So far, the Colorado offensive line has had a much better season than it had a year ago.

During last week's 21-17 loss at Southern California, however, the Buffs struggled up front.

Line coach Klayton Adams hopes his group can be better on Saturday as they face the blitz-happy Arizona State Sun Devils.

"(USC) certainly did some things to make it hard on us, but they are not things we can't handle and we didn't react to those things as well as we should have," Adams said.

Head coach Mike MacIntyre joked this week that Arizona State "will be blitzing walking off the bus. That's what (ASU coach Todd Graham) loves to do."

A year ago, the Sun Devils registered eight sacks in a 48-23 rout of the Buffs. Their pass rush was crucial in a 23-20 win over UCLA last week.

"They're a very aggressive defense," Adams said. "We have to make sure that going into the game that we're in the right sets that give us opportunities to get the ball outside, or to make sure that we're not just gambling. I think that's where people get in trouble with them is if you just call a play and hope that it works, because they're going to be in the right call for them a fair amount of the time. They're going to play off your tendencies really hard."

Adams said the penalties against the offensive line were most troublesome to him last week. If the Buffs can clean that up and be stout on their pass protection, the line can bounce back.

"We have to play to our standard all the time and we didn't play to a high enough level for us to win (at USC)," he said.


High octane at altitude

In two games at Folsom Field this year, the Buffs have outscored the opposition 103-13. In those games, against Idaho State and Oregon State, the Buffs ran 88 and 84 plays, respectively, crushing both teams with their fast tempo.

"I think it is an advantage," MacIntyre said. "(Arizona State) has got a lot of good players, so I know he'll try to substitute, so hopefully we'll be able to get first downs and they won't be able to substitute as much."


• Running back Phillip Lindsay needs just three receiving yards to become the 14th player in CU history to reach 500 rushing and 500 receiving yards for his career. He currently has 1,439 rushing yards and 497 receiving yards.

• Linebacker Jimmie Gilbert is tied for the national lead with four forced fumbles this season.

• As of Friday afternoon, CU reported it had sold 45,600 tickets for this game, making it just the fourth time in 21 home dates during the MacIntyre era that they will top the 45,000 mark in tickets sold.

• This is CU's 102nd homecoming game. The Buffs are 61-35-5 in homecoming games.

• CU will host a food drive before the game. Fans are encouraged to donate a canned food item to benefit Community Food Share to fight hunger in Boulder and Broomfield counties. Donation bins will be located at the northeast, northwest, southeast and southwest gates.

Brian Howell:, on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.