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  • Colorado quarterback Steven Montez has rushed for two touchdowns this...

    Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Colorado quarterback Steven Montez has rushed for two touchdowns this season.

  • Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins has thrown nine touchdowns this...

    Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

    Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins has thrown nine touchdowns this season.



Buffaloes at a glance

Record: 5-4, 2-4 Pac-12

Last week: Defeated California, 44-28

Statistical leaders


Steven Montez, So.: 164-for-259, 2,059 yards, 15 TD, 6 INT

Sam Noyer, Fr.: 13-for-27, 119 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT


Phillip Lindsay, Sr.: 240 att., 1,254 yards, 10 TD

Steven Montez, So.: 92 att., 241 yards, 2 TD

Beau Bisharat, So.: 20 att., 59 yards


Bryce Bobo, Sr.: 45 catches, 485 yards, 5 TD

Shay Fields, Sr.: 39 catches, 491 yards, 3 TD

Devin Ross, Sr.: 31 catches, 419 yards, 2 TD


LB Drew Lewis, Jr.: 88 tackles (32 solo)

LB Rick Gamboa, Jr.: 86 tackles (30 solo)

S Evan Worthington, Jr.: 64 tackles (52 solo)

Where they rank

How the Buffs rank nationally:


Scoring: 69th (27.8)

Rushing: 55th (171.4)

Passing: 55th (245.4)

Total: 54th (416.9)

3rd downs: 40th (43.3%)

Red zone: 61st (85.3%)


Scoring: 57th (25.0)

Rushing: 81st (179.1)

Passing: 92nd (244.3)

Total: 91st (423.4)

3rd downs: 97th (43.1%)

Red zone: 54th (81.3%)


Penalties: 93rd (6.89)

Turnover margin: 37th (plus-0.44)

3 questions facing CU

1. Can the Buffs figure out how to play well in Tempe?

The Buffs are 0-4 all-time at Sun Devil Stadium against ASU and every game has been lopsided. CU has made three trips to Tempe since joining the Pac-12 and none of those games were competitive. In each case, ASU jumped to a big first-quarter lead and CU never recovered. CU needs a strong start to gain some momentum.

2. Will the offense find its groove again?

Last week was as good as the offense has played all year, with Steven Montez leading the way. If that group can get in a similar rhythm this week, they can put some points on the board and have a good night.

3. How will the defense do against the ASU run game?

The Sun Devils feature a pair of good running backs, but their run game is one of the worst in the country this season. CU hasn’t exactly been a juggernaut against the run, but held Cal to 61 yards last week. Keeping the Sun Devils around or below the 100-yard mark will be key.

Bottom line: At this point, the Buffs aren’t playing for any type of championship; they simply want to finish the season strong and at least get that sixth win for bowl eligibility. That win doesn’t have to come this week, but if they can get it now, the Buffs breath a little easier down the stretch.

Sun Devils at a glance

Record: 4-4, 3-2 Pac-12

Last week: Lost to USC, 48-17

Statistical leaders


Manny Wilkins, Jr.: 173-for-263, 2,096, 9 TD, 3 INT


Demario Richard, Sr.: 100 att., 379 yards, 5 TD

Kalen Ballage, Sr.: 93 att., 378 yards, 5 TD

Kyle Williams, So.: 6 att., 76 yards


N’Keal Harry, So.: 54 catches, 713 yards, 3 TD

Kyle Williams, So.: 41 catches, 469 yards, 3 TD

Jalen Harvey, Jr.: 23 catches, 422 yards, 1 TD


LB Christian Sam, Jr.: 83 tackles (55 solo)

LB DJ Calhoun, Sr.: 70 tackles (44 solo)

Spur J’Marcus Rhodes, Sr.: 48 tackles (30 solo)

Where they rank

How the Sun Devils rank nationally:


Scoring: 67th (27.9)

Rushing: 107th (121.4)

Passing: 37th (268.8)

Total: 75th (390.1)

3rd downs: 73rd (38.8%)

Red zone: 4th (96.0%)


Scoring: 92nd (30.9)

Rushing: 92nd (186.9)

Passing: 97th (253.5)

Total: 101st (440.4)

3rd downs: 79th (42.4%)

Red zone: 46th (79.3%)


Penalties: 6th (4.00)

Turnover margin: 40th (plus-0.38)

3 questions facing ASU

1. Which team shows up?

ASU looked like one of the best teams in the Pac-12 in upsetting Washington and rolling past Utah. The Sun Devils looking nothing like that in a 31-point loss to USC last week and in falling to Stanford. If the good ASU shows up, CU could be in trouble.

2. Can the defense stop the Buffs?

In their back-to-back wins against Washington and Utah, the Sun Devils played dominating defense. Outside of that, they’ve been routinely blasted. Nationally, they rank among the worst defenses in the country. They’ll need to figure out a way to slow down CU’s top weapons.

3. Will they get their offense going?

Although they are 2-1 in the last three games, the Sun Devils have just five offensive touchdowns in that time. The run game has sputtered and quarterback Manny Wilkins hasn’t made big plays. Wilkins’ only touchdown pass in the last four games was a questionable Hail Mary at the end of the first half against USC last week.

Bottom line: After back-to-back losing seasons and missing a bowl game last year for the first time since 2010, there’s a lot of pressure on ASU to win this season. The Sun Devils have very little margin for error entering their last four games and can’t afford to lose a second in a row at home.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at or

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