Midway through in Boulder, the Arizona State Sun Devils are tied with the 21st ranked Colorado Buffaloes 14-14. Here’s how they got there.
The Sun Devils finally got the Buffaloes to punt after getting to ASU’s 40-yard line. Sophomore running back Eno Benjamin finished the 13-play, 86-yard drive by leaping over the offensive line for the touchdown. The scoring drive was fueled by three CU penalties, including a pass interference call that junior wide receiver N’Keal Harry drew on third-and-10 to get to CU’s 8-yard line.
Colorado quickly tied things up at 7. With an eight-play drive, taking only 2:55, sophomore wide receiver Laviska Shenault took a direct snap from the one-yard line to tie it up. The biggest play of the drive came from a free play after ASU jumped offsides. Redshirt junior Steven Montez fired one to open junior wide receiver Tony Brown, who had beat redshirt sophomore cornerback Terin Adams. Brown went out at the three-yard line to set up the score.
ASU looked to have a promising drive going to as the first quarter ended. However, when the second quarter started, the Sun Devils were called for back-to-back false starts. The Sun Devils couldn’t convert the first-and-20, setting up sophomore kicker Brandon Ruiz for a 53-yard attempt. He missed it, giving the Buffs good field position.
On CU’s ensuing drive, they too missed a field goal, as sophomore kicker James Stefanou missed the 38-yard attempt. The Buffaloes did run a crazy double-reverse, flea flicker to senior wide receiver Jay MacIntyre. MacIntyre picked up 22 yards and made multiple ASU defenders miss, but in the end it didn’t hurt the Sun Devils.
Unlike their opponent, the Sun Devils scored after the Buffs’ missed field goal. Benjamin scored again, from a yard out to make the game 14-7. Benjamin had five carries in a row on the 13-play scoring drive. The biggest play came from Wilkins finding Benjamin to pick up a first on third-and-5. Colorado’s leading tackler, sophomore linebacker Nate Landman was ejected for targeting on that pass to Benjamin.
The Buffaloes tied the game right before the half on a screen pass to Shenault from three yards out. Shenault multiple times got direct snaps to pick up short yards on third and fourth downs on the drive. Montez also found MacIntyre on third-and-long, for a pick up of 27 yards.
Benjamin had 20 rushes for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Wilkins went 6-for-8 for 65 yards. His leading receiver was Harry with three grabs and 62 yards. For the Buffaloes, Montez went 15-for-20 for 164 yards and a touchdown. The leading rusher was senior running back Travon McMillian for 46 yards on nine carries. Montez’s leading receiver was Shenault with eight catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Arizona State will get the ball to open the second half.