Friday Fast Facts – Arizona State Week

… Your weekly “T.I.P.S”, previews for this weekend’s games, discussing Talent, Intangibles, Preparation and Statistics, have been posted. The written preview and predictions for the CU/Arizona State game can be found here, while the CU at the Game Podcast preview for the game (which includes a debate on starting Shrout v. McCown) can be found here …


Big Picture … 

Not Exactly ESPN Gameday, but … The Pac-12 Network’s Road Show will make its annual visit to Boulder this week, filming numerous packages that will air in the show that hits the air at 4:00 p.m. MDT;

Buffs Love Homecoming … It’s CU’s 107th Homecoming game, as the Buffaloes are 65-36-5 all-time in the annual contest (selected by the date on the schedule and not the opponent). After dropping eight straight Homecoming affairs from 2008-15, CU has won four of the last five (no game in 2020 due to COVID);

Hall of Fame Honorees … In addition to being CU’s Homecoming, this is CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame Weekend, as the Buffs will be inducting nine legends in the 2022 class. The inductees, including one who will be honored posthumously, cover a period starting in the 1940s through the 2000s,  representing six different decades in all. Football (three athletes), skiing (two), track and field (two) and gymnastics (one) are the sports represented. The football honorees: Greg Biekert (1989-92); Charlie Davis (1971-73); and Jay Leeuwenburg (1987-91);

Tough Schedule … At the midway point of the season, cumulative stats take on more meaning. To date, the opponents CU has played have a combined record of 27-11. Sagarin ratings has CU’s schedule as the fifth-most difficult (behind Stanford, Arkansas, Auburn, and Texas Tech);

Attendance Drop? … As of Thursday, Colorado has sold around 38,000 tickets for the Arizona State game. CU is reportedly hopeful of getting to at least 39,000 by kickoff. In the last 32 home games (not counting 2020), the Buffs have been under 41,000 tickets sold just once – the snowy 2018 home finale vs. Utah (39,360). The lowest attendance at Folsom so far this season was the UCLA game (42,848); 

The ESPN Power Index gives Arizona State an 80.2% chance of winning, leaving CU with 19.2% chance at an upset. In CU’s last game, Oregon Stae was given an 94.0% chance of winning;

— The game will be telecast nationally on the ESPNU (Saturday, 5:30 p.m., MT), with Drew Carter on the play-by-play, and Rene Ingoglia with the commentary (No sideline reporter).  KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 19th year, with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his seventh year as the full-time analyst.


Statistically speaking … 

Fewer Hankies than You’d Think … Colorado has averaged only 4.7 penalties per game (17th nationally), with 44.6 yards in penalized yards per game (29th in the nation). The worst game? Unfortunately, it was the last game, against Oregon State (five for 65 yards);

Any Good News for Buff fans? … Stats in which Arizona State is ranked 100th or worse nationally is actually a pretty long list (what you would expect from a 2-5 team (not on the list, but perhaps the most important: ASU is 96th in the nation in both passing defense and total defense):

  • First downs (105th);
  • First downs allowed (115th);
  • Third down conversion defense (126th);
  • Tackles for loss (130th);
  • Quarterback sacks (120th);
  • Punt returns (107th);
  • Penalties (113th);
  • Penalty yards (127th);
  • Red zone defense (117th)

—  How bad is the CU offense? … Colorado is ranked 113th or worse in every major category on offense (out of 131 teams nationally). The Buffs are 113th in rushing offense; 114th in passing offense; 124th in total offense; and 129th in scoring offense. For the Buff offense to climb even as high as 100th nationally in scoring next week, the Buffs would have to score 84 points against Arizona State;

How bad is the CU defense? … Even with the good effort against Cal two game ago, the Buff defense has a long road back to respectability. The Buffs are no longer last in the nation in rushing defense (up to 120th this week), and still remain in the bottom ten in total defense (125th) and scoring defense (129th);

— Bar bet winner … How long has it been since Arizona State has beaten Colorado at Folsom Field? You have to go back to 2014 to find a win by the Sun Devils. The Buffs won the games played in Boulder in 2016 (40-16) and 2018 (28-21). There was no game between the teams in 2020;

Bar bet winner No. 2 … What is odd about the series between Colorado and Arizona State in women’s basketball? The Sun Devils have a 16-11 all-time record in the series, with CU winning the first 11 … and Arizona State winning the last 16.


CU Player Notes … 

100 Club … Wide receiver Jordyn Tyson flirted with his first career 100-yard game at Oregon State last Saturday, hauling in three passes for 92 yards; as it was, it was the sixth-most receiving yards by a true freshman in CU history (he already became the first true frosh to catch a touchdown pass in a season opener when he did so against TCU). And kicker Cole Becker has 97 career points, on the verge of the 100-point plateau; he’s done so in 19 games and is in position to become the 10th fastest to the century mark (53 have scored 100-plus at Colorado, including 17 placekickers);

Darian Hagan Hits 150 … 150 … That will be the number game that assistant coach Darian Hagan will coach in this Saturday for the Buffaloes; fifth-most all-time (top five list below). Hagan has been associated with CU since signing a letter-of-intent in February, 1988; he would earn the starting job at quarterback his sophomore year and would guide the Buffs to a 28-5-2 record in 35 starts (best ever at CU). After a brief professional career, he would return to CU in various capacities until Gary Barnett named him wide receivers coach in 2005; Dan Hawkins retained him in 2006 and put him in charge of the running backs. Hagan is in his 13th season overall as an assistant at CU, tied for the sixth-most seasons (with his college coach, Bill McCartney).

Coaches with the longest tenures at CU (* years as head coach) … 

  • Brian Cabral 294 games over 23 seasons (1990-2018);
  • Frank Prentup 169 games over 18 seasons (1941-58);
  • Frank Potts 167 games over 18 (1927-39; 1940*; 1941-43; 1944-45*; 1946-47);
  • Bill McCartney 153 games over 13 seasons (1982-94*);
  • Darian Hagan 149 games over 13 seasons(2005-10; 2016-22)

Gaining Experience … During the first half of the season, CU has had 40 different players start at least one game (23 on offense; 17 on defense). That number ranks third in the nation, behind only New Mexico and Northern Illinois;

Shouldn’t have said anything … An noted in last week’s Fast Facts … Heading into last weekend’s games, Colorado was leading the nation in one category … Kickoff Return Yardage Defense. Sophomore kicker Cole Becker had 20 kickoffs, and none of them were returned. CU was the only team in the nation with a 0.00 kickoff return yardage allowed. But … Oregon State had two returns for 46 yards, leaving CU with a 23.0/return average … 101st in the nation;

Spreading it Around … A total of 19 CU players have caught a pass this fall, tying a school record. Fifteen of the players have caught at least two passes, with five having more than ten: Daniel Arias, with 19, Montana Lemonious-Craig, with 15, Jordyn Tyson, with 12, R.J. Sneed, with 12, and Maurice Bell, with 11.


CU & Arizona State … Head-to-Head 

— Arizona State has an 9-3 advantage in the all-time series, but the Buffs have been leveling the field of late. After opening the series with seven straight losses (dating back to the first game between the two schools, in 1996), the Buffs have won three of the last five games between the two schools, including the last two games played in Boulder;

— Despite the Sun Devils’ overall lead in the series, the best performances have all come from Buffs. The most yards passing in a game: 389, by Sefo Liufau (2015); most rushing yards: 219, by Phillip Lindsay (2016); most receiving yards: 150, by Tony Brown (2019); total tackles: 15, by Jordon Dizon (2007);

— The 2007 game in Tempe on September 8th, despite a 7:15 p.m. local start time, set the record for the warmest game in Colorado football history at the time: the temperature at kickoff was 102 degrees. It was matched in 2012 at Fresno State;

— Arizona State is 0-3 on the road this season heading to Colorado, with trips to Pullman and Tucson remaining. The last time the Sun Devils failed to win a road game in a full season was 2001;

Inglorious record … For Buff fans worried about another suboptimal offensive output, the record for the lowest number of total yards in the series is 199, gained by Arizona State in the 2016 game. In CU’s three wins in the series, the Buffs averaged 503 yards of total offense.


The Last Time … 

September 25, … Arizona State 25, Colorado 13

Game StoryThe 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.”

Continue reading story here

Essay for the Game … “Acceptance/Resignation”can be found here


The Last Time in Boulder …

October 6, 2018 … No. 21 Colorado 28, Arizona State 21 

— Game Story … 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.”

… Continue reading game story here …

Essay for the Game … “Nothing to Say, A Lot to Prove” … can be found here


Colorado and Arizona State … historical

While Colorado trails Arizona State in the head-to-head series, the Buffs have significant advantages over the Sun Devils when it comes to historical records.

Arizona State has a better winning percentage all-time (.604, 24th in history, to CU’s .573, 41st). 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 – 719 (28th) to 634 (52nd);

— Conference championships – 26 (11th) to 17 (25th);

— All-time NFL draft picks – 276 (25th) to 254 (30th);

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

— Weeks in the AP poll – Colorado: 305 (31st); Arizona State: 291 (33rd);

— All-time first round NFL draft picks: Arizona State now has 26 all-time first round picks (tied for 24th), while CU has 24 (tied for 28th).


Pac-12 Notes … 

— The Pac-12 has had four teams ranked in the AP Top 25 for sixth straight week. The Pac-12 is the only conference to have four teams ranked in the Top 14 of the AP poll;

— The Pac-12 has five bowl-eligible teams: Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, USC and Washington. Utah would become the sixth with a victory at Washington State on Thursday night. This time last year, the conference had one bowl-eligible team (Oregon);

From …

Thursday, October 27th

  • No. 14 Utah at Washington State … 8:00 p.m., MT … FS1 … Washington State is a 7.0-point home underdog (down from 7.5 points on Sunday)

Saturday, October 29th

  • No. 8 Oregon at Cal … 1:30 p.m., MT … FS1 … Cal is a 17.5-point home underdog (up from 13.5 points on Sunday)
  • No. 10 USC at Arizona … 5:00 p.m., MT … Pac-12 Networks … Arizona is a 15.5-point home underdog (up from 14.5 points on Sunday)
  • Arizona State at Colorado … 5:30 p.m., MT … ESPNU … Colorado is an 13.5-point home underdog (up from 11.5 points on Sunday)
  • Stanford at No. 12 UCLA … 8:30 p.m., MT … ESPN … UCLA is a 16.5-point home favorite (same as Sunday)
  • Bye weeks … Oregon State and Washington …


2 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. Charlie Davis is one of my all time favorite Buffs. And arguably the 3rd best RB in CU history behind Salaam and EB. Hard to believe Buffs are +14 in this game.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *