Following an ASU three-and-out, the Buffaloes carved up the Sun Devil defense, converting their first three third down attempts, resulting in a 34-yard field goal by freshman kicker James Stefanou.
But it was a half of missed opportunities for Colorado.
Two plays before the field goal, sophomore quarterback Steven Montez and redshirt senior running back Philip Lindsay failed to connect on what would have been a wide open touchdown pass on a wheel route.
On their next drive, Montez had senior receiver Shay Fields wide open on a flea flicker, but Fields let the ball hit the turf. Two plays later, Colorado was forced to punt — a seven-point swing.
The Sun Devil offense couldn’t take advantage, though, punting on each of their first two drives and missing a 45-yard field goal on their third.
On their third drive the Buffaloes put it all together. Montez led a 13 play, 73-yard drive that ended in a 6-yard touchdown run by Lindsay to extend their lead to 10-0.
After a failed fourth down attempt near midfield, it looked like a Buffaloes score might do it for ASU. But on fourth down at the Sun Devil 28, Lindsay was stuffed by senior linebacker DJ Calhoun, restoring some hope to the ASU sideline.
ASU immediately took the ball 72 yards in six plays, capped off by a 20-yard pass from redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins to sophomore receiver N’Keal Harry to cut Colorado’s lead to 10-7.
On the final drive of the half, Colorado put some extra space between itself and ASU going into the locker room. The Buffaloes went 51 yards on eight plays, capped by Lindsay’s second score of the day.
The Sun Devils would not go away just yet, though, as Wilkins led his second touchdown drive of the game. ASU traveled 77 yards on 7 plays in 54 seconds, capped by a pass from Wilkins to sophomore Kyle Williams.
The Sun Devils had a chance to tie the game at the end of the half, but freshman Brandon Ruiz missed a 55-yard attempt as time expired after ASU recovered a muffed squib kick after the TD.
The Buffaloes will take the opening kickoff of the second half.