Tempe, Arizona - Sun Devil Football hits the road again this weekend as it looks to maintain possession of first place in the Pac-12 South in a key divisional tilt against the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday, October 15 in Boulder, Colo. The game is slated for a 5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. Local start and will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks with Roxy Bernstein on the call alongside Anthony Herron and Lewis Johnson.
THE BUFFALOES - The Sun Devils hold a 7-0 advantage in the all-time series against the Buffaloes and it is the only perfect record ASU holds against any team it has played over six times in history. Since Colorado joined the Pac-12, ASU is averaging 47.8 points per game against Colorado with an average margin of victory of 29.6 points
That said, the 2016 Colorado squad has been among the most improved teams in the nation, entering the AP Top 25 Poll prior to the USC game for the first time since 2005.
The Buffaloes are getting it doone on both sides of the ball with a red zone offense ranked 22nd nationally and a red zone defense that sits 25th. Scoring offense sees CU 28th nationally in scoring while the scoring defense sits 30th. In total offense, the Buffs are 17th nationally while the defense sits 23rd in total defense. CU's passing attack ranks 21st nationally while the defense has limited opponents to just 185.0 yards per game, a total good for 23rd nationally.
CU has a three-headed attack at wide receiver in Shay Fields, Devin Ross and Bryce Bobo, a trio that has accounted for 82 receptions for 1,255 yards and 12 touchdowns through six games this season.
THE PAC-12 - The Sun Devils are looking to move to 11-9 in Pac-12 road games under Todd Graham. ASU had gone 5-13 in four previous seasons on the road prior to Graham's arrival. With a victory, the Sun Devils would remain in at least a tie for first in the Pac-12 South Division while a Utah loss at Oregon State would leave ASU in sole possession of first in the division should the Devils come out victorious.
AN ASU VICTORY WOULD...
- Improve ASU to 8-0 all-time against the Buffaloes, ASU's only perfect record against any opponent it has played at least six times in history.
- Move the Devils to 11-9 in Pac-12 road games under Todd Graham after going 5-13 in previous four seasons.
- Give ASU 10 wins in its last 16 true road contests and 14 wins in its last 24. ASU had 15 total road wins from 2004-2011 (8 seasons)
- Move ASU to 26-14 in Pac-12 games since Todd Graham took over in 2012 and 21-10 in such games in the past three-plus seasons - with both marks leading the Pac-12 South in those respective time spans.
- Move ASU to 6-1 through seven games for the second time in the past three seasons.
- Improve the Devils to 3-1 through four Pac-12 games for the fourth time in Todd Graham's five seasons.
- Mark the 40th victory for Todd Graham as head coach of the Sun Devils.
ON THE AIR
Hear the hometown call with broadcaster Tim Healey and color analyst Jeff Van Raaphorst as well as sideline reporter Derek Hagan providing all the action for Sun Devil Football this season. The hometown broadcasts are boosted by Bonneville's powerful sports/talk lineup of Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, ESPN Phoenix 620 AM and 92.3 KTAR News FM. This week's game will broadcast on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
The Sun Devils will look to improve upon their impressive 15-1 all-time record when playing a game broadcasted by the Pac-12 Networks. The contest will feature Roxy Bernstein on the call alongside analyst Anthony Herron while Lewis Johnson will provide insight from the sidelines.
The Pac-12 will again provide access to Armed Forces Network for carriage of Pac-12 football games in 2016 for the benefit of the men and women in the military.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
- The Sun Devils are 4-1 this season in games in which they have been tied or trailed in the second half. ASU went 8-19 in such games over the previous four seasons.
- ASU has 18 rushing touchdowns already in 2016 after having 19 in the entirety of the 2015 season.
- The Sun Devils have now scored on 25-of-26 trips to the red zone in 2016 and have scored a touchdown on 18 of those trips (69.23). That was an area ASU struggled in last year, only finding the end zone on 51.5 percent of its red zone trips.
- The Sun Devils have forced 33 three-and-outs this season on 91 defensive drives this season (36.3 percent), average of 5.50 three-and-outs per game that ranks ninth nationally this season while the 33 total are the fifth-most in the country.
- ASU has outscored other teams 106-42 in the fourth quarter of games this season this season and is averaging 25.8 points per second half against FBS opposition. That total is more than 48 teams in the country are averaging PER GAME against FBS opponents.
- After taking over the FBS career mark for field goals made (89) from FSU's Dustin Hopkins, Gonzalez now has 458 points in his career as he nears Hopkins' FBS record for points by a kicker of 466. He already setting the Pac-12 scoring mark by any player (previous 413).
- With the victory over UCLA last weekend, ASU improved to 8-2 under Todd Graham since 2013 in games following a loss.
- ASU now has five Pac-12 Player of the Week honors this season, three of the '96 record of 8.
- Arizona State has scored first in 41 of the 57 games with Todd Graham at the helm and is 32-9 in the Graham era when getting on the scoreboard first.
- The Sun Devils were 5-2 when scoring first last season and are 4-1 this year after picking up victories against NAU, Texas Tech, UTSA and UCLA.
- 244 of the Devils' 343 offensive scoring drives under Todd Graham have come in three minutes or less (71.1 percent).
- Of ASU's 41 scoring drives this season, 26 have came in under three minutes (63.4 percent), including 6-of-7 against Cal.
GETTING STARTED ON THE RIGHT FOOT
- The Sun Devils have outscored their opposition 504-298 in the first quarter under Todd Graham despite being outscored 42-31 this year.
- The Sun Devils are 24-2 under Graham when holding their opposition scoreless in the first quarter and 2-0 this season when doing so.
- A strong second half start is also important and ASU scored 115 points in the third quarter of games against FBS opposition last year, a 9.6 points per third quarter average that was ranked 14th nationally.
- ASU has posted an impressive 31-3 overall record under Graham when leading at halftime.
DON'T CROSS THAT LINE
- Against UCLA, the ASU defense forced 42 negative or no yardage plays (9 TFLs, 24 incomplete passes, 9 rushes of no gain) of 77 plays runs by the Bruins (54.5 percent).
- On the season, the Sun Devils have forced 176 negative or no yardage plays of 448 run by the opposition (39.3 percent)
- Under Graham ASU has forced 1,533 plays that have not resulted in positive yardage out of 4,208 (36.4 percent).
SERIOUSLY, DON'T CROSS IT
- ASU is first in the Pac-12 and second in the nation (Clemson) with an average of 8.00 TFL per game under Graham and one of two teams in the nation with more than 470 total tackles for loss (Clemson). They rank tied for first in that time with 3.25 sacks per game.
LIGHT 'EM UP
- ASU has scored 50 or more points 16 times since Todd Graham arrived in Tempe for the 2012 season.
- To put that in perspective, ASU eclipsed 50 points 10 times total in the previous 10 years before the current coaching regime (2001-11).
- Against Pac-12 opponents, the Sun Devils have scored 50 or more points 10 times under Coach Graham, after only tallying nine in the conference era prior (since 1978).
- ASU went 86 games without scoring 60 from 2005-2011. Under Coach Graham it has scored 60 or more four times ('12-63 NAU, '12-62 Navy, '13-62 USC, '16-68 TTU).
- The Sun Devils have dropped 50 on Arizona twice in the last three years after doing so just three times in 85 previous contests.
- The Sun Devil offense is currently ranked 24th in the nation in scoring at 39.7 points per game. The Sun Devils have scored 20 or more points in 15 consecutive games after a 14 point effort vs. USC in 2015.
- The Sun Devils have rushed for 18 touchdowns in the first half of th season after having 19 in the entirety of 2015. The 18 touchdowns are good for fourth among all FBS teams.
- After having just two five-rushing touchdown games in nine previous seasons, the Sun Devils did it in back-to-back games too open the season, marking the fifth and sixth times in the Graham era that ASU has gone over five rushing touchdowns in a game. The Devils had three such games TOTAL from 1997-2011.
- The ASU trio of running backs (Demario Richard, Kalen Ballage and Nick Ralston) have been tough to bring down all year, logging 400 total yards after first contact out of their 809 combined rushing yards 49.4 percent).
- The Sun Devils have scored on 25-of-26 trips to the red zone in 2016, a total that is currently good for sixth in the nation, and have scored a touchdown on 18 of those trips (69.23 percent). That percentage is ranked 13th nationally among teams with over 25 red zone trips and is notable as ASU found the end zone on just 51.5 percent of its red zone trips last season.
- ASU is tied for sixth nationally with 15 rushing touchdowns in the red zone this year.
- Demario Richard has eclipsed 100 all-purpose yards in 10 of his last 17 complete games and became the 19th Sun Devil to reach 2,000 career rushing yards this season.
- Richard now has nine 100-yard rushing games in his career, three shy of cracking the ASU top-five in the category.
- Of Richard's 1540 rushing yards as a sophomore and junior, 715 have come after first contact (46.4 percent/2.3 yards per touch).
- Last season, Richard became the fourth Sun Devil in history to have at least seven 100-yard rushing games in a single season, joining Freddy Williams and Art Malone (8) and Woody Green (7, 2 times).
CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALLAGE
- Kalen Ballage introduced himself to the world in a big way against Texas Tech, tying an FBS record with eight total touchdowns (7 rushing, 1 receiving). He also tied the FBS record for touchdowns in a quarter with four in the second quarter of the contest.
- His seven touchdowns against Tech were equal to or more than five teams had in the entirety of the 2015 season.
- Ballage had eight total touchdowns in his two previous seasons prior to his barrage against Texas Tech.
- He is currently ranked third in the nation in rushing touchdowns (9) and 13th in the country in scoring per game (10.3).
- The Sun Devils have held 22 opponents under 100 rushing yards in the Todd Graham era (59 games/37.3 percent), including four of six games this year.
- ASU held three straight opponents under 100 rushing yards for the third time under Graham (2013, 2015, 2016). The Devils had limited opponents to under 100 rushing yards in three straight games in just five previous seasons dating back to 1986.
- The Sun Devil rush defense is currently ranked fifth nationally and leads the Pac-12 in allowing just 89.33 yards per game this year.
The Sun Devils finished 20th in rushing defense in 2015, 49th in 2014 and 26th in 2013 and are one of just 20 schools to be ranked in the Top 50 in each of the last three seasons