Arizona State Sun Devils vs. Colorado Statistical Preview


After a tremendous win over UCLA last weekend, the Arizona State Sun Devils will get back home and get back to work against the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday night. With Sun Devil Stadium set to be blacked out, expectations are once again high for the Devils coming off of their best performance of the year, combined with a second USC loss (and a conference one, to boot) on Thursday night. Let’s look at what the numbers might indicate for this weekend’s tilt against the Buffs:

Passing Offense

  • Arizona State: 268.8 Yards Per Game (34th), 6.7 Yards Per Attempt (84th), 9 TD (37th), 3 INT (71st)
  • Colorado: 210.6 YPG (81st), 6.3 YPA (99th), 5 TD (93rd), 2 INT (98th)

Rushing Offense

  • Arizona State: 197 ATT (49th), 169.2 YPG (70th), 4.3 YPA (71st), 8 TD (68th)
  • Colorado: 242 ATT (10th), 233.0 YPG (18th), 4.8 YPA (44th), 14 TD (14th)

Total Offense

  • Arizona State: 438 YPG (44th), 27.6 (75th)
  • Colorado: 444 YPG (38th), 33.4 (45th)

Defensive Statistics

  • Arizona State: 369 YPG (60th), 212.6 Pass YPG (60th), 156.8 Rush YPG (64th), 26.8 PPG (84th), 11 Sacks (35th), 5 INT (37th), 2 FUM REC (86th)
  • Colorado: 380 YPG (67th), 190.0 Pass YPG (41st), 190.4 Rush YPG (94th), 21.4 PPG (46th), 8 Sacks (78th), 8 INT (14th), 2 FUM REC (86th)

Individual Standouts

  • Arizona State
    • Mike Bercovici: 120-f0r-201 (59.7%), 1344 YD, 9 TD, 3 INT)
    • Demario Richard: 93 ATT, 508 YD, 5.5 AVG, 4 TD
    • D.J. Foster: 26 REC, 246 YD, 2 TD
  • Colorado
    • Sefo Liufau: 91-for-15 (59.1%), 1002 YD, 5 TD, 2 INT
    • Phillip Lindsay: 55 ATT, 280 YD, 5.1 AVG, 3 TD
    • Nelson Spruce: 31 REC, 363 YD, 11.7 AVG, 1 TD

There’s plenty to dissect here, in what could be a very interesting matchup on Saturday night. Colorado has improved, at least to the point where they’re not the lock for a win that they might have represented throughout the Pac-12 in previous years. They haven’t had the most difficult schedule to this point, with wins coming over UMassColorado State, and Nicholls State. Their two losses came to Hawaii and, most recently, to Oregon. In the latter matchup, they hung with the Ducks for a bit, but ultimately came up well short in a 41-24 loss.

More from ASU Football

From a Sun Devils perspective, just what do they need to prepare for against this Colorado team, based off of the numbers alone?

Perhaps above everything else, this is a Colorado team that can run the ball. In addition to Phillip Lindsay, they have two running backs with over 200 yards on the season, with rushes accounting for 14 of their 19 offensive touchdowns. We know that the numbers don’t tell the whole story with ASU’s rushing defense, with what they were able to do against UCLA, holding them to 62 yards rushing last weekend, but it’ll be another tough test for the embattled defensive group.

On offense, this isn’t a particularly stout Colorado group, even if they are an improved one. Their pass defense is the best among their phases, but they have yet to face a quarterback of Mike Bercovici’s caliber. He had a strong game against the Bruins, and one hopes that the playbook continues to open up for him as the year wears on. Combine that with the running back combination of Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage, and the Sun Devils should be able to exploit a questionable Colorado run defense.

The Sun Devils are going into Saturday favored, as it should be. Coming off the week they had, expectations have returned, as the door is wide open in the Pac-12 South, especially with only one of ASU’s two losses being in-conference. It’ll be interesting to see how they follow up the UCLA performance, but playing in front of the home crowd at Sun Devil Stadium should lend itself to a performance that really builds on what they started last weekend.

**Colorado Statistics via ESPN
***Arizona State Statistics via ESPN

Randy Holt is the managing editor for Devils in Detail. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.