October 7th – at Arizona State          Colorado 27, Arizona State 24

Alejandro Mata kicked a 43-yard field goal with 12 seconds left, lifting Colorado to a 27-24 win over Arizona State. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders accounted for two touchdowns as the Buffs defeated the Sun Devils in Tempe for only the second time in school history. Wide receiver Javon Antonio, who had three catches for 42 yards coming into the game, had five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown. Antonio also had a 43-yard reception with less than a minute to play, setting up the game-winning field goal.

Arizona State out-gained Colorado, 392 yards to 295, in a game marred by penalties (9-for-88 for ASU; 8-for-65 for CU). Shedeur Sanders completed 26-of-42 passes for 239 yards and a touchdown, also contributing a 16-yard scoring run, but Sanders was harassed all night, being sacked five times. Anthony Hankerson led the Buffs in rushing, with ten carries for 58 yards, but, with the sacks included, the Buffs returned to their anemic ways on the ground, finishing with 30 carries for a net of 56 yards.

“Played like hot garbage,” Sanders said. “And I’m trying to figure this out. Sick of it. I really am. I’m sick of us coming out here and putting forth the effort we put forth in the first half. We’ve had really diligent meetings and we’re trying to figure this out, ’cause I’m sick of it. I’m sorry. I’m happy about the win but I’m not happy in the fashion that we won it in. We’re better than that. We really are better than that, and we gotta start showing that. I expect to win and I expect to win in a better fashion than that. I’m sick of these consistent holes that we’re displaying and the penalties and the things that we’re doing. We’re so much better. I apologize for my anger today, but I don’t accept mediocrity.”

Game Story … For the sixth straight game, CU won the opening coin toss. For the sixth straight game, the Buffs deferred to the second half.

And for the third straight game, the Buff defense allowed an opening drive score.

The Sun Devil offense faced two third downs along the way, but converted both, including a third-and-12 at the CU 48-yard line, with ASU quarterback Trenton Bourguet connecting with Troy Omeire for 27 yards. Three plays later, Bourguet took it in himself with a two-yard touchdown run, completing the nine-play, 66-yard drive.

The Colorado offense, taking the field for the first time down a touchdown for the the third straight game, responded with … a three-and-out, a three-and-out which included an intentional grounding called on quarterback Shedeur Sanders and a sack.

Just when it appeared the Buffs were doing their best imitation of the 2002 Buffs, the CU defense made a stand, forcing a three-and-out.

Taking over at the CU 25, the Buff offense set off on one of its longest drives of the season. A four-yard completion on third-and-three from quarterback Shedeur Sanders to running back Anthony Hankerson gave the offense its first first down of the game. Two runs by Hankerson totaling 17 yards and a five-yard completion to Hankerson put the ball on the ASU side of the field. An 11-yard completion from Sanders to Xavier Weaver got the Buffs close to field goal range, but three plays later, the Buffs were facing a fourth-and-eight at the ASU 29-yard line. Going for the first, Sanders connected with running back Dylan Edwards for a 15-yard gain and a first down. A 12-yard completion to Michael Harrison gave the Buffs a first-and-goal at the two yard line.

Three plays later, the Buffs had advanced the ball only one yard. Going for it on fourth down once again, wide receiver Xavier Weaver took it in on a jet sweep to complete the 16-play drive. With two minutes remaining in the first quarter, the score was tied at 7-7.

CU had some momentum after forcing a second consecutive three-and-out from the ASU offense, but the Buffs, after gaining a first down late in the first quarter, punted the ball back to the Sun Devils.

The teams traded three-and-outs before the ASU offense took possession at its 41-yard line four minutes into the second quarter. Nine plays, 59 yards, and almost five minutes of clock later, the Sun Devils had the lead once again. A 13-yard completion from Trenton Bourguet to Melquan Stovall on third-and-seven at the Buff 23 gave the Sun Devils a first-and-goal at the CU ten. On third-and-goal at the one, running back Cameron Skattebo took it in, making it a 14-7 game midway through the second quarter.

The teams again traded three-and-outs, with the Buffs taking over at their 19 with just over three minutes remaining before the break. A five-yard completion on second down gave CU its first first down of the second quarter, with a 24-yard completion from Sanders to Jimmy Horn giving the Buffs their first explosion play of the game. A roughing the passer penalty gave the Buffs a first down in the red zone, with Shedeur Sanders, on a third-and-ten at the ASU 16, taking it in on his own on a scramble. With 50 seconds remaining in the half, the score was again tied, at 14-14.

With ASU having no time outs, the half should have ended in a tie, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Buffs gave the Sun Devils a first down at the ASU 37-yard line. Seven plays later, ASU kicker Dario Longhetto hit a 33-yard field goal as time expired.

Halftime score: Arizona State 17, Colorado 14

The Colorado offense, which had deferred to the second half to get the first possession of the third quarter … went three-and-out to start the third quarter.

The Arizona State offense failed to gain ten yards on its first three plays, but the drive didn’t end in a three-and-out. Going for it on fourth-and-three at their own 27-yard line, the Sun Devils easily picked a first down on a six-yard run by running back Cameron Skattebo. The drive was stalled by a holding penalty, with the Buffs getting the ball back at their 10-yard line after an ASU punt.

The Buffs picked up their first first down of the second half on a 13-yard completion from Shedeur Sanders to Jimmy Horn. A six-yard completion from Sanders to Dylan Edwards a few plays later gave CU a first down near midfield. Two completions and a sack later, however, the Buffs punted for the sixth time.

After picking up a pair of first downs, the Sun Devils were forced to punt after the Buffs picked up their first two sacks of the game. Back-to-back sacks by Arden Walker and LaVonta Bentley cost the ASU offense 12 yards … and the football.

A seven-yard completion from Sanders to tight end Michael Harrison started the drive, but then … Shedeur Sanders took over. A 12-yard scramble put the ball on the ASU side of the field. On the next play, Sanders gained five yards on another run, picking up an additional 15 yards on a late hit. An Anthony Hankerson run of 13 yards gave CU a first-and-goal at the ASU nine yard line. On second down, Sanders hit wide receiver Javon Antonio for a nine-yard score, giving the Buffs their first lead of the game less than a minute into the fourth quarter, at 21-17.

The Buffs picked up their third sack in two drives, with Derrick McLendon doing the honors. The Sun Devils faced a fourth-and-three at their own 32, and were set to pick up a first down (with CU having two players still running off the field) when the ASU right tackle moved. The fourth-and-eight proved to be too much of a gamble, and the Sun Devils punted the ball away.

The Ian Hershey punt went for 49 yards, but Xavier Weaver returned the punt 51 yards to the ASU 25-yard line, with safety Shilo Sanders missing a block on the punter which would have resulted in a CU touchdown.

A sack of Shedeur Sanders on the first play set the Buffs back 11 yards. The next two plays netted 12 yards, giving ASU a three-and-out. The drive though, did result in a Alejandro Mata 42-yard field goal, giving Colorado a 24-17 lead with just over ten minutes remaining in the game.

ASU opened its next drive with a 26-yard completion to immediately put the ball in CU territory. Three plays later, the Sun Devils faced a fourth-and-two at the CU 31. A four yard run by Cameron Skattebo gave the Sun Devils a first down, but a sack of quarterback Bourguet by Myles Slusher got the ASU offense off schedule. On fourth down, the Sun Devils went for a 52-yard field goal by Dario Longhetto was partially blocked by cornerback Carter Stoutmire, ending the threat.

Taking over with 6:32 to play, the CU offense looked to finish the game. A 10-yard completion from Sanders to Javon Antonio got the drive off to a good start, with a 12-yard completion to Antonio on third-and-ten two plays later keeping the drive alive. Two plays later, the Buffs faced a third-and-six at the ASU 40-yard line. Sanders hit Anthony Hankerson at the ASU 20, but Hankerson couldn’t hang on, forcing a punt.

Arizona State got the ball back with 3:26 to play, but 94 yards to go. A nine-yard completion on third-and-seven to start the drive set up a 30-yard completion from Trenton Bourguet to Elijhah Badger to get the ball to midfield. Another completion on third down kept the drive alive. Later, the Sun Devils did face a fourth-and-one at the CU 32, but a two-yard run by Cameron Skattebo gave ASU a fresh set of downs. The 16-play, 94-yard drive was capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Trenton Bourguet to Troy Omeire with 50 seconds to play. Colorado 24, Arizona State 24, after first-year ASU head coach Kenny Dillingham decided to go for the extra point and the tie instead of the two-point conversion and a potential win.

The game looked like it was heading to overtime, but the ASU secondary inexplicably let Buff wide receiver Antonio Javon get loose for a 42-yard gain on CU’s first play from scrimmage. Three more plays netted seven yards, with kicker Alejandro Mata calmly hitting the game-winner from 43 yards out.

The Sun Devil offense had nine seconds to try and move the ball, but CU’s fifth sack of the second half, this one by Amari McNeill, effectively ended any potential threat. A 21-yard completion from Bourguet to Elijhah Badger on the games final play padded the stats, but ended the game.

Final score: Colorado 27, Arizona State 24

“I have expectations with brothers are in your life. I really do”, said Coach Prime. “I have greater expectations. And we’re better than we really are. We’re better than this. We got to, we got to you got to be of that changing. So you got to meet the expectations. And that starts in practice and starts a film study that starts in preparation, it starts coaching, it starts all the way down the board. It’s not just kids, it’s everybody. So I have lofty expectations for this team, for this school, for this university. I really do and we’re going to get there.”

Game Notes

— The victory was just the second for the Buffs against ASU in Tempe (2-6). Arizona State still leads the all-time series (10-4);

— The win gave Colorado a 2-1 record on the road, the first time since 2020 that CU had won 2 road games in a season. The last time the Buffs did it in a real season (with fans) was 2016; 

— The game was sold out (54,086), marking the sixth-straight sellout crowd to watch Colorado play, the longest streak in school history. The next CU game, at home against Stanford, has long been sold out;

— Temperature for the 3:37 p.m., local time kickoff was officially 99-degrees, tying for the third warmest kickoff in school history. The Buffs played at 102-degrees against Arizona State in 2007, and then again in 2012 on the road against Fresno State. The 99-degree kickoff temperature set a new high mark in CU history for a game played in October;

— Quarterback Shedeur Sanders went 26-of-42 for 239 yards and a touchdown, also contributing a 16-yard touchdown run. Sanders orchestrated his third fourth-quarter comeback of the season (CU trailed 17-14 heading into the fourth quarter), one away from the season record set by John Hessler (1995) and tied by Joel Klatt (2004);

— Sanders hit running back Dylan Edwards for 15 yards on a fourth-and-eight in the first quarter. For the season, Sanders raised his fourth down passing to five-for-five for 98 yards, five first downs and two touchdowns;

— Wide receiver Javon Antonio, after having posted three catches for 42 yards in the first five games of the season, collected five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown, including a 43-yarder in the final minute to set up the game-winning field goal;

— Punter Mark Vassett had his best game as a Buff, with a 49.6 yard average on seven punts, including a 59- and 60-yarder, with two punts inside the ASU 20-yard line.


16 Replies to “Colorado 27, Arizona State 24”

  1. Wondering what it will take to provide at minimum rudimentary, fundamental pass protection for to avoid getting Shedeur killed. How much can the guy take? Ridiculous.

    1. For starters you could use that drag route across the middle just beyond the line of scrimmage that CSU beat us up with. A little deeper slants might help. seems like most of our routes are dump offs to the side or are deeper not much in between. Put Shedeur under center and use play action. Being under center with a 2 back set also offers other options. Will both backs pass block? or will one block and the other release? or will one back block for the other in a run play? Things light that give the D more than one thing to think about. We could also use a full back type who could run with the ball occasionally but stout enough to slow down rushers a bit.
      The only misdirection we seem to have is one guy in motion all the way across who doesnt change directions. We haven very few after snap fakes in the run game something else a 2 back set might offer.
      Our receivers seem to have what it takes to evade man coverage a lot. Make the D commit more to the run to help them out.
      I’m just a guy who watches football. These coaches are getting paid a hell of a lot of money. Part of making adjustments should be part of earning it.

      1. I am not sure spread based offenses use two back sets. Haven’t seen two backs all season. I guess they could change their offense mid season?

        Or just occasionally mix in a more west coast pro style offense?

        Or, just execute the offense they run more efficiently.

        Go Buffs

  2. Win ugly. Recall so many lose ugly that resulted in 5 and 7 seasons.

    Okay fine.

    Go Prime Buffs. You appear to overcooking the meat as it appears dry.

    Note: Based on yesterday, it appears getting to six games is becoming harder and harder.

    Note 2: Just need a 33.3 win percentage in the last 6 to get to the six.

    Note 3. This is always where the last 10 year Buffs just could not get over the hump

  3. Ugly win could have been an awful loss…
    Deion thinks execution is a problem, which is probably one of the hardest things for him as a coach – he can teach and motivate but can’t suit up
    Hang in there and get better each week, we are missing Hunter certainly an MVP
    Go Buffs, beat Stanford

  4. a win is a win. It was near 100 degrees and an away game but the Buffs ignored Woelk’s advice about getting a quick start.
    UCLA looks tougher now than they did last week.
    I am wondering though if the rest of PAC DCs on the Buff’s schedule have seen all they need to know of the Lewis offense.
    This bowl game may be by the skin of their teeth.

      1. Hey Eric, I can’t answer for ep although I get the vibes from some of his posts that I totally agree with. We have some skill players on this team that we haven’t had in a long long time. I don’t see an offense that utilizes those players to the full extent of their collective skill set. Our offense seems pretty vanilla considering our personnel. More old school. The best play with a little imagination was that WR sweep for for a TD. Other than that…..”Ho Hum.””

      2. My expectations were high as what I read about Lewis’s offense being dominant at Kent. I never watched a Kent State game. They may have been hard to come by on TV. I also heard they were run dominated. Not my favorite flavor but where has that been?

        So far the offense has been all Shedeur and a wide receiver flavor of the week. Exciting for a while but it seems opposing coaches have noticed this (duh) and have been focused on stopping it.

        Once again I didnt watch the game. Before you go running to Rob O or some other source a wrestler needs did Lewis make any adjustments in this game we haven’t seen so far?

        Oh the winning is certainly a breath of fresh air but being taken to overtime by a struggling CSU doesnt bode well for the future here in the PAC 12. All the glitz and attention that has Prime has brought to Boulder certainly has its benefits but I’m wondering if that has done anything to reduce the “want” of some of the players.

        Another thing about glitz is that O linemen usually dont get much and as a result probably dont think much about it either. When it comes to recruiting them glitz may not be a major factor.

        Yeah the winning has been great but it sounds like you dont mind losing. Glad you aint the coach

      3. The running game is largely ineffective. Why? I don’t exactly know. Possibly the guards. But it’s been pretty bad all year. So they throw it more, which is their strength. Leaning on a week ground game would be foolish. Then the argument would be “you’ve got an nfl qb with 75% completions and stud receivers, why do they run up the middle and run jet sweeps for zero yards?”

        Here’s what I know. The coaches know why they cannot successfully and consistently run the ball. They see it and work on it every day.

        And it boils down to execution, more often than not. Hankerson did well yesterday, but nobody else did (running backs, that is).

        Prime built from the outside in, and it is working. The 2024 o and d linemen and linebackers will be much improved, mostly from getting bigger, faster, stronger, higher football iq guys. Or, to use the vernacular, smart, tough, fast, disciplined, with character. And there will be further development and growth from those in their second year with prime and co, too. Or they will be gone. But the bulk will come from free agency.

        As fans, we can enjoy the ugly wins. There have been too few wins for twenty years.

        The coaches and players will learn from and build upon them.

        Go Buffs

    1. I expected the offense to at least adapt and protect the QB. Sanders is getting hammered. Run the ball more and keep defenses honest — they are actually pretty good at the run.

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