TEMPE, Ariz. – One was legitimate, one was questionable, but both counted and both hurt the Colorado Buffaloes.
A pair of first-half personal foul penalties on defensive lineman Terrance Lang proved costly to CU in a 35-13 loss to Arizona State on Saturday night.
In the first quarter, Lang sacked ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels on third-and-7 from the CU 42-yard line. However, he grabbed the facemask of Daniels in the process, drawing a 15-yard penalty. That gave ASU a first down, and four plays later the Sun Devils scored their first touchdown.
Early in the second quarter, Lang and outside linebacker Guy Thomas put pressure on Daniels and he was forced to scramble on a third-and-8 play from the CU 21-yard line. Lang hit Daniels as he threw the ball, which sailed high and hit the goalpost for an incomplete pass. Lang was flagged for roughing the passer.
Instead of settling for a field goal, ASU got a first-down and scored its second touchdown on the next play.
“I felt we did some really positive things in the first half (on defense), but those things were negated with the personal foul penalties that extended drives,” CU head coach Karl Dorrell said. “They ended up getting points, but those guys played hard and did some really good things in that first half.”
Overall, CU was penalized eight times for 84 yards, including four flags for 55 yards on defense.
“We have to execute better, pretty much,” safety Mark Perry said. “I felt like a lot of the drives we’d come out good and then, like (Dorrell) said, penalties extended the drives which later ended up scoring. We showed a lot of flashes of getting off the field, but we just have to clean up penalties, clean up our eyes. There was a couple trick plays that they ran that popped for big yardage and we’ve just got to keep going back to practice and improve.”
With starting quarterback Brendon Lewis struggling so far this season, Dorrell hinted last week that he might get backup Drew Carter an opportunity to play against the Sun Devils.
“We’re going to get him ready to possibly be in there and get a chance to play and we need to bring both these guys along, we really do,” Dorrell said last week. “I think Drew, when he came in (against Minnesota on Sept. 18), he showed a little bit of a spark and we’re going to continue to bring that process forward.”
Dorrell didn’t take the opportunity to get Carter, a true freshman, into the game on Saturday, though. Even when ASU put the game out of reach, 35-10, with a touchdown at the 8:30 mark of the fourth quarter, Dorrell kept Carter on the bench.
“It crossed my mind (to get Carter in the game) and actually you saw me call timeout late,” he said, referring to a timeout CU called with 2:54 to play after a second-down play by the ASU offense. “I was hoping that we’d get a stop there to get the ball back so that we could get another drive, just to get more work and unfortunately we let them get the first down and that whole plan went out the window.”
CU never got the ball back and Carter never got into the game.
“I’m just trying to get more snaps for these guys to keep gaining experience and gaining their confidence and keep bringing ourselves forward and unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that (with Carter), but that did cross my mind with Drew with getting him a chance to get in there,” Dorrell said.
Confidence for Becker
Down 25 points in the closing minutes, it seemed odd for CU to send the field goal unit to the field. Dorrell, however, wanted to give kicker Cole Becker a jolt of confidence.
After missing the first three field goal attempts of his career, including a 46-yard attempt in the second quarter, Becker finally nailed the first field goal of his career just before halftime. His 51-yarder got the Buffs on the board.
Late in the fourth, Dorrell wanted to give Becker a chance to get another one under his belt, and Becker delivered with a 33-yard kick.
“He hit a 51-yarder, which was great,” Dorrell said. “For now, at least he’s got a couple under his belt now, so I think that helps with his confidence, too.”
Jarek Broussard reached 1,000 career rushing yards (1,001) for his career and did it in his ninth game, making him the fastest in CU history to reach the mark. … CU had its three-game win streak in conference openers snapped. … The first-ever Buffalo from Conifer High School, walk-on running back Noah Wagner, made his CU debut, getting into the game on special teams. … Legendary CU players JJ Flannigan and Michael Westbrook watched from the sidelines and greeted Dorrell and the Buffs on the field in pregame warm-ups. … The temperature at kickoff was 90 degrees, making it just the 20th game in CU history with a kickoff temp of 90 or higher (second this year).