In a 21-17 loss to Southern California last week, the Colorado offense was held in check, especially in terms of big plays.
Aside from a 67-yard touchdown reception by Phillip Lindsay on a trick play, the Buffs had just one passing play go for more at least 20 yards – a 21-yarder by Bryce Bobo. That play by Bobo sparked CU’s second touchdown drive.
Big plays in the passing game have been a key part of CU’s offense this year. They have 24 passes of 20-plus yards this season, nine of them for touchdowns.
“We just have to start beating our coverage a little bit faster and get in and out of our routes a little bit quicker,” Bobo said of why the Buffs couldn’t get those big plays against USC. “If they’re bringing pressures like USC did, we just have to break off our routes a little bit crisp and create more separation.”
On Saturday, Arizona State will certainly bring pressure, and the Buffs will need to find a way to get open and create some of those big plays. Against ASU, those big plays should be there.
ASU has given up more 20-plus yard passing plays (33) than any team in the country this season. The Sun Devils have allowed 87 passing plays of 10-plus yards – 10 more than any other team in the country.
Orvis to be honored
Former CU great Herb Orvis will be honored at today’s game by the Buffs and the National Football Foundation.
Orvis, a 1971 graduate of CU, will be the eighth Buff (seventh player) inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 8 in New York City.
Orvis, who turns 70 on Monday, was an all-American defensive end in 1971 and was selected as a member of the All-Big Eight team of the decade for the 1970s. He was inducted into CU’s athletic hall of fame in 2014.
Milestones in reach for Lindsay
CU junior Phillip Lindsay needs just 61 rushing yards to reach 1,500 for his career, making him the 29th to do that.
Lindsay also needs just three receiving yards to reach 500 for his career. When he hits that, he’ll become just the 14th player in CU history with over 1,000 rushing and over 500 receiving.
In addition, Lindsay is just 35 yards away from 3,000 all-purpose yards, something that only 12 Buffs have ever done.
- This season, the ASU defense has forced 176 of 448 plays for the opposition to go for negative or zero yards (39.3 percent). Last week against the Sun Devils, UCLA had 42 of 77 plays go for negative or zero yards.
- The Buffs come into this game 0-7 all-time against Arizona State, and all seven games have been decided by 14 or more points.
- CU quarterbacks have thrown at least one interception in every meeting with the Sun Devils, and 11 overall. ASU quarterbacks, meanwhile, have thrown just four interceptions, and only one in the last five meetings.
- CU can’t rest if it gets a lead in this game. The Sun Devils are 4-1 this season in games where they either trailed or were tied in the second half. They’ve outscored the opposition 106-42 in the fourth quarter.
- ASU has dominated the run game in this series. In the five meetings since the Buffs joined the Pac-12, ASU has had single-game rushing totals of 207, 261, 276, 223 and 231 yards. CU ran for 232 yards in the 2014 meeting, but the Buffs have been held below 100 yards in five of the seven games against ASU.
- This is the seventh time in eight meetings that CU and ASU will play at night.
- CU is looking to snap a seven-game losing streak in homecoming games.
- The Buffs have forced eight fumbles in the last two games, recovering three of them.
- CU has been much more organized this season. Last year, they were flagged for illegal formation six times and illegal substitution once. This year, they have not had any of those penalties.
- Two CU players are celebrating birthdays today: freshman cornerback Anthony Julmisse turns 19, and junior walk-on punter Cameron Silzer is 23.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.