ASU looking to bounce back vs Colorado
By Harley Yearout // Football Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
TEMPE, AZ Arizona State (4-4, 3-2) looks to bounce back this week after a 48-17 loss to No. 17 USC last Saturday night.
The Sun Devils will face the Colorado Buffaloes (5-4, 2-4) on Saturday in a matchup that features another dynamic running back in Colorado senior running back Phillip Lindsay.
Lindsay currently sits at third in the nation for rushing yards with 1,255, behind two other running backs ASU has already faced this season: SDSU’s Rashaad Penny and Stanford’s Bryce Love.
“They are very talented offensively; big-play capabilities at running back,” ASU head coach Todd Graham said Monday.
Lindsay gave ASU fits last season, tallying 219 yards and three touchdowns in Colorado’s 40-16 blowout win over ASU.
He is also coming off a 161-yard performance in a 44-28 win over California.
Colorado has been unpredictable lately, putting up zero points in a loss against Washington State, but laying 44 on Cal the next week.
Overall, Colorado has won 2 of their last 6 games.
“People that have beat them have had to score to beat them,” Graham said.
That will require the ASU offense to do much better than they did last week, where they went 1-12 on third down conversions. This could be a good week to rectify those issues, as Colorado ranks 97th nationally in 3rd down defense, allowing 43% to be converted.
The running game will get a boost from Kalen Ballage returning to the lineup after missing most of last game due to illness.
It was the first time in 5 games ASU didn’t reach 100 rushing yards.
Last week’s game against ASU left many questioning which version of the team fans will see going forward.
For that, Todd Graham had a simple answer.
“I feel good about our football team,” Graham said. “We’re the same team that beat two top-25 teams and one top-five team.”
The Buffaloes are also led by sophomore quarterback Steven Montez, who was pulled at halftime after a poor performance against Washington State two weeks ago.
Redshirt freshman Sam Noyer replaced him for the remainder of the game, but it was Montez who got the start and led the team to victory last week against Cal.
He has accumulated 2,059 passing yards on the season to go with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.
The Sun Devils will wear special uniforms this Saturday saluting and honoring those that serve our country.
“I tell our players, it’s not about the uniform, it’s about recognizing the sacrifices that they make so we can live in this country and have the freedoms that we have because freedom is definitely not free,” Graham said. “It is our great honor to do that this week.”
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at Sun Devil Stadium and you can listen to the game on Blaze Radio with Bobby Kraus and Matt Lively on the call.
Harley Yearout is a reporter for Blaze Sports. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Harley on Twitter @HarleyYearout