Thursday Night Football Preview: Arizona State-Colorado

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Another Thursday is here and that means college football is back again. Tonight’s game, though? Not so much, but it’s college football, so you never know. The Arizona State Sun Devils have surprised me so far this season as they’re off to a 4-1 start. Now, the competition hasn’t exactly been anything great, but you are what your record says.

The Colorado Buffaloes continue to struggle. Head coach Jon Embree‘s squad already has lost to an FCS team in Sacramento State and beat the Washington State Cougars late at home. While this one has a major blowout written all over it, I do see some hope for the Buffs.

THE KEYS:

COLORADO

- Colorado can’t beat themselves. We’ve already seen them quit early against the Fresno State Bulldogs on the road. Hopefully they can feed off the crowd and force some turnovers early.

- Get the ball out of quarterback Jordan Webb‘s hand quickly. Arizona State’s defensive line is eating well this year (3rd in the nation in sacks) and you’ve got to slow them down with screens, quick hitters, etc.

- Colorado has got to work in some sort of a run game. So far they haven’t really committed to that and it has cost them by giving their opponents extra possession to attack the Buffs’ terrible defense.

ARIZONA STATE

- Don’t look ahead. They’ve got the second ranked Oregon Ducks coming into Tempe next weekend in what should be an unbelievable atmosphere. Don’t worry about that for now. Take care of business tonight.

- Attack early through the air. Use the conditions to your advantage. Play like you are hitting home runs at Coors Field. Quarterback Taylor Kelly has been great this year. Let’s him go for the kill.

- Just be smart on special teams. One positive for Colorado is their punting game. Make a fair catch. Don’t muff the punt. The only way the Buffs can hang is if you make uncharacteristic turnovers which you haven’t done all year.

BOTTOM LINE:

Folsom Field is an incredible place to see a game. The views are picturesque. Problem is, Joel Klatt and Chris Brown aren’t walking through that door. Gary Barnett isn’t roaming the sideline. Colorado will continue their dive to perhaps being the worst team this year in the FBS. Prediction: Arizona State 31 – Colorado 14.

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