Week Seven Pac 12 Picks: Colorado Buffaloes at Arizona State Sun Devils
Colorado Buffaloes at Arizona State Wildcats
Sun Devil Stadium – Tempe, Arizona
Saturday, October 12, 2013, 10:00 pm Eastern, TV: Pac 12 Network
Opening Line: Arizona State -24
Current Line: Arizona State -28
Opening Total: 66
Current Total: 68
Opening Money Line: ASU -3000 / CU +1500
Current Money Line: ASU -6000 / CU +1800
The 2-2 Colorado Buffaloes travel to the 3-2 Arizona State Sun Devils in Pac 12 action Saturday. The Buffaloes are 0-2 in the conference and the Sun Devils are 1-1. Arizona State leads the series 4-0 against Colorado including 51-17 last year in Boulder.
Colorado is coached by Mike MacIntyre in his first season. The Buffaloes opened the season with wins in Denver 41-27 over Colorado State and at home over Central Arkansas 38-24. Colorado had a home game against Fresno State postponed because of flooding in boulder several weeks ago. Colorado lost at Oregon State 44-17 and were crushed at home last week against Oregon 57-16. The Buffaloes are 2-2 ATS and the total is 3-1 this season. Colorado was a 38 point underdog at home against Oregon and the total was 69.5.
Colorado took a 10-8 lead early in the first quarter, but Oregon would score 3 touchdowns in the last 5 minutes of the quarter to take a 29-10 lead. Colorado would kick two field goals in the second to pull within 29-16 but would not score again. Oregon would take a 43-16 into the locker room. The Ducks added 2 third quarter touchdowns to get above the huge 38 point number and also above the total. Neither team would score again. Oregon had 755 total yards including 406 passing and 349 rushing yards. The Buffaloes had 374 total yards and 15 first downs. Oregon had 3 turnovers and Colorado had 2.
Colorado is being outscored 38-28 this season. Colorado is #114 out of 125 teams in points allowed. The Buffaloes are averaging 402 total yards per game including the nation’s 26th best passing attack at 291.8 yards per game but the rushing attack is #111 at 110.2 yards per game. On defense, Colorado is allowing 482.8 total yards per game including 326.8 passing and 156 rushing yards. Colorado is #117 in total defense and #124 against the pass. Before the Oregon game, the Buffaloes had a top 10 rushing defense nationally but they plummeted to #61 after giving up 349 yards. The Buffaloes are +1 in turnovers with 11 takeaways. Colorado is averaging 54 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 45. The Buffaloes are 15/64 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 28/80. Colorado is 8/9 scoring in the red zone with one touchdown, and opponents are 17/23 with 14 touchdowns. The Buffaloes have 3 defensive touchdowns this season. Colorado has forced 6 sacks and allowed 8 this season.
Quarterback Connor Wood has completed 54.4% of his passes for 1,092 yards with 8 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, along with 20 carries. Tony Jones, Michael Adkins II and Christian Powell will split the carries, but none has more than 163 yards. Colorado does not have a rushing touchdown this season. Receiver Paul Richardson has 31 catches, 621 yards and 5 touchdowns. Nelson Spruce has 16 catches, 206 yards and a touchdown. D.D. Goodson has 7 catches for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kicker Justin Castor is out for the season with a hip injury.
Arizona State is coached by Todd Graham. The Sun Devils have home wins over Sacramento State 55-50, Wisconsin 32-30, and USC 62-41. Arizona State has a road loss at Stanford 42-28 and last week against Notre Dame 37-34 in Arlington Texas. ASU is 2-3 ATS and the total is 5-0 this season. The Sun Devils were 6.5 point favorites against Notre Dame and the total was 63.5.
Arizona State took a 13-7 lead with 1:30 left in the first half against Notre Dame, but the Fighting Irish scored with 10 seconds left to make it 14-13 at halftime. Notre Dame would add 10 points in the third quarter to expand the lead to 24-13 going into the fourth. ASU had a 37 yard pick six on the first play of the fourth quarter to pull withing 24-20. After Notre Dame kicked a field goal the Sun Devils scored to tie it at 27 with just over 8 minutes to go. Notre Dame would score 10 straight points including a 14 yard pick six to take a 37-27 lead with just over a minute to go. ASU would add a late touchdown to make the final 37-34. The Sun Devils had 427 total yards including 362 passing yards. The Fighting Irish had 424 total yards including 279 passing yards. ASU had 3 turnovers and Notre Dame had one.
Arizona State is outscoring teams 42-30. ASU is #15 in scoring and #84 in points allowed nationally. The Sun Devils are averaging 489.4 yards per game, including 359.4 passing and 130 rushing yards. ASU is #9 in passing nationally and #22 in total offense. The Sun Devils are #97 in rushing. On defense, the Sun Devils are allowing 393 yards per game, including 210.2 passing yards and 182.8 rushing yards. The Sun Devils are +3 in turnovers with 11 takeaways. ASU is 36/86 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 30/81. ASU averages 36 penalty yards per game and opponents average 56. Arizona state has forced 7 sacks this season but has allowed 13. The Sun Devils are 22/25 scoring in the red zone with 15 touchdowns and opponents are 15/17 with 10 touchdowns. The Sun Devils have allowed two defensive touchdowns this season and have two of their own.
ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly has completed 63.3% of his passes for 1,732 yards with 14 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions, and also has 39 carries for 129 yards. Running back Marion Grice has 77 carries, 307 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 27 catches, 219 yards and 5 touchdowns. Receiver Jaelen Strong has 39 catches, 569 yards and 3 touchdowns. Running back D.J. Foster has 31 catches for 329 yards and a touchdown along with 82 rushing yards. Chris Coyle has 13 catches, 224 yards and 2 scores. Three defensive players in the front 7 are listed as doubtful or out.
Colorado is 16-36 ATS in road games, 2-5 after scoring less than 20 points, 9-23 against teams with winning home records, 5-13 after failing to cover, 7-19 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, and overall, 5-14 on grass, 7-20 in Pac 12 games, and against teams with winning records, 2-6 after a straight up loss, and after allowing 40 points or more, 4-13 after rushing for 100 yards or less, 5-20-1 in October, and 5-21 after allowing more than 280 passing yards.
Arizona State is 4-1 ATS at home, 6-2-1 after rushing for 100 yards or less, 5-2 on grass, 3-7 after a straight up loss, 2-5 after passing for 280 yards or more and 3-8 after failing to cover. Arizona State is 4-0 ATS against Colorado and was favored in each of those match-ups.
This should be a high scoring game between two teams with good passing offenses and shaky defenses at best. Arizona State should roll, but I see a possibility of a back door cover with such a large spread.