In a game in which the Athletic Director pleaded with the students to show up early, they did, and over 48,500 people filled Folsom Field in Boulder Saturday night and went home happy as Colorado dominated Arizona State 40-16 on Homecoming Weekend at Colorado.
This win moves Colorado to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the PAC12 South. The loss sends Arizona State to the same 5-2 record but 2-2 in conference play.
Arizona State came into the game with statistically the 5th best rushing defense in the country giving up only 89.7 yards per game, but when the night was done, Colorado rushed the ball 52 times for 315 yards, led by Phillip Lindsay, who had a career night finishing with 26 carries for 219 yards and 3 touchdowns, the highlight coming on a 75 yard scamper to start the third quarter, breaking the back of Arizona State. On the flip side, Colorado held a high powered Arizona State offense to just 199 yards on the evening. Arizona State was really never able to establish anything offensively going 3 for 18 on third down and finishing the night with only 7 first downs.
Sefo Liufau got the start at quarterback for Colorado in his first full game back since injuring his ankle in the third quarter at Michigan on September 17. Liufau did step in for a series against USC two weekends ago to spill Steven Montez who had been shaken up during the game. Liufau looked fresh and very much in charge of the offense as the senior was able to finish the night going 23 for 32 passing for 265 yards and zero interceptions. Liufau also got in on the rushing onslaught by Colorado, carrying the ball 14 times for 38 yards and one touchdown, again showing no ill effects of the ankle injury.
Defensively Colorado contained and got to a hobbled Manny Wilkins all night. Wilkins, who was playing through an injury, was a game time decision to start for the Sun Devils, was unable to use his legs to escape the pocket and make plays that he is known for. Colorado sacked Wilkins five times and had six other his on the night. Wilkins finished the night 13 of 35 passing for 149 yards and one interception.
On a positive note for Arizona State, kicker Zane Gonzales continued to show the country that he may be the most talented kicker by hitting from 51, 50, and 59, which set a record long field goal by an opposing kicker at Folsom Field.
Colorado now gets ready to go to Palo Alto for a matchup against a Stanford team that defeated Notre Dame in South Bend Saturday night 17-10, but was without last year’s Heisman runner up Christian McCaffrey. Colorado would then finish with 3 of 4 at home and avoids playing #5 ranked Washington. Arizona State now has just a few days to try and get healthy as an upstart Washington State team is coming to Tempe feeling good after knocking off UCLA in Pullman 27-21.
This was the first victory ever for Colorado over Arizona State after coming into the game 0-7 all-time versus ASU.
Arizona State punter Matt Haack had a career night punting the ball 10 times for 521 yards….a 52.1 yard average per punt.
With the interception of Wilkins in the third quarter, Colorado extended its FBS best takeaway streak to 20 games.
With one more win, Colorado will become bowl eligible for the first time since 2007, a loss to Alabama and first year coach Nick Saban in the Independence Bowl, 30-24.