The Arizona State Sun Devils (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) lost their fifth consecutive game on Thursday night, falling to the Colorado Buffaloes (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) by a score of 27-24 at Sun Devil Stadium. The Buffaloes snapped an eight-game conference losing streak with a 43-yard field goal by Alejandro Mata with 12 seconds left in the game.
The Sun Devils had a chance to tie or win the game after driving to the Colorado 26-yard line with 18 seconds remaining, but quarterback Shedeur Sanders was sacked and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Buffaloes. Sanders, the son of Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, finished the game with 202 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 42 yards and a score.
Colorado quarterback Brendon Lewis had a solid performance, completing 18 of 25 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 44 yards and a touchdown. Running back Jarek Broussard added 91 yards on 19 carries, while receiver Dimitri Stanley had six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.
ASU struggles to contain Colorado’s offense
The Sun Devils entered the game as the second-best defense in the Pac-12, allowing only 18.8 points per game. However, they had trouble stopping the Buffaloes, who scored on five of their eight possessions and converted eight of 14 third downs. The Buffaloes also had a balanced attack, with 224 passing yards and 153 rushing yards.
The Sun Devils had some bright spots on defense, such as linebacker Darien Butler, who had nine tackles and a sack, and cornerback Chase Lucas, who had an interception and a pass breakup. However, they also missed some tackles and gave up some big plays, such as a 44-yard touchdown pass from Lewis to Stanley in the second quarter.
ASU shows resilience but falls short
The Sun Devils showed some fight in the second half, after trailing 17-10 at halftime. They scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 24-20 lead. The first one came on a 10-yard run by Sanders, who capped off a nine-play, 75-yard drive. The second one came on a 15-yard pass from Sanders to tight end Curtis Hodges, who made a diving catch in the end zone.
However, the Sun Devils could not sustain their momentum in the fourth quarter, as they went three-and-out on their first two possessions and punted on their third. The Buffaloes took advantage of their opportunities and scored seven points on their final two drives. The first one resulted in a 28-yard field goal by Mata, who tied the game at 24-24 with 5:13 left. The second one resulted in the game-winning field goal by Mata, who sealed the victory for Colorado.
What’s next for both teams?
The Sun Devils will try to end their losing streak next week when they host the Washington Huskies (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12), who are ranked No. 9 in the US LBM Coaches Poll. The Huskies are coming off a bye week and have won their last four games by an average margin of 26 points.
The Buffaloes will look to build on their win next week when they visit the Oregon State Beavers (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12), who are tied for second place in the Pac-12 North division. The Beavers are coming off a 45-27 win over Washington State and have won four of their last five games.