October 6th – Boulder           No. 21 Colorado 28, Arizona State 21

Laviska Shenault scored four touchdowns, with two scoring receptions and two scoring runs, leading No. 21 Colorado to a 28-21 win over Arizona State. For the game, Shenault had 13 receptions for 127 yards, to go with five carries for 13 yards.

Quarterback Steven Montez went 24-for-33 for 328 yards and two touchdowns, while Travon McMillian had 30 carries for 136 yards, becoming the first CU running back since Rashaan Salaam to post four 100-yard rushing games in the first five games of the season.

The game was tight throughout, with Arizona State taking 7-0, 14-7, and 21-14 leads, with the CU offense responding each time. Late i the third quarter, the Buffs took their first lead of the game on a Montez-to-Shenault three yard score. The Sun Devils appeared ready to respond, but cornerback Delrick Abrams, Jr., knocked away a Manny Wilkins pass on fourth-and-goal from the CU three yard line to preserve the lead.

“When you are the underdog you have to try and steal a possession and go for it even more”, said first-year head coach Herm Edwards of his decision to go for it on fourth-and-goal in the fourth quarter. “That is the logic behind it … If you do not you feel like you have nine minutes left—you hold them they punt, you can hopefully get the ball on the fifty and you get another shot. So it just didn’t work out.”

Colorado out-gained Arizona State, 494-to-367 in total yards, but the Buff defense came up huge in the second half. After surrendering a touchdown on the first drive of the third quarter, the Buffs buckled down. The Sun Devils were 5-of-6 on third down conversions in the first half, but 0-of-5 on third down conversions in the second half. In the decisive fourth quarter, Colorado ran 24 plays for 97 yards and 12:34 of game clock, while Arizona State ran six plays for three total yards, holding the ball for 2:26 after falling behind the Buffs in the final minute of the third quarter.

“It is really exciting”, said Mike MacIntyre, who won his 30th game as the CU head coach (30-38). “I love all of my teams. I care about all of my teams. There are some teams you kind of like more than others just because of how they all are together and you kind of like what you see. This team I really like”.

Game Story … The Colorado offense opened the game going “Folsom Fast”, with K.D. Nixon gaining for 20 yards on a jet sweep pass from Steven Montez. Three plays later, the Buffs faced a fourth-and-two at the Arizona State 47-yard line. A five yard run by Travon McMillian kept the drive alive, but thereafter the drive stalled, with the Buffs punting the ball away.

On Arizona State’s first possession, the Sun Devils pieced together a 13-play, 86-yard drive to take the early lead. The ASU offense faced three third downs on the drive, and on the first two, the drive was kept alive by CU penalties. On third-and-four at the ASU 20, an offside penalty resulted in a first down. Later, on third-and-ten at the CU 23, a pass interference penalty gave the Sun Devils a first-and-goal at the Buff eight yard line. On third-and-goal at the one, Eno Benjamin went up and in over the top, giving Arizona State a 7-0 lead.

The Buffs needed eight plays to post a response.

A 12-yard completion from Montez to Laviska Shenault, followed by a 12-yard run by Travon McMillian, got the Buffs out near midfield. A 39-pass completion from Montez to Tony Brown gave the Buffs a first-and-goal on the ASU three yard line. Two plays later, Shenault ran the ball in from the one yard line, tying the score at 7-7 with 2:52 remaining in the first quarter.

On ASU’s next drive, quarterback Manny Wilkins and star wide receiver N’Keal Harry connected for gains of 16 and 30 yards, but the drive came away empty. Stalled at the CU 35-yard line, kicker Brandon Ruiz came in for a 52-yard field goal attempt. The kick was long enough, but went wide left, leaving the score tied.

The Colorado offense, is had on ASU’s first drive, mirrored the Sun Devils on its next possession. A 12-yard pass to Laviska Shenault was followed by 22-yard completion to Jay MacIntyre on a trick play. Despite having a second-and-three at the ASU 20-yard line, the Buffs could penetrate no deeper. James Stefanou came in for a 38-yard field goal attempt,but, like his Sun Devil counterpart, the kick went left, leaving the game tied at 7-7 early in the second quarter.

The ASU offense did not come up empty on its third possession.

On a third-and-four at the ASU 44-yard line, Sun Devil quarterback Manny Wilkins connected with running back Eno Benjamin for a five-yard gain and a first down. Adding insult to injury, Buff linebacker Nate Landman was called for targeting on the tackle. The Sun Devils gained 15 more yards on the penalty, with the Buffs also losing their leading tackler for the remainder of the game. Later, Eno Benjamin scored on his second one-yard run of the game, making it a 14-7 game with 5:45 to go before halftime.

Needing a response to the Sun Devils’ second 13-play touchdown drive of the first half, the Buff offense came through.

After a 14-yard run by Travon McMillian, the drive was kept alive on a third-and-12 when Montez hit Jay MacIntyre for a 27-yard gain.

Then Laviska Shenault took over.

Shenault kept the Buffs in possession with a seven-yard run on fourth-and-two at the ASU 37. A nine-yard completion from Montez to Shenault put the ball inside the ten, with Shenault giving CU a first-and-goal with a three yard run on third-and-one at the ASU six. Two plays later, Montez connected with Shenault on a three-yard touchdown pass to tie the score in the final minute before the break.

Halftime score: Colorado 14, Arizona State 14

After grinding out drives in the first half, the Arizona State struck quickly to start the second half. A 19-yard completion, followed by a 15-yard run, set the Sun Devils up near midfield. Two plays later, quarterback Manny Wilkins connected with Frank Darby for a 40-yard touchdown.

Less than 90 seconds into the second half, Arizona State was back ahead, 21-14.

For the third time on the afternoon, though, the Buffs had an answer. Steven Montez hit Laviska Shenault for a 25-yard gain on the first play of the drive. Three Travon McMillian runs covered 20 more yards before Montez found Shenault for a 30-yard touchdown.

Just over 90 second after Arizona State had re-taken the lead, the game was again tied, 21-21.

On Arizona State’s next drive, the CU defense forced the Sun Devils into their first punt of the game. With the ball and a chance to take the lead for the first time since the opening drive of the game, the Buff offense … went three-and-out.

After forcing the first three-and-out of the game from the ASU offense, but Buffs took over at their four yard line. Three plays and no yards brought another punt from the Buffs.

Again taking over near midfield, the Arizona State offense … again went three-and-out.

This time, though, the Buff offense did not follow suit. A Steven Montez to K.D. Nixon pass was good for 24 yards, out to the CU 47. Three runs gave the Buffs a first down but a holding call left the CU offense with a first-and-20 at 48.

No problem.

Steven Montez hit K.D. Nixon for a 51-yard gain down to the ASU one-yard line. On the next play, Laviska Shenault had his second rushing touchdown – and his fourth score of the game – giving Colorado its first lead of the game, at 28-21, in the final minute of the third quarter.

It appeared that the lead would be short-lived, as Manny Wilkins completed a 72-yard pass to Frank Darby on ASU’s first play from scrimmage. Set up at the CU three yard line, a tie game appeared imminent. A sack of Wilkins by Mustafa Johnson, CU’s first of the game, set the Sun Devils back on the CU ten yard line. An eight-yard completion on third-and-goal at the CU three. Eschewing the field goal, ASU head coach Herm Edwards decided to go for the tying score. The fourth down pass was broken up, though, by Buff cornerback Delrick Abrams, Jr., giving the ball back to the CU offense.

The Buffs were not able to score on their next drive, but they did move the ball. Taking over at the three, the Buffs held the ball for 11 plays and 5:24 of fourth quarter clock before punting the ball away.

The CU defense again stood tall, forcing a three-and-out from the Arizona State defense.

Taking over with 7:10 to play, the Buffs wanted to run clock … and they did just that. Four runs by Travon McMillian netted 18 yards, but the Buffs faced a third-and-five at their 42.

No problem … Montez completed an eight yard pass to Laviska Shenault to keep the drive alive.

Two plays later, the Buffs faced a third-and-seven at the ASU 47-yard line. The Sun Devils called their last time out, with 3:27 still left to play. A miscue by the Buffs, and the Sun Devils would have one last chance.

No problem … Montez completed an eight yard pass to Laviska Shenault to keep the drive alive.

All told, the Buffs finished the game with a 13-play, 47-yard drive, chewing up the final 7:10 of game clock, never giving Arizona State another chance to tie the game.

Final score: Colorado 28, Arizona State 21

“It is really important to show that, but we aren’t satisfied,” said Travon McMillian of CU’s fourth quarter dominance. “We are going to keep going to work each and every day. We bring that mindset every day that we’re trying to be faster on offense, control the clock and control the ball.”

Offensive lineman Brett Tonz was more direct. ” It was probably one of the greatest feelings,” said Tonz of the seven minute drive to finish off the win. “We were able to move their D‐linemen with all of the stunts that they were doing. Every single one of them (the O‐line) worked hard every single day in practice, getting to know the stunts and stuff. It is great. There is no greater feeling than running that ball down their throat for the win.”

Game Notes … 

— The win was just the second for Colorado in the series against Arizona State (2-8), winning for the second time at home (40-16 in 2016);

— With the victory, the Buffs raised their Pac-12 record to 2-0 for the first time in eight seasons in the Pac-12 conference;

— The announced crowd was 52,681, the second-sellout of the Mike MacIntyre era (52,301 for regular season finale against Utah in 2016);

— All four of CU’s scoring drives covered 75 yards or more (75; 84; 75; 80);

Laviska Shenault (13 receptions for 127 yards; two touchdowns; five carries for 13 yards; two touchdowns) became the first player in CU history with multiple touchdowns rushing and receiving in the same game … scoring a receiving touchdown in each of the first five games of the season is second only to Nelson Spruce (seven straight games with a touchdown);

Travon McMillian (30 carries for 136 yards rushing) joined Rashaan Salaam as the only backs in CU history with four 100-yard rushing games in the first five games of a season;

Steven Montez (24-of-33 passing for 328 yards and two touchdowns; three carries for 17 yards) had 345 yards of total offense, becoming just the sixth player in CU history with over 6,000 yards of total offense (6,083).



18 Replies to “No. 21 Colorado 28, Arizona State 21”

  1. Time for Curmudgeon corner.
    I had to “watch” the game on the radio. Geeez I hate that. Instead of saying it like “big hole on the right side and MacMillan scoots through for for 11 yards and a first down” Johnson has to yak it up about ancillary things before you hear the end result of the play. Zimmer was guilty of this too. Just sit back and let Barnett yak about the ancillary things between plays. His laid back style is much more palatable especially in contrast to Johnson’s Mexican DJ delivery .
    On to complaint number 2.
    Looking at Viska’s rushing stats it appears Chev has gone to that well a little too often. Maybe someone can tell me how many times he was in the wildcat. I know the O line did a great job this game but why make their job that much harder when the D knows exactly whats coming? Line him up in the RB position as a decoy sometimes or let him actually throw the ball if he can. The next 2 games are going to get progressively harder so a little more deception might be in order.
    We dont want his stats to get too crazy or he might not be here next year….or has that ship already sailed?

    1. ep, if my aging mind is still working I don’t think there has been one pass to the TE ………yet. Agree they have pretty much run the same play out of the Wildcat, maybe sometime somewhere in a galaxy far away they will use him as a decoy.

      Could this week against USC be the week that they turn loose the TE with oh my gosh ONE (1) PASS?

      I must say though I am a very happy Buff Fan to this point.

      1. ditto
        even though the game was way too close. Remember how all the brain child pundit’s were saying Edwards was too old and out of touch?

      2. Who said we have TE’s ? Hogwash…..they’re outside tackles and inside tackles.

        A TE can be a wonderful asset…… RECEIVING THE DAMN BALL. Michigan showed us last year how important a TE can be to an offense…. IMHO it’s one of the reasons we got beat.

        Are we just storing them in a closet somewhere ????? What gives ?

  2. Whoa, Big News.
    Only 7 Oline guys played

    Senior Josh Kaiser (right tackle), juniors Aaron Haigler (right guard) and Brett Tonz (left guard) and freshmen Colby Pursell (center) and William Sherman (left tackle) started, while junior Tim Lynott and freshman Frank Fillip both came off the bench to contribute.

    Adams settling down a bit eh?

    Young and talented. Seriously. It’s coming.


    1. The last drive of the game even with no points was a thing of beauty. Sorta like last year when ASU was killing us with a similar drive. That time eating, yard consuming drive has been a long time coming, hope it is now available for the rest of this year. If so this could be better then 2016.

      1. Hey Ol one,

        Yup that was real nice. The TE/HB no balls. But tons of blocks. Tons and some very interesting blocking schemes.

        They will be used to catch the key pass when least expected. They don’t need it yet. A lot depends on what the D does. How many in the box? Too many? TE block run or pas Okay play man on the WR. Nice. Buffs win. Not enough? Keep an eye out.


  3. “We are more mentally and physically tough as a whole team than we were last year, there’s no doubt,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “We didn’t win those type of games last year. We wouldn’t have put them away like we did. We wouldn’t have kept battling. Whole team. Yup coaches too. Last year the coaching staff was week and quite as a whole and individually and they did not put the opposition away.



    Note: Starts with the HC. The HC was weak last year. He admitted it. His captains talked about it. That was a heck of a drop for UCOY back to last place. Anyway that bad time in his life is past. He may have come out stronger. I really believe that I really do. Yup the kids are tougher bigger faster smarter (Thanks Chev) and the coaching staff “De-Lingrenizing” has not only changed the offense but the defensive attitude as well. They don’t worry if the O will score, cause they know there won’t be 6 out of every 9 plays of a poorly designed qb draw play called)

    Note 2: Macs coaching staff. Mac said about the coaches: “We like each other” I believe that I really do. Why not. The coaches can look around the coaches room and see talent. No longer is the room filled with yes men from the WAC. No longer filled with “Mac-pets”…Okay Bernardi is there… but kind of an Emeritus guy.

    Note 3: Chev changed recruiting. Chev Changed Mac when it came to recruiting. Chev showed Mac what an offense should look like. Yup Chev will be a head coach. And he will be a head coach at Colorado.


  4. Wow. Mac really seems to be building a program here. And, unlike 2016, most of this year’s key contributors will be back next year.

    At SC is going to be huge.

    Vk, you still hope Mac has another great year and moves on?

    I hope he gets another extension.

      1. Your world view – or at least CU view – cracks me up. It still puzzles me, too. You don’t sound like a CU fan, most of the time.

        Without Montez performing at an elite level – like one of the best QBs in the country – and Shenault being one of the best receivers in the country, this offense “might” not look the same. Pretty sure Chev wasn’t recruiting when Montez was found. Did Roper help get him to the next level? 100%. But, as Steven himself said, if he’d have been there his freshman year, Steven’s reaction would’ve been the same as it was “you want me to watch film? Ok” And still wouldn’t have. Dude made a choice. He’s reaping the rewards of that (and what an awesome piece to see his Mom in the sideline interview after the game).

        Meanwhile, where’s the praise for DJ’s defense? You could argue, as well as Viska, Montez, McMillan and the O-line played, it was the defense that won that game yesterday.

        And lastly, how’s MacIntyre’s year six compare to McCartney’s year six now? How ’bout year four?

        You are what your record says you are? Actually, not quite. This team still has “nothing to say and a lot to prove”. And, as I’ve been saying for a while, if Montez keeps this up, they’ll prove a lot. And, for sure, props to the O-line (and their coach). Oh, that reminds me, since Mac likes to play favorites, seniority etc. it must, absolutely mean that Chev got those youngsters starting on the line. Has to be. Riiiight.

        Mac’s building a program. Chev’s certainly a part of it. But, Mac built 2016’s success; Leavitt helped, too.

        Mac and co took a step back in 2017; remember they put half their 2016 defense into the NFL?

        Now? They’ve got NFL dudes scattered around both sides of the ball. Put that together with good coaching, and the future is bright. And, the future just might be now.

        How bummed will you be when Mac signs another multi-year extension?

        Go Buffs.

  5. Could someone please educate me why landman was ejected and the asu corner wasn’t. I was at the game and the replays didn’t make sense. I also hate that players get ejected when it says in the review they say the play stands instead of confirmed. If we are ejecting players you better damn well be sure that it was targeting.

    1. I struggle with understanding the rule and the way it is interpreted. Landmark had his arms wrapped around the guy. How you can manage that if you are truly leading with your helmet is beyond me. The ASU guy did have his hands up in front of him. I. Both cases there was helmet to helmet contact. If Landman deserved ejection than so did the ASU guy. I really don’t get it.

      What really torqued me off however is that if it is really about player safety than why was the hit that an ASU linebacker put on one of our leading linemen that snapped his head back violently not get called. That to me was the most dangerous play in the game, but that is apparently just fine. The announcers get all sanctimonious on Landman, but had no problem laughing about our lineman getting decapitated. The rules and the interpretation have become a joke.

      1. So subjective. To me, either both should have been non calls, or both targeting. I thought in landman’s case, the receiver ducked a bit to protect himself.

        On the bright side, hard to knock attempts at player safety. But, maybe they could revise the rule so that if it is isn’tabundantly clear it was targeting, the foul stands but the kid gets a warning, sits a play or series, and can return. 2nd time they get the boot.

        Go Buffs.

  6. The Mighty Buffs
    Again great halftime adjustments.

    Held em scoreless for the last 28 minutes of the 2nd half. Stopped em cold. No sacks.

    Shut em down.


    Note: You double Laviska……………KD gonna kill ya.


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