TEMPE, Ariz. — Colorado’s offense struggled for most of the game and its defense gave up 96 yards for the game-tying score. Even the special teams, aside from one big punt return, wasn’t that special.
As the game was winding down, Shedeur Sanders stepped up as usual and ended Buffalo’s eight-game losing streak in the Pac-12 Conference.
Sanders scored two touchdowns and hit Javon Antonio on a 43-yard pass to set up Alejandro Mata’s 43-yard field goal to help Colorado on Saturday. State defeated Arizona State 27-24.
“It’s like we’re waiting for him to put on the cape and do what he does,” Scheidel’s father, Colorado State coach Deion Sanders, said. “That’s what he does every week.”
The Sun Devils sacked Sanders five times, leaving him with little time to find receivers downfield. Sanders, who ranks second nationally with 356 yards per game, was limited to 239 yards on 26 of 42 carries.
The coach’s son was effective when needed, running for a touchdown in the first half and hitting Antonio 9 yards for a score in the fourth quarter. After Arizona State tied the game with 50 seconds left, Sanders found Antonio again, this time for a 43-yard catch, setting up Mata’s game-winning field goal for Colorado State (4-2, 1-2 Pac. -12) Brings first Pac-12 win in one year.
“Dad didn’t talk to me much during the games. He let me be myself,” Shaddell Sanders said. “I’ve lived with him my whole life, so he can’t tell me anything that I haven’t heard before. I just look at the sideline and see everyone’s body language – the coaches and everyone – they know this is the time What time.”
Arizona State (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) struggled offensively for much of the afternoon with three starting offensive linemen and two key backups missing due to injuries.
The Sun Devils found the right gear at the right time, moving 94 yards in 13 plays to set up Trenton Bourguet’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Troy Omeire. The score was tied at 24.
Bulger completed 32 of 49 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown, but he was almost always under pressure. Arizona State lost its seventh consecutive Pac-12 game, its worst start since 1942.
“Winning teams make moves as the game gets closer, and right now we’re not there yet,” ASU coach Kenny Dillingham said.
The Sun Devils took an offensive route on the opening drive, taking a crossover route underneath to Colorado’s second. Arizona State used a strange formation near the goal line, with all its wingers spread out except for center Leif Fautanu and Bourguet following him. 2 yard touchdown run.
Arizona State’s offense was quiet until late in the first half, when Cam Skattebo rushed for 1 yard with 6 1/2 minutes left.
Colorado has a similar half.
Xavier Weaver scored on fourth-and-1 to tie the game at 7, but Buffalo struggled to stop ASU’s charge on Sanders until late in the half. Colorado struggled to score, and shortly after Scatterbo’s touchdown, Sanders rushed 16 yards for a score.
Arizona State got into position quickly, capped by Dario Longhetto’s 33-yard field goal to take a 17-14 lead at halftime. The Sun Devils struggled much of the second half, not scoring until the end and the defense giving up winning momentum, leading to their fifth straight loss of the season.
“In those big moments, it’s the little things that matter,” Arizona State defensive end BJ Green said. “You have to make sure you keep these things in mind from the beginning.”
The pinnacle of softness
Deion Sanders usually has a positive attitude after games, even after losses. He became more subdued after Buffalo struggled at times in all three phases.
“Great win, but we played like garbage and I’m trying to figure it out,” Sanders said. “I’m sick of this. We’re better than this.”
Colorado: Buffalo’s defense was solid all game long and Sanders came up big when needed to lead Colorado to its first Pac-12 victory since beating Cal in overtime a year ago.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils’ defense limited Sanders’ offense for much of the game but gave up big plays that set up the victory. Arizona State’s offense was good at times, but not enough to beat Buffalo.
Colorado: Hosts Stanford on Friday.
Arizona State: Has a bye week before facing No. 7 Washington on Oct. 21.