TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State returns home as a ranked team following a huge 10-7 road win over previously ranked Michigan State. The 24th-ranked Sun Devils now kick off Pac-12 play Saturday night against 2-1 Colorado.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: Arizona State -7.5
It's a strikingly similar situation to last season when coach Herm Edwards' Arizona State squad upended a ranked Michigan State team in Game No. 2 to climb into the polls. The 2018 Sun Devils, though, proceeded to lose their next two games and four of their next five, including a 28-21 loss at Colorado. "Well, (being ranked) is really good, (but) it doesn't do anything for you," Edwards said Monday at his weekly news conference. "It doesn't help you win the game. We had to deal with that last year, (and) we got hit in the nose." Colorado, meanwhile, got smacked 30-23 by visiting Air Force last Saturday after entering the contest on a high following season-opening wins over Colorado State (52-21) and nationally-ranked Nebraska (34-31 in overtime).
ABOUT COLORADO (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12)
The Buffaloes fell behind 23-10 to the visiting Falcons before rallying to send the contest into overtime for the second straight week. Wide receiver Laviska Shenault, a preseason All-American, saw extra work after a slow start to the season and delivered with 149 total yards and two of the Buffaloes' three touchdowns. However, the Colorado defense, led by linebacker Nate Landman (13.3 total tackles per game) on the season, was gashed for 444 total yards, including a surprising 155 passing and two TDs from Air Force's option attack.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (3-0, 0-0)
The Sun Devils have been led by a defense which is surrendering an average of 303 yards per game and ranks second nationally with an average of seven points allowed. ASU only managed 216 total yards against Michigan State, but 75 of them came on the game-winning 11-play fourth-quarter drive, which was capped by Eno Benjamin's 1-yard scoring run. Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels has been impressive, completing 47-of-77 passes for 728 yards and three TDs and no interceptions while rushing for 75 yards and another score on the ground.
1. Arizona State has won eight of 10 meetings, including all five in Tempe, Ariz.
2. Colorado, however, has prevailed in two of the last three contests, including the 28-21 home win a season ago in which Shenault scored all four of the Buffaloes' TDs (two receiving and two rushing).
3. Colorado senior QB Steven Montez ranks third in the Pac-12 with 275.7 passing yards per game and has thrown six TD passes and two interceptions.
PREDICTION: Arizona State 27, Colorado 20