 2.5-point favorite at home over Arizona State … 2:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Arizona State leads the series, 8-1 … Last: ASU 41-30 (2017)

— UCLA … a 21.0-point underdog at home against No. 10 Washington … 5:30 p.m., MT, Fox … UCLA leads the series, 40-31-2 … Last: Washington 44-23 (2017)

— Oregon State … a 16.0-point underdog at home against Washington State … 7:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Washington State leads the series, 52-47-3 … Last: Washington State 52-23 (2017)

— Arizona … a 1.5-point underdog at home against California … 8:00 p.m., MT, FS1 … Arizona leads the series, 17-14-2 … Last: Arizona 45-44 (2OT) (2017)

— No. 14 Stanford … a 5.0-point favorite at home over Utah … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … Series tied, 4-4 … Last: Stanford 23-20 (2017)

— Idle … No. 18 Oregon … next week: No 10 Washington, TBA

— Idle … USC … next week: No. 21 Colorado, 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1

Big Picture

— Colorado is 4-0 to start the 2018 season, opening 4-0 for the 31st time in its history. The last time the Buffs opened 4-0 was in 1998, when the Buffs opened with a 5-0 record;

— Colorado is 704-501-36 all-time (.581). The Buffs are 25th in all-time victories;

Quirky stat of the week (this wasn’t even from Dave Plati, but from the N.C. State sports information department)… Colorado leads the nation in percentage of pass completions to wide receivers. Of CU’s 95 completions, 89 have gone to wide outs (93.7%). Not for nothing, but, with an attacking style defense coming to town, perhaps some passes to tight ends over the middle or screen passes to running backs might make a good addition to the playbook for the Arizona State game;

— The Buffs have played well in the second half this season, out-scoring opponents 74-27, and leading 1,058-611 in yards gained. In third quarter scoring, CU is ahead of its opponents, 51-24, with a 23-3 advantage in the fourth quarter;

— Colorado has played Arizona State nine times, but this weekend’s game (2:00 p.m., MT, kickoff) is only the second-ever afternoon meeting between the two teams;

— CU has played Arizona State three times when the Sun Devils were ranked. This weekend will mark the first time the two teams have met with Colorado being the ranked team;

— In the last four games between the two teams, the winner has scored at least 38 points; the loser at least 23 points.

Statistically speaking

— The 2018 campaign marks just the second season in CU history the Buffs have scored 30 or more points in each of the first four games of the season (joining the 1896 team, which defeated Colorado College, 50-0, in game four. That CU team also won game five, but only by the score of 8-6 over the Denver Athletic Club, finishing its season with a perfect 5-0 record);

— Colorado is ranked in the top 25 nationally in several categories: total offense (20th – 489.8 yards/game); scoring offense (23rd – 40.3 points/game); scoring defense (20th – 17.8 points/game); tackles for loss (16th – 8.3/game); turnovers lost (17th – 4); first downs allowed (25th – 75); sacks (13th – 3.25/game); and team passing efficiency (13th – 170.0);

— In addition to the above categories, Colorado is ranked in the top three in the Pac-12 conference in several other categories, including: rushing offense (205.5 yards/game); passing offense (284.2 yards/game); turnover margin (+.75/game); and time of possession (31:01).

— The Buffs are 23-8 under Mike MacIntyre in games in which they score at least 30 points.

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, 39th). 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 – 704 (25th) to 610 (50th);

— Conference championships – 26 (10th) to 17 (25th);

— All-time NFL draft picks – 271 (23rd) to 245 (30th);

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

— Weeks in the AP poll – Colorado: 303 (26th); Arizona State: 281 (33rd) – each team has been in the AP poll one week this season;

— All-time first round NFL draft picks: the teams are tied for 27th all-time apiece … with 24.

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 1-20.

The Buffs have never beaten USC (0-12) and have only one win over Arizona State (1-8), with the lone victory being a 40-16 win in Boulder in 2016.

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.

Player Notes

— Quarterback Steven Montez remains highly ranked nationally in a number of categories: completion percentage (1st – .758); passing efficiency (11th – 173.7); and total offense (19th – 300.0 yards/game);

— Wide receiver Laviska Shenault is first in the nation in receiving yards per game (145.3) and receptions per game (9.5); and is 12th in the nation in all-purpose yards (152.3 yards/game);

— Linebacker Nate Landman is tied for 13th in the nation in tackles for loss per game (1.8);

— Defensive end Mustafa Johnson is tied for 27th in the nation in sacks per game (.88);

— Running back Travon McMillian is fourth in the Pac-12 (24th in the nation) in rushing yards per game (98.0 yards/game);

— Defensive back Ronnie Blackmon is second in the Pac-12 (25th in the nation) in punt return average (10.9 yards/return);

Pac-12 Notes

— There are 14 FBS teams which remain undefeated, with Colorado the only Pac-12 team which remains unbeaten. The last time Colorado was the last team in its conference to remain undefeated was 1989. On November 4th, the 8-0 (and 2nd-ranked) Buffs took on the 8-0 (and third-ranked) Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Buffs prevailed, 27-21, going to 9-0 in what would become an 11-0 regular season record;

— Four teams from the Pac-12 were ranked in the latest Associated Press poll … No. 10 Washington … No. 14 Stanford … No. 18 Oregon … and No. 21 Colorado. Three Pac-12 teams were on the list of teams receiving votes: No. 32 Washington State; No. 34 California; and No. 40 Arizona State;

— Washington has now appeared in 38 consecutive AP polls, including 28 weeks in the top ten;

— In addition to Laviska Shenault leading the nation in receiving yards and receptions per game (and Steven Montez leading the nation in completion percentage), the Pac-12 has one other national leader. Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshaw II currently leads the nation in completions per game (37.0), passing yards per game (398.4 yards per game), and total offense (406.0 yards/game);

— In team statistics, Washington State leads the nation in passing offense (410.4 yards/game), while Washington in the nation’s leader in scoring defense (11.6 points/game).

Trivia question answer: As hard as it may be to believe, Washington hasn’t beaten UCLA in Pasadena since 1995 (a span of eight games). The last time the Huskies beat the Bruins on the road, gasoline was $1.09/gallon; the Dow Jones Industrial average closed above 5,000 for the first time; and Michael Jordan ended his baseball career to head back to the Chicago Bulls.

… UCLA head coach Chip Kelly, in 1995, was the running backs coach at New Hampshire;

… Washington head coach Chris Petersen, in 1995, was the wide receivers coach at Oregon.


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