October 29th – Boulder           Arizona State 42, Colorado 34

Arizona State scored a touchdown on each of their first two drives, going a combined 139 yards in 15 plays, giving the Sun Devils an early 14-3 lead on their way to a 42-34 win in Boulder. On its way to a 28-17 halftime lead, an Arizona State offense that entered the night averaging 353.6 yards had put up 327 while averaging 8.4 yards per play. The Sun Devils finished the game with 10 plays of at least 20 yards, going for 557 total yards.

Colorado managed only 359 yards of total offense, but finally pushed past the 20-point mark for the first time on the season. Quarterback J.T. Shrout completed only 13-of-34 passes, but they went for 222 yards and two touchdowns, including a seven-yarder to Montana Lemonious-Craig and a 58-yarder to Jordyn Tyson. On the night, Tyson had five receptions for 115 yards and a receiving score, also contributing an 88-yard punt return in the fourth quarter. Deion Smith, returning from injury, had 111 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

“I want to commend our team for the fight and resolve they exhibited throughout the entirety of four quarters,” said CU coach Mike Sanford, who dropped to 1-2 in his role as CU’s interim boss. “We’re at a place where I believe that the team is fighting. It’s showing up on Saturdays. But obviously the missing link is playing that type of football when a defense gets a stop, the offense goes in and scores. Our offense goes and has a tremendous drive, the defense has to get a stop. Those are the things I believe we’re going to piece together throughout the course of these next four weeks.”

Game Story … For the seventh time in eight games, the Colorado offense opened the game without a score, with the Buff offense going three-and-out for the fifth time on the season (and third game in a row).

The CU defense was also consistent … giving up a touchdown to the opposition on its first drive of the game for the fifth time in eight games. The Arizona State offense needed eight plays to cover 64 yards, never facing a third down, to take the early lead. A Xazavian Valladay four-yard run made it a 7-0 game less than four minutes into the game.

The Buffs then countered with their first decent drive of the game. An 11-yard run by Deion Smith and a 12-yard completion from quarterback J.T. Shrout to wide receiver Jordyn Tyson covering 11 yards gave the Buffs a first down in ASU territory. Two plays later, Jayle Stacks kept the drive alive with a conversion on third-and-one. The next three plays, though, gained only six more yards, with a 49-yard field goal by Cole Becker getting the Buffs on the board.

Seven plays and 75 yards later, it was 14-3. The Buff defense did force its first third down of the game, but Xazavian Valladay went for 18 yards on third-and-two. A 35-yard pass from ASU quarterback to Messiah Swinson got the Sun Devils in the red zone, with a 12-yard scoring pass from Bourguet to Jalin Conyers giving ASU a 14-3 lead late in the first quarter.

The teams then traded punts, with CU taking over at its 48-yard line after a 23-yard punt return by Jordyn Tyson. Three straight runs by Jayle Stacks covered 13 yards, giving the Buffs a first down inside ASU territory. On the next play, Deion Smith broke off a 25-yard run to give the Buffs a first down at the Arizona State 14-yard line. Two more Smith runs gained seven yards before J.T. Shrout hit Montana Lemonious-Craig for a seven-yard touchdown. Arizona State 14, Colorado 10, early in the second quarter.

The Buff defense, though, was not able to sustain the momentum, giving up another 75-yard touchdown drive. The Buffs did force a third down – a third-and-two at the CU 42 yard line, but the Buffs then gave up a 42-yard touchdown run to Xazavian Valladay. ASU 21, Colorado 10, midway through the quarter.

After the teams traded punts, the Buffs took over at their 33-yard line. A Deion Smith 11-yard run gave CU a first down, but two plays later, the Buffs were facing a third-and-13 at their 42-yard line. There, Shrout connected with Jordyn Tyson for a 58-yard score, giving the Folsom Field Homecoming crowd of 40,334 renewed hope, with a 21-17 score with only three minutes remaining before halftime.

It was three minutes too many, with Arizona State launching yet another 75-yard scoring drive. It took nine plays, and two third down conversions, but the Buff defense was not able to keep it a one-score game. Xazavian Valladay posted his third touchdown of the first half on a one yard run in the final minute of the second quarter.

Halftime score: Arizona State 28, Colorado 17

The two teams traded three-and-outs to open the second half, with ASU gaining yardage in the exchange. Taking over at their 47 yard line, it took the Sun Devils nine plays to cover 53 yards, but cover 53 yards they did. Trenton Bourguet connected with Jalin Conyers for the second time on the night, this time from five yards out, making it a 35-17 game.

It appeared that the Sun Devils were poised to turn the game into a rout after the Buffs went three-and-out on their second possession of the half, but on ASU’s next opportunity, Trenton Bourquet was intercepted by Trevor Woods, giving CU new life.

A 15-yard completion from Shrout to Deion Smith on third-and-seven kept the drive alive, with a pass interference penalty giving the Buff a first-and-goal at the ASU ten-yard line. The next three plays, though, netted only two yards, with Cole Becker hitting a 27-yard field goal to cut the ASU lead to 35-20.

After the Buff defense forced its third three-and-out of the second half, the momentum was on CU’s side of the field. A 38-yard completion from Shrout to Montana Lemonious-Craig and a conversion on a fourth-and-one by Deion Smith gave the Buffs a first down at the ASU 37-yard line. On the next play, Shrout was intercepted by safety Chris Edmonds.

Taking over at its 12-yard line, the Sun Devils needed only seven plays to cover 88 yards to give ASU what appeared to be an insurmountable lead. Completions of 32 and 28 yards set the ASU offense up at the Buff 20, with Trenton Bourquet hitting Jalin Conyers for the third time. Arizona State 42, Colorado 20, with just 12:33 remaining to be played.

The Buffs didn’t quit, though, taking off on a 71-yard drive of their own. An 18-yard completion from Shrout to R.J. Sneed on third-and-six prevented a three-and-out, with a 15-yard completion to Jack Hestera on third-and-four giving the Buffs a scoring opportunity. After Shrout hit Jordyn Tyson for nine yards to give CU a first-and-goal at the seven, Deion Smith took over from there, scoring on a one-yard run. Arizona State 42, Colorado 27, with 8:12 left to play.

Arizona State hit on another chunk play, a 20-yard completion, but then stalled. Punting from its 48 on fourth-and-five, Jordyn Tyson took the punt at the CU 12 yard line. Some 88 yards later, Tyson was in the end zone. Just like that, it was a one score game, at 42-34 with 3:50 still to play.

Needing a stop to give the Buff offense one last try to tie the game, the Buff defense was unable to make a stop. As it turned out, the Buffs couldn’t even force a third down, as ASU ran out the remaining clock to seal the win.

Final score: Arizona State 42, Colorado 34

“I wouldn’t say we like talking about more moral victories”, said wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig, who two catches for 45 yards and a touchdown. “We’re so close but like I said, it’s not good enough at the end of the day and there’s no more victories in the losses. We’ve still got to pick the tempo up, pick the energy up and be able to punch the ball in every job.”

“At the end of the day, regardless if we are going to a bowl or not, every week is your resume,” said running back Deion Smith, who had 111 yards rushing and a touchdown after returning from injury. “A good percentage of these guys want to play at the next level, just like I do. So, regardless of if you have a bowl game to expect or another game next week, every time you strap up, you’ve got to put your best on [your] resume. So, these [next] four games, I feel like for me and just talking to the guys, trying to be a leader on the team. I want to spread that everyday is an opportunity. We never really know when we’re not going to be able to play this game again. We’ve just got to keep putting stuff on tape, keep putting stuff on the resume. I feel like that’s the best way to look about it.”

Game Notes … 

— The Sun Devils increased their lead in the series by a 10-3 margin (4-2 in Boulder) and 8-3 in night games;

— In 107 Homecoming games, the Buffaloes record fell to 65-37-5;

— Running backs coach Darian Hagan coached his 150th game at Colorado, good enough for fifth place on the CU all-time list (and just three behind Bill McCartney, who coached in 153);

— CU’s all-time record with a 100-yard rusher (Deion Smith, 111) and receiver (Jordyn Tyson, 115) in the same game fell to 38-12.  It was the 20th time the Buffs posted the double-double since joining the Pac-12; the first time since 2020 at Stanford (Jarek Broussard and Dimitri Stanley);

— Wide receiver Jordyn Tyson set CU’s all-time record for all-purpose yards by a freshman, with 232 total yards (five catches for 115 yards and a touchdown; four punt returns for 117 yards and a touchdown). The previous record was held by Phillip Lindsay, who had 207 all-purpose yard against Oregon in 2014. Tyson’s 115 receiving yards represented the third-most by a freshman wide receiver in school history (Paul Richardson has the top two, from the 2010 season);

— Running back Deion Smith, with his 24 carries for 111 yards, set career highs in both categories, with a 25-yard run matching a career long;

— Kicker Cole Becker became the 10th-fastest player to score 100 points in CU history (the sixth-fastest kicker), reaching the plateau in his 20th game.  He had his long field goal in 2022 (49 yards) making him 9-of-10 on the year; Becker moved from 54th to 47th on the all-time scoring chart with his ten points against Arizona State.


7 Replies to “Arizona State 42, Colorado 34”

  1. Recruiting has been mediocre at best for years, well before the portal and NIL. Certainly sustaining recent net portal losses hurts. Out manned all over the field. A #1 bottom 10 finish looks highly likely. Unreal…begging the question: what coach in their right mind would want a suicide mission like this? Good luck Rick.

  2. I’d like to see some other QB’s get in games this season so their is some experience the ranks
    Keep fighting lads…
    Go Buffs

  3. Imagine if the entire secondary didn’t transfer away, and if shrout could throw consistently. This team could actually win a few games.

    As it is… Oof. Progress on offense because they moved the ball and ran with authority. But they’re not consistent because shrout is inaccurate and isn’t on the same page as his receivers. But then he busts out some great throws randomly that keep things having just enough hope.

    The defense though…. Lang sometimes feels like the only guy out there some plays. I have no clue what the middle linebackers are doing because they’re not covering deep crosses, or shallow crosses, or tackling inside runs.

    Eh. Better than expected I guess but still frustrating. The next month will be brutal.

  4. Buffs at least mounted a comeback of sorts.

    Looks like $10 Million Mel and his Spartans might not make a bowl this year (and Texas A&M too if they don’t get their act together).

    Really looking forward to basketball season and the optimism that’ll hopefully come from hiring a new football coach.

  5. The recruiting strategy of recent years was readily evident during key moments of the game. ASU played with some skill position players who will play in Sundays. CU has identified players to recruit who have scores just under the radar the radar who will develop over tune. These high two stars/low three star recruits are forced to play early and play way before their third/fourth/fifth years. The vast majority of these players will not play on Sundays and are overmatched if forced to play too young.

    Coach McCartney decided that you COULD recruit the best to Boulder. It is now a different era the 1980’s and 90’s, but recruiting is an essential part of any turnaround. There were a few plays where an all out 100% effort by CU players was not enough to stop future “Sunday athletes.”

    The CU players are to be commended for their effort/commitment!!

    1. Yup it’s tough out there.
      Nfl has the whole spread of # stars recruits.
      Not so much naturals

      Age experience
      What 1 real senior yesterday.
      Other transfers.

      Coaching has been not good if just plain bad.
      Recruiting got sideswiped by NIL and Transfer fiasco.
      Where are the Juniors?
      Where are the Seniors?

      Sheesh, I shoulda stayed in bed.

      Broncos on early

      Okay on to College Hockey, NHL, wrap up of NASCAR, PGA, Little bit of NFL, No NBA, and final 4



      Note: Ze Buff Football Fan …WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR.

      Note: And that famous movie………………PENNIES GALORE
      Note: Early babble.

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