Arizona State Sun Devils (4-1 SU, 4-0-1 ATS) vs. Colorado Buffaloes (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS)
College Football Week 7
Date/Time: Thursday October 11th, 2012. 9:00PM Eastern
Where: Folsom Field Boulder, C.O.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ASU -22/COL+22
Over/Under Total: OFF
The 4-1 Arizona State Sun Devils take their talent to Boulder, Colorado this Thursday night to battle one of the weakest teams in the Pac-12 in the Colorado Buffaloes. The hosting Buffaloes are just 1-4 SU on the season while sporting an equally insignificant 1-4 mark against the spread. Colorado’s lone win this season was a 35-34 moral victory over Washington State in a game that featured the two worst teams in the conference. Colorado was just 3-10 in 2011 and they desperately need a breakout game to get some momentum on their side or they will be destined for another disappointing season.
Additionally, the schedule will not get any easier for the Buffaloes considering they will get to face Oregon, USC, and Stanford over the next 3 weeks which any sane person would chalk up as 3 losses. On paper, Colorado has been just awful on both sides of the ball gaining just 301 yards per game on offense (100th in FBS) and giving up 474 yards per game on defense (107th in FBS). Those statistics may point to an Arizona State blowout on paper but Colorado must use the nationally televised stage this Thursday night to put together a respectable performance. If there is a spot in the schedule that Colorado has a chance to pull off a big upset, maybe just maybe it could be this Thursday night’s when Arizona State comes to town.
However, the Sun Devils have been solid through their first 5 games of the season and they will be sizeable 22 point favorites this Thursday. Surprisingly the leaders of the Pac 12 South are not the USC Trojans, but currently Arizona State leads the division with a 2-0 mark in conference play. The Sun Devils will seek their 3rd straight conference victory this Thursday after trouncing Utah 37-7 and Cal 27-17 in their two most recent outings. The Arizona State defense has the ability to make the Sun Devils a threat against the top dogs in the Pac 12 this season and it will be interesting to see if the defense can dominate that struggling Colorado offense and Buffaloes QB Jordan Webb (961 yards, 58% completion percentage, 7 scores, 4 picks on the season).
The Sun Devils defense ranks 10th overall giving up just 276 yards per game and they have been extremely dominant up front in passing situations. DT Will Sutton and DE Junior Onyeali have combined for 10.5 sacks among the defensive line. Additionally, LB Carl Bradford has added 4.5 sacks towards the defenses’ totals as well. Overall, the Sun Devils have 21 sacks on the season that ranks 4th in the FBS and 49 tackles for loss (3rd in FBS). If the defense can continue to play well up front this Thursday, they could make things really difficult for the Colorado offense to say the least.
Offensively, the Sun Devils have been stagnant at times on the ground as they were in the close to loss to Missouri and in the win against Cal. Neither running back D.J Foster nor Marion Grice has more than 210 rushing yards on the season. As a team, the Sun Devils average just 173 yards per game rushing (55th in FBS). However, QB Taylor Kelly has been really solid throwing the football completing 67.6% passing for 1,292 yards with 9 touchdowns and 2 picks. Kelly’s only poor performance this season came against Missouri where he tossed 2 picks with just 1 touchdown. No surprise that game was the Sun Devils only loss this season because that is how important Kelly is to this Arizona State offense. Needless to say, the Sun Devils need Kelly to play well this Thursday and exploit Colorado’s weak defense.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Crazy things can happen on Thursday night’s and it may again this week. However, I am not expecting any big surprises as I believe Arizona State will dominate in every aspect of the game and win this one easily. Additionally, Colorado is just 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games at Folsom Field including a straight up loss to mega-weak Sacramento State. Take the Sun Devils -22!
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