No. 24 Arizona State and Colorado open Pac-12 play
Colorado (2-1) at No. 24 Arizona State (3-0), Saturday at 10 p.m. EDT (Pac-12 Network).
Line: Arizona State by 8 1/2.
Series record: Arizona State leads 8-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Arizona State looks to avoid a letdown after beating then-No. 18 Michigan State and entering the AP poll for the first time this season. The Sun Devils became ranked after beating the Spartans a year ago, but went on to lose their next two games. Colorado is trying to bounce back from a 23-20 overtime loss to Air Force at home.
Arizona State’s secondary vs. Colorado receiver Laviska Shenault. While their offense is still trying to find a footing, the Sun Devils have been solid on defense. Arizona State shut down Michigan State last week and has held its first three opponents to a combined 21 points. The Sun Devils will face perhaps their toughest test to date in trying to corral Shenault. The junior is one of the nation’s top receivers and had a huge game in Colorado’s 28-21 win against Arizona State, finishing with 13 catches for 127 yards while scoring four combined touchdowns.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Colorado: DE Mustafa Johnson. A 6-foot-2, 290-pound junior, Johnson had 8 ½ sacks last season and has three through the first three games. Arizona State has a young offensive line and has had trouble protecting the quarterback, so Johnson could wreak havoc.
Arizona State: RB Eno Benjamin. The junior is known for his running ability, but has become just as big a threat catching passes out of the backfield. Benjamin is fifth in the FBS with 137 yards receiving and has scored two touchdowns through the air. He needs seven yards rushing against Colorado to reach 2,000 for his career.
FACTS & FIGURES
Arizona State has scored at least 10 points in 122 straight games, four shy of the FBS modern-era record. ... Colorado has outscored opponents 51-24 in the fourth quarter. ... Jayden Daniels can become the fourth Arizona State QB since 1970 to win his first four starts with a win on Saturday. ... The Buffaloes are sixth nationally in kickoff returns at 34.3 yards per return. ... The Sun Devils are one of four teams to not allow any first-half points this season with Memphis, Wisconsin and Baylor. ... Colorado is second nationally with a turnover margin of plus-2.33.
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