Arizona State vs. Colorado: Staff predictions
Kerry Crowley: Arizona State 55, Colorado 13
Even after a disappointing loss against Notre Dame, I still believe this Sun Devil team has the potential to run the tables in the Pac-12 South and emerge with an invite to the conference championship game. The redemption tour begins against Colorado and the most important part of this game is a fast start. Colorado is a young team playing for a smart coach in Mike MacIntyre who knows how to get the most out of his talent. The longer the Sun Devils allow the Buffaloes to linger, the more dangerous this game becomes.
This weekend isn't just about getting back in the win column, it's about returning to the principles that Todd Graham prides his program on. Colorado offers the Sun Devils the opportunity to rush the passer and wreak havoc in the backfield. Marion Grice should finally see running lanes, and Chris Coyle can make a triumphant return in the intermediate passing game. The opportunities abound for Arizona State, now it's a matter of the coaching staff putting its players in the right positions to succeed and get back on track.
Bold Prediction: Arizona State will score on a trick play in the first half.
Ryan Bafaloukos: Arizona State 55, Colorado 7
One thing Arizona State does well under Todd Graham is not overlook opponents. The Sun Devils win every game they should win and I expect no different against Colorado. The Colorado defense ranks 115th in the nation in points against and I believe the Sun Devil offense will be able to do whatever it wants against the Buffaloes. I do believe the Buffaloes are improved, however, against Pac-12 opposition they have been outscored 101-33.
As Kerry pointed out above, the Sun Devils need to start fast and put this game away early. The key is to not let Colorado believe they have a chance. In 2012, Arizona State led 20-17 at halftime before exploding for 31 points in the second half. I expect Arizona State to execute well on both sides of the ball and get back on track against the lowly Buffaloes.
Bold Prediction: The Sun Devils will have a 100-yard receiver not named Jaelen Strong.
Ben Haber: Arizona State 63, Colorado 17
Arizona State ranks among the best offenses in the country, while Colorado ranks among the worst defenses in the country. The combination of those two statistics will have the ASU fans back on the bandwagon. Taylor Kelly's unit needs to respond after their sub par performance in Dallas, Texas against Notre Dame. Colorado will be in the wrong place (Tempe) at wrong time (after ASU lost a potential program changing game). The weapons of D.J. Foster, Chris Coyle, Marion Grice and Jaelen Strong will be too much to handle.
The Buffaloes offense is better than last season, yet still relatively average on the national scale. Quarterback Connor Wood already has 1,092 yards in only four games, but six interceptions are holding the offense back from its potential. As the game gets out of hand, Wood will be forced to pass on nearly every down. By doing so, Will Sutton, Carl Bradford and the defensive line should finally post notable sack numbers. Wide receiver Paul Richardson posses the biggest threat to the Sun Devils defense. Osahon Irabor is expected to mark him for the majority of the contest, and that'll be an intriguing storyline to watch.
Todd Graham won't let ASU overlook Colorado, and the 63-17 final score in favor of the Maroon and Gold will put last weeks disappointment in their rear view mirror.