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 can be found at most podcast sites, but can also be listened to here …


Big Picture … 

— Not Exactly Big Noon Saturday or ESPN Gameday … Last season, CU hosted Arizona State for Homecoming. In a game far off of the national radar, the 1-6 Buffs fell to the 2-5 Sun Devils, 42-34. Probably not a surprise to learn that neither Fox Big Noon Saturday nor ESPN’s GameDay were on hand with their pregame shows. But there was a pregame show in Boulder that Saturday, as Pac-12 Network’s Road Show originated from Folsom Field;

It wasn’t your imagination, it was loud … Attendance for the USC game was 54,032, the sixth-highest total in school history, and the biggest crowd at Folsom in 18 years (since 54,841 against Nebraska on Nov. 25, 2005);

Another sell out … Colorado vs Arizona State is now officially sold out and this is rare for an ASU home game. They sold out the USC game but that was a night game. This is an afternoon game with a forecast of 101 degrees in Tempe and the game still sold out. The Buffs are a huge draw;

— The ESPN Power Index gives the Buffs a 64.7% chance of winning; the Sun Devils a 35.3% chance. You’d have to do some serious digging into the Archives to find the last time CU was given this high a percentage of winning a Pac-12 road game by ESPN’s Power Index (the only one in recent years I could find: The Buffs were 55.4% favorites on the road against Arizona in the COVID season of 2020 … the Buffs won, 24-13);

Ratings Bonanza … Total 2023 West Coast TV Viewers thru Week Five. What’s even more bizarre … Teams 2-4 on this list have a combined 33.5 million viewers – 26.57 million of which came from games against Colorado

  • 42.47M—Colorado
  • 12.58M—Oregon
  • 11.62M—USC
  • 9.30M—Colorado State
  • 7.10M—Utah
  • 6.41M—Oregon State
  • 3.78M—BYU
  • 3.76M—Washington State

Want to watch the game, but don’t have the Pac-12 Networks? … For those wanting to watch the Colorado-Arizona State game this week, but may have the Pac-12 Networks … You can watch the game through Fubo or Sling. Fubo has a 7-day free trial;

— The CU/ASU game will be telecast nationally by the Pac-12 Networks (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., MT), with Jordan Kent on the play-by-play and Lincoln Kennedy with the commentary (No sideline reporter).  KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 20th year, with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his eighth year as the full-time analyst.


Statistically speaking … 

Balanced Attack … Against USC, the Colorado offense ran a season-high 90 plays, with 45 passes and 45 runs. The 193 yards rushing and two touchdowns were season highs, with the Buffs almost matching the total rushing yards (223) for the first four games;

Ground to a Halt … Even with the success against USC, the CU rushing stats are far from impressive. The Buffs 83.2 yards/game is still no better than 125th in the nation. Arizona State is only slightly better, with the Sun Devils’ 89.0 rushing yards/game, coming in at 122nd in the country;

CU No. 1 in the nation in … red zone offense. There are seven FBS teams which are perfect in red zone opportunities, and CU is one of them. The Buffs are 17-for-17 in the red zone, with five rushing touchdowns, seven passing touchdowns, and five field goals;

Best secondary since … when?Travis Hunter has been out since the CSU game. Myles Slusher has been out since the TCU game. Carter Stoutmire and Shilo Sanders have missed time … but the CU secondary has nonetheless excelled against quality quarterbacks. Combined stats for TCU’s Chandler Morris, Oregon’s Bo Nix and USC’s Caleb Williams:

  • vs. Colorado: four interceptions in 115 attempts
  • vs. Other teams: one interception in 372 attempts;

No (field) goals allowed … Colorado opponents are 0-for-4 in field goal attempts, with TCU, Nebraska, CSU and USC kickers all missing their attempts against the Buffs. What’s even stranger … those four misses are the only field goal attempts missed by those kickers all season (the only other school which has yet to give up a successful field goal is Navy, whose opponents are 0-for-2 in field goal attempts so far this season).


CU Player Notes … 

Omarion Miller, record-setter … Freshman wide receiver Omarion Miller didn’t have a catch in the first four games of the season (or the first half against USC), but broke out in a big way in the second half against the Trojans, with seven receptions for 196 yards and a touchdown. In earning Pac-12 Freshman Player-of-the-Week honors, Miller set some records:

  • Most receiving yards in a game by a Colorado freshman. (Previously Paul Richardson with 141 receiving yards vs Kansas 11/6/2010);
  • Most receiving yards by a Colorado player against a ranked opponent. (Previously Charles Johnson with 172 receiving yards vs Stanford 9/18/93);
  • Most receiving yards by a Colorado player vs USC. (Previously Laviska Shenault with 172 receiving yards on 10/25/19);
  • Most receiving yards in a half, with 196. Previous mark was 194 by Walter Stanley vs. Texas Tech in 1981;
  • Eighth-most receiving yards in a game by a Colorado player.

Yes, Viginia, CU does have a tight end … Walk-on tight end Michael Harrison continues to impress. Against USC, Harrison had six receptions for 44 yards and a touchdown. His four receiving touchdowns ties the record for the most by a walk-on receiver in CU history (Scotty McKnight; 2007). Harrison is the first CU tight end to post a touchdown reception in three straight games since Nick Kasa in 2012;

Shedeur Sanders – Just enjoy the ride There are numerous school records which are being set by quarterback Shedeur Sanders on a weekly basis. There are a few notes to show just how extraordinary Sanders has been in the first month of his season as a Buff:

  • Sanders connection with Omarion Miller for a touchdown against USC. Sanders is now 4-for-4 passing on fourth downs … with two touchdowns;
  • The USC game was Sanders’ third with at least four passing touchdowns. No other Buff quarterback has ever had more than two games with at least four
    touchdown passes in the same season;
  • With 371 passing yards against USC, Sanders already has four of the top 33 passing performances in CU history. The only quarterback with more 348-yard-plus performances in a season is Koy Detmer, who had five in 1996;


CU & Arizona State … Head-to-Head 

— Arizona State has an 10-3 advantage in the all-time series, but the Buffs have played 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 six games between the two schools;

— 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, despite a 7:15 p.m. local start time, set the record for the warmest game in Colorado football history. The temperature at kickoff was 102 degrees, a record matched in 2012 at a road game against Fresno State. The current forecast high for this weekend’s game? 101-degrees.


The Last Time in Tempe … 

September 25, 2021 … Arizona State 25, Colorado 13

Game Story … 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.”

… Continue reading story here …

Essay for the Game … “Acceptance/Resignation”… 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 (.601, 25th in the nation, to CU’s .571, 43rd). 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 – 722 (29th) to 636 (53rd);

— Conference championships – 26 (12th) to 17 (25th);

— All-time NFL draft picks – 276 (27th) to 255 (31st);

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

— Weeks in the AP poll – Colorado: 308 (29th); Arizona State: 291 (33rd);

— All-time first round NFL draft picks: Arizona State now has 26 all-time first round picks (tied for 25th), while CU has 24 (29th).


Pac-12 Notes … 

Quite the swan song for the Pac-12? … The Pac-12 has three teams entering this week at 5-0 (Oregon, USC, Washington), tied for the most in FBS. Its the first time since 2013 the conference has had three teams reach 5-0 (Oregon, Stanford, UCLA) and just the 5th time in the last 70 years (1998, 2001, 2005). Coming off a bye, Washington State is at 4-0. Should the Cougars defeat UCLA this week, it would give the Pac-12 four teams starting 5-0 for the first time since 1926 (Oregon State, Stanford, USC, Washington);

Excited to see the Black and Gold? … ASU quarterback Trenton Bourguet and wide receiver Elijah Badger are probably looking forward to Saturday’s game. The most yards passing by a Sun Devil quarterback in a game during the 2022 season? Bourguet’s 435 yards passing against the Buffs. The most yards receiving by a Sun Devil wideout in a game 2022? Badger’s 137 receiving yards against the Buffs … Both will be playing this weekend for ASU;

The light Week Six Pac-12 slate, from 

  • No. 16 Washington State at UCLA … 1:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … UCLA is a 3.5-point favorite
  • Colorado at Arizona State … 4:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Colorado is a 4.5-point road favorite (down from 6.0-point favorite)
  • No. 19 Oregon State at Cal … 8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Oregon State is a 9.5-point road favorite
  • Arizona at No. 9 USC … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … USC is a 21.5-point favorite (down from 22.0-point favorite)
  • Oregon and Washington have byes – will play each other in Seattle on October 14th
  • Stanford has a bye … getting a week off before playing at Colorado on October 13th
  • Utah has a bye … before hosting Cal on October 14th


One Reply to “Friday Fast Facts – ASU Week”

  1. 42.47M—Colorado, how does this compare to the top schools?

    12.58M—Oregon, CU’s game accounts for 8. something mill, meaning about 4 million for their other 4 games, probably mostly TTU.

    11.62M—USC, same except USC only had about 3 million for their other 4 games, including ASU!

    9.30M—Colorado State, well that’s just around 1.5 million for their first three games, probably mostly WSU.

    Where do the other top schools rank in total viewership?

    Too bad CU doesn’t get a percentage of the revenue based on TV views. I guess the town of Boulder gets the economic boost and CU sees merchandise sales and a boost in tickets sales too.

    Only one home game in Oct, and that’s a Friday night game and with the buy and the PAC12 network game (that many can’t watch), it’s too bad the November games aren’t in October and the October games in November, that would have left more Saturdays for skiing!

    I used my 7 day free trial for fubo 4 years ago and it won’t let me try it again, I can’t watch it live at a bar, so I’ll have to check out the highlights on you tube afterwards, I probably see the score posted when I go to you tube before I get to watch the highlights.

    Oh well, it happened every year that there are games I can’t watch, just not during a record year in viewership and a winning season… Damn PAC12 network, no wonder you folded.

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