Conference play begins for both the Colorado Buffaloes and the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday Night. Kickoff is set for 10:30 Eastern Time and the Sun Devils are currently listed as a heavy favorite (-14.5). The game will be televised on ESPNU (ESPN).
Colorado stumbles into this game with a 1-2 record on the season. The Buffs were obliterated by Minnesota to the tune of a 30-0 shutout last Saturday. Arizona State has started 2-1 but lost in disappointing fashion to BYU 27-17 last week.
Colorado Offense vs. Arizona State Defense
The Buffaloes have played horrifically on the offensive side of the ball throughout their first three contests. QB Brendon Lewis has a nice skill set but he has only thrown for 246 yards and one touchdown so far this season. The 6-2 225 pound freshman has to work on improving his accuracy, as he’s only completing 55.4% of his passes. The Buffs’ best offensive player is Jarek Broussard, a 5-9 sophomore running back who has 153 rushing yards and two scores.
The Sun Devils defense is loaded with talent and should be in a foul mood after losing to BYU last week. Linebacker Darien Butler is off to a terrific start as he leads the team in tackles (20), sacks (2), and interceptions (2). Butler will be flying around and trying to make the QB’s life miserable the entire evening.
Arizona State Offense vs. Colorado Defense
Though the Sun Devils’ offense had too many hiccups last week, they’re still averaging a robust 31.7 points per game (58th in the country). Junior QB Jayden Daniels has thrown for a decent amount of yards (572) but has thrown three picks. If Daniels can take better care of the football, this offense could be even more efficient.
Running back Rachaad White is a dynamic weapon, as he leads the team in both rushing (219) and receiving yards (117). He’s also scored five rushing touchdowns to lead the team in scoring.
As bad as Colorado’s offense has been, their defense has done a terrific job so far. Though they stumbled against Minnesota last week, this unit limited #5 Texas A&M to only 10 points a couple of weeks ago. Linebacker Nate Landman has been a one-man wrecking crew by making 27 tackles and five tackles for loss. It’ll be interesting to see if the Buffs defense can confuse Daniels into a couple of costly turnovers.
Our Pick: Arizona State -14.5
We don’t typically like to lay this many points, especially in a conference game. However, we simply don’t trust Colorado’s inexperienced offense to put up much of a fight on the road. We’re betting that Herm Edwards has his team fired up after a tough loss last week.
Daniels has yet to play his best football so this could be a breakout game for him in the passing game. We see the Sun Devils winning this one comfortably, 31-10. Best of luck!