September 25th – at Arizona State          Arizona State 35, Colorado 13

The Colorado offense posted its first points in eight quarters with a long field goal just before halftime, and its first touchdown in forever on its first drive of the second half, but it wasn’t enough – not nearly enough – as the Buffs fell in Tempe to Arizona State, 35-13. The Buffs scored early in the second half to make it a 14-10 game, but did not threaten again when it mattered, as the Sun Devils scored three touchdowns in four drives in the second half to run away with the win.

Brendon Lewis was ineffective again at quarterback, hitting on only seven of 17 pass attempts, for all of 67 yards. Alex Fontenot had 65 yards on 14 carries, including a one-yard scoring run, giving the Buffs their first touchdown in nine quarters. Jared Broussard had 35 yards on 12 carries, becoming the fastest Buff to reach 1,000 yards in a career, doing so in his ninth career game.

“We have to just keep bringing this team along,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “We have a lot of young players playing and a lot of new players playing. It’s challenging every week … We have to keep working at getting better each week and hopefully that light bulb starts to glow a little bit brighter for us to be a more productive team and do as well as we need to do.”

Game Story … Arizona State completed a 26-yard pass on the first play from scrimmage, but thereafter the Buff defense stiffened, forcing a punt three plays later. The Colorado offense, much maligned after posting only 63 yards of total offense the previous week against Minnesota, responded by … going three-and-out with a sack, losing seven yards in three plays.

Taking over at the CU 45-yard line, the ASU offense was in prime position to opening the scoring. The Buff defense, though, forced a three-and-out, including a sack of quarterback Jayden Daniels … except … Terrance Lang was called for a face mask penalty on the sack, giving the Sun Devils new life. Four plays later, Jayden Daniels walked into the end zone untouched for a seven yard touchdown midway through the first quarter.

Despite a delay of game penalty to open its next drive, the Buff offense did pick up its first first down of the game on drive No. 2, with quarterback Brendon Lewis hitting Dimitri Stanley for a ten-yard gain on third-and-eight. The Buffs couldn’t sustain the success, however, punting the ball away three plays later.

The Buff defense was able to force another quick punt, giving the offense yet another chance to demonstrate the ability to move the ball. The offense responded with its best drive in two games, even if that wasn’t saying much. A nice catch by Montana Lemonius-Craig gave the Buffs a first down, with an 11-yard run by Alex Fontenot moving the chains a second time.

The second quarter opened with CU’s longest play in eight quarters, with Brendon Lewis going for 33 yards, putting the ball on the opponent’s side of the field. A nine-yard run by Lewis gave the Buffs a second-and-one at the Arizona State 25-yard line – with momentum. Two runs by Alex Fontenot, however, lost three yards. Freshman kicker Cole Becker was called upon for his third attempt of the season, a 46-yarder. The attempt was partially blocked, and CU’s scoreless drought continued.

Two quick completions from Jayden Daniels to Curtis Hodges, going for 26 and 12 yards, quickly put the Sun Devils back in scoring position. A third-and-eight pass from Daniels went out of the end zone … but … Terrance Lang was called for his second personal foul on the play, giving ASU a first down at the 11-yard line. Rachaad White scored on the next play, giving Arizona State a 14-0 lead with 9:28 to play in the second quarter.

The Buff offense was also given a second chance on its next drive, when Arizona State was called for roughing the passer on a third down incompletion, but the Buffs couldn’t pick up another first down, punting the ball away for the third time in the half.

Able to overcome a 37-yard completion on third-and-11 from the ASU four yard line, the CU defense was able to force yet another punt by the Sun Devils. Taking over at their 24-yard line, the Buffs were assisted initially by a pass interference penalty. A 15-yard run by Alex Fontenot gave the Buffs another first down, but the Buffs soon faced a fourth-and-four at the ASU 41-yard line. Going for it, Lewis connected with Dimitri Stanley for a six-yard gain and a first down. Three more plays netted only two more yards, with Cole Becker called upon again for a long field goal with 18 seconds left before halftime. This time it was good, with Becker hitting a 51-yarder to break a Pac-12 record 25 consecutive scoreless drives.

Halftime score: Arizona State 14, Colorado 3

The Buffs were out-gained in the first half, 188 total yards to 101, and 12 first downs to nine, but those numbers were impressive compared to what the Buffs had posted in the previous seven quarters.

But that was nothing compared to CU’s first drive of the third quarter. The Buffs moved the ball effectively for the first time since the first half of the Texas A&M game, gaining yards in chunks. Jared Broussard opened the half with runs of 12 and eight yards. Next, Brendon Lewis connected on a shovel pass to Ty Robinson, with the play going for 26 yards. An Alex Fontenot run of 13 yards gave CU its first red zone opportunity in forever. Another strong run by Fontenot going for 14 yards, gave CU a first-and-goal at the two-yard line. It took three tries, but the Buffs got it in, with Fontenot scoring on a one-yard run to make it a 14-10 game four minutes into the second half.

Could the Buff defense rise to the challenge, and get the ball back to resurgent Buff offense with a chance to take the lead?

Uh, no.

It took the Arizona State offense only six plays to cover 71 yards to reclaim a two-score lead, never facing so much as a third down. Chunk plays of 25, 14,13  and 15 yards set up a 17-yard touchdown run on a reverse by wide receiver Elijhah Badger, giving Arizona State a 21-10 lead midway through the third quarter.

Could the Buff offense rise to the challenge, and answer the ASU score?

Uh, no.

Jared Broussard did pick up a first down with a tough four yard run on third-and-two to open the drive, but the next three plays netted only four yards, with the Buffs punting the ball away.

The Buff defense did force a punt out of the Sun Devils on their next drive – after flipping the field with three plays gaining 43 yards before the Buffs stiffened. The CU offense did pick up a first down … except for the holding call which nullified the gain … netting the Buffs a three-and-out.

This time, the Buff defense did not hold. It took the the Arizona State offense only five plays to cover 62 yards. A 24-yard run by Jayden Daniels on a third-and-two set up a trick play for a score. Wide receiver Ricky Pearsall connected with running back Rachaad White for a 30-yard touchdown on a throw back pass, making it a 28-10 game less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

So, with the game out of hand, the Buff offense dialed up … a three-and-out with a sack.

What happened next is what usually happens when good teams face out-manned, exhausted defenses … another touchdown. It took all of seven plays for the Sun Devils to cover 59 yards, with quarterback Jayden Daniels running the ball in from 15 yards out to make it 35-10 … with 8:30 still left to play.

In garbage time, the Buffs did put together their third scoring drive of the night. After a pass interference penalty to open the drive, Ashaad Clayton got four straight carries, going for 26 yards, putting the ball into plus-territory. A Brenden Rice end around gained 15 yards and put the Buffs into the red zone. There, however, the drive stalled, with Cole Becker hitting a 33-yard field goal to give him his second career make, giving CU 13 points for the game.

Final score: Arizona State 35, Colorado 13

“I was really encouraged that we came out of halftime and went down the field and scored,” Dorrell said of CU’s first touchdown drive in two full games. “That was kind of reminiscent of what we saw a year ago with how we played with the running game really leading the way.”

Unfortunately, the one touchdown drive of the game was the only real bright spot on the evening. The CU rushing attack did get into positive numbers (183 yards rushing, after posting a negative number against Minnesota), but the CU passing “attack” still lacked any semblance of consistency.

“I thought Brendon played OK,” Dorrell said of Lewis’ 7-of-17 for 67 yards effort. “I thought he had a couple steps of progress this week. We need to continue to bring him along, along with our passing game. I thought he hit some opportunities for some throws and a couple receivers dropped the ball.”

Game Notes … 

— Arizona State took a 9-3 overall advantage in the series, including a 6-1 lead in games played in Tempe;

— Temperature at kickoff was 90-degrees, the 20th game in CU school history (and second in the 2021 season) with a kickoff temperature above 90 (it was 92-degrees for kickoff against Texas A&M;

— CU dropped to 5-6 all-time in Pac-12 conference openers (3-2 on the road; 83-43-2 all-time);

— CU’s scoreless streak ended with a 51-yard field goal by Cole Becker just before halftime. The streak stretched over more than eight full quarters (137:11 of game clock);

— Becker’s 51-yard effort was the fourth-longest for a first field goal made in school history, as well as the fourth-longest field goal made by a freshman;

— Jared Broussard had 12 carries for 36 yards, just enough to push him over the 1,000-yard mark for his career (1,001). Broussard became the 56th Buff to hit four figures, and the fastest to that mark, accomplishing the feat in only nine regular season games (Charlie Davis set the record, getting to 1,000 yards in ten games in 1971).

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11 Replies to “Arizona State 35, Colorado 13”

  1. My guess…..: Buffs called 70% (or there’bouts) of the first 10 plays very predictably !!!! Hand the ball off to Broussard into the middle of the line….to hope he will break 5-6 tackles and go for a TD. Damn innovative, huh ?

    CHEV’ YOU ARE A GREAT BUFF, GREAT RECEIVER, HAVE A GREAT HEART, AND WE LOVE YA’….BUT….I’m sorry, calling plays isn’t one of your callings.

    The “O” and “D” are sooooo predictable it’s funny “ALMOST.”

    I couldn’t watch after the first quarter….. I had to switch to the UFC to see some real competition….. and, haven’t watched the rest of the game…. and probably won’t.

    After decades of “Hopin’ and Prayin’…… I DON’T CARE. I’M TIRED OF ALL THE INK PREDICTING A GREAT FUTURE.

    TIME TO GET REAL. I’LL TUNE BACK IN AFTER YOU BEAT FOUR PAC-12 OPPONENTS.

  2. I didn’t go back and re-watch the second half (not sure if I could stomach that), but was trying to figure out how the Buffs were suddenly able to drive down the field to open the third quarter and scrore the TD (without a pass play I think). Herm was shaking his head. My guess is ASU was trying a different defensive lineup. And then the Buffs seemed to abandon what had just worked. Super frustrating.

  3. It was painfully obvious to me that the two worst players on either team are our two starting Guards (Roddick and Kutsch?…already deleted recording to go check).
    So confused as 1) Guards were supposed to be where our line depth and 2) they are supposed to be Turly strong.
    They both have a tire in their gut, no flexibility and therefore play WAY TOO HIGH all the time. We have them pulling and they are not fit/quick enough and NEVER FINISH (b/c they are standing straight up). IF you have the stomach to watch…they are literally turnstiles in pass rush.
    Hence the offense is ruined…if you can’t control immediate penetration up the gut, no offense has any real chance.

    1. Game for D played out as expected…again pass rush a concern. Carson Wells…now I am beginning to understand how he was not considered 1st team All League prior to the season (I was originally ‘angered’ by the snub). Another player that HCKD’s comments in the summer led us to believe he was going to continue to ‘grow’. Unfortunately, based on this year, he is completely neutralized by any decent LT…just get’s swallowed up and doesn’t have any ‘speed’ rush moves (spin, etc.). Great playmaker when he is unblocked though.

    2. You are right on with your analysis. If you can’t block and can’t throw coaching isn’t going to get there. The recruiting is the 1st thing that needs to change. The talent level is that of a division II school

  4. It’s going to be a long year with even slower improvement than I had hoped and my hopes were low. At this point, there may only be 1 or 2 winnable games. Sigh. USC is down and it would be a great opportunity but how are we going to do that with this offense?

  5. Another pathetic offensive performance. I didn’t expect the offense to be great this year, but it’s not even close to average! It was obvious after the 1st offensive series nothing changed.

    Luckily it’s hunting season so I have something to distract me from this mess.

    Noyer didn’t play yesterday. I think he got benched earlier in the season because that’s what most coaching staffs do when players are under performing…

  6. Was at the game, Brendan Lewis has his strengths but passing isn’t one of them. Still holds the ball too long, when he did launch a long pass it was never close to the mark and he really is in over his head at QB. Carter was warming up and I fully expected him to come in the 4th and give us some life but Lewis never left the game. Makes me miss Sefo and Montez, at least they could throw the ball to open receivers.

    1. At least Sefo and Montez threw the ball. Full stop. Lewis doesn’t even seem to want to throw the ball whatsoever unless the guy is in a hole-in-the-zone.

      I’ve never seen a QB so unwilling to throw to receivers in 1-on-1 coverage.

  7. At least Sam Noyer finally got a win over USC.

    Lang should finish his degree as far from the field as possible or hit the portal; 2 personal fouls to extend 2 drives is Nebraska level defense.

    1. Well TLang is the best we got in that position and other than those 2 stupid penalties was dominating the right side of the ASU O-line. Why do you think every one of their QB scrambles was to the left? The other roughing the passer penalty when the ASU QB slid was a terrible call.

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