Key points and match reactions from Colorado buffaloes win

Key points and match reactions from Colorado buffaloes win

Even an ugly victory for Colorado is still a victory.

Colorado has learned about halfway through its schedule that road victories are difficult.
The Buffs have surpassed the expectations of bookmakers and experts with a 4-2 record, including two late-game victories in three games away from Flatirons, after escaping Tempe with a valiant 27-24 final-minute victory.

Colorado finds ways to string drives together, new playmakers appear, and the defense forces just enough stops in the second half of games to allow the Buffaloes to more frequently find themselves on the winning side of the scoreboard despite the offense’s persistently sluggish starts and the defense’s struggle to get off the field when it doesn’t force a quick 3-and-out.

In his opening remarks, Coach Prime summed it up thus: “Wonderful win, played like hot garbage, and I’m trying to figure this out.
I’ve had enough. There are undoubtedly few people who hold their team to the level of expectations that Deion Sanders does, making it all the more frustrating when they fail to practice what they preach during training camp and the first half of the season.


The hot-garbage problems aren’t just due to poor execution in the early stages of games.
Pre-snap and dead-ball penalties add up to slow down CU drives and prolong those of the opposition.
Both when there are only ten men on the field and when there are twelve, it is utilizing crucial timeouts.

The Sun Devils beat the Colorado defense early and frequently with underneath crossing routes, which brought back memories of the CSU game.
ASU’s 66-yard touchdown drive, which included 56 yards of uncontested crossing behind an ineffective pass rush, was completed by unopposed crosses.


Behind an offensive line sporting shiny gold facemasks and concrete boots, Shedeur Sanders and the offense got off to a slow start.
From the first snap, Colorado’s quarterback was under constant pressure, leading to penalties for intentional grounding, hurried throws that resulted in pass breakups, and a sack on the Buffs’ first drive that cost them (-12) yards.

On CU’s second possession, Anthony Hankerson helped the offense find its rhythm after two defensive three-and-outs.
The Buffs moved into ASU territory after the sophomore running back touched the ball on the first six plays of the drive, earning three first downs.
The score was tied at 7-7 ten plays later when Xavier Weaver scored on a jet sweep from one yard out.


Colorado’s subsequent drive, which continued into the second quarter, came to an abrupt end thanks to a dropped pass by Dylan Edwards and an 8-yard sack. The CU offensive line had given up three sacks in as many drives when the one at issue.
Punter Mark Vassett botched the subsequent punt, which resulted in the Sun Devils receiving the ball back at the Buffaloes’ 45-yard line, adding insult to injury.

Colorado’s defense struggled on ASU’s fourth possession when it couldn’t find its way off the field quickly after both teams failed to gain 10 yards on their subsequent possessions.
A half-dozen tackles were missed during the Sun Devils’ 9-play, 59-yard touchdown drive.

The Buffaloes found some rhythm by implementing their two-minute offense late in the half, following another pair of 3-and-outs.
With less than a minute left in the first half, Sanders quickly drove the offense 81 yards for the game-tying touchdown, and his 16-yard scamper tied the score at 14-14.


Arizona State capitalized on the Buffaloes’ prevent defense with its own two-minute offense, finishing a 0:50, 48-yard drive with a 33-yard field goal that split the uprights as time ran out.

With a porous offensive line putting Sanders under pressure and only managing 3 yards on 3 plays, Colorado’s offense started the second half much like it did the first.
After allowing ASU to convert a 4th-and-2 from its own 28-yard line, the Buffs defense appeared as though it would repay the favor, but they were unable to leave the field.
The defense stiffened at its own 41-yard line after seven plays, forcing a punt.

The third quarter saw only 105 yards of combined offense from the two teams as neither one could maintain any momentum. While CU’s offense struggled to gain traction, the defense recorded two crucial sacks and prevented ASU from converting any of its three third down attempts after giving up 4 of 8 in the first half.


Even though the third quarter was dull, the final frame featured a barrage of plays.
The Buffaloes were in the middle of a 61-yard drive when the quarter began, and it ended on the third play.

Javon Antonio launched his own campaign for the spotlight a week after watching Omarion Miller take his place and immediately become popular.
With a 9-yard slant pass from Sanders to the large hybrid receiver, Colorado took the lead for the first time in the contest at 21-17.

Even though there wasn’t much offensive activity that night, Xavier Weaver emerged after yet another defensive 3-and-out.
After receiving the next Sun Devils punt at his own 24-yard line, Weaver raced past the front line of defenders to the left sideline and returned the kick 49 yards before the ASU punter tripped him up as he approached the end zone.

The Sun Devils’ 25-yard line was the starting point for Colorado’s drive, but the offense only gained one yard on the short field drive after Sanders was sacked for the fifth time on the first play. Alejandro Mata made a field goal from 42 yards out to increase Colorado’s lead to a touchdown.

Following Christiano Polazzo’s out-of-bounds kickoff, Arizona State came up with a solution.
The Sun Devils were given the ball at their 35-yard line due to his second improper kickoff of the game. Five plays later, ASU was at the Colorado 28-yard line, but quarterback Trent Bourguet was sacked by Myles Slusher, forcing the offense back to the 34-yard line. After two incomplete passes, Carter Stoutmire split the left side of the line to stop Dario Longhetto’s 52-yard field goal attempt.

Colorado moved into the Sun Devils’ half of the field but was unable to sustain its subsequent drive.
A jarring hit caused Sanders’ third-down pass to Hankerson to fall to the ground.
With 4 downs and 3:26 left in the game, Vassett lobbed a high, 39-yard punt, pinning Arizona State at their own 6-yard line.


When Bourguet found Elijhah Badger matched up against linebacker LaVonta Bailey and connected with a strider for a 30-yard gain, the Buffs appeared to be in control, forcing ASU into a 3rd-and-7 from inside its own 10-yard line.
A total of 12 catches for 134 yards were made by Badger, who torched the Colorado defense the entire game.

The Sun Devils extended their drive after escaping the shadow of their endzone, and with just 0:50 left in the game, they evened the score by converting two 3rd downs and a 4th down.
By throwing for 335 yards and a touchdown while completing 65 percent of his passes, Bourguet statistically outperformed the more well-known Sanders.

Not to be outdone, Colorado’s subsequent, final drive saw Sanders and Antonio strike gold on its first two plays.
On first down, Antonio ducked under a Sun Devils defender and caught a 43-yard heave to move the Buffs to the ASU 31-yard line.
The pair connected again for an additional 7 yards after one play. Alejandro Mata was expected to be the hero after the hurried 50-yard drive, and the little kicker didn’t let down.
Mata calmly kicked a 43-yard game-winning field goal to end the 0:38 drive after the Sun Devils called a timeout to try to stop the CU kicker.

CU’s defense forced four 3-and-out drives and registered five sacks, a season high, despite giving up the late game tying touchdown drive.
For the first time this year, the Buffs were unable to force a turnover.
In the second half, Colorado kept ASU to 2-9 on third downs, but on each of the Sun Devils’ 3 attempts on fourth down after the break, it gave up a first down.

Special teams were occasionally “special” and other times not.
The Sun Devils’ field position was improved by two punt coverage personal fouls, two out-of-bounds kickoffs by Cristiano Palazzo, a botched punt by Vassett, three timeouts lost by the Buffs due to personnel issues, and two out-of-bounds kickoffs by Cristiano Palazzo.

The advantages of the special teams are highlighted by Mata’s late field goals, including the winning one. Vassett averaged 49.6 yards on 7 punts despite the misfired attempt.
Two crucial plays that helped Colorado win were Xavier Weaver’s 51-yard punt return and Carter Stoutmire’s blocked field goal.


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