(Photo: ASU Athletics)
Everybody needs a rebound. You know, when you’ve had a bad breakup and you’re struggling to get over it, and you just need someone to be there while you get back on your feet?
Arizona State needs a rebound. And Colorado is just what the Sun Devils ordered.
The Buffaloes are 2-2, but have been slaughtered in the two Pac-12 games they’ve played. The Sun Devils, meanwhile, are in desperate need of a rebound after a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame in a game that was theirs for the taking.
Arizona State wins if: The Sun Devils play Sun Devil football. Remember what happened the last time a bad team came to Tempe? It was a long time ago, but Arizona State manhandled Sacramento State. Is Colorado as bad as the Hornets were? Not at all, but they aren’t good either.
Arizona State just needs to play Todd Graham football. Be aggressive on both sides of the ball, don’t commit penalties or turn the ball over and win on special teams. These goals are all attainable against the rebuilding Buffaloes.
Arizona State is in trouble if: They make dumb mental mistakes. Running the wrong route, fumbling, bad throws by Taylor Kelly, missed tackles, penalties or poor execution on special teams will keep Colorado in the game.
Remember, in games like these, the longer you let the underdog hang around, the more likely it is that an upset happens.
Arizona State loses if: They completely overlook Colorado. The Buffs have some talent, especially at receiver with Paul Richardson and Nelson Spruce. On defense, Chidera Uzo-Diribe is a very good defensive end. Colorado isn’t very good, but they aren’t a pushover.
Furthermore, new head coach Mike MacIntyre did what few have ever been able to do; make San Jose State a relevant football program. He’s a very good coach. The Sun Devils must still come out and play hard. They must show they can dominate, not expect it. If they expect to win this game and put no effort in, Colorado will stun the Devils.
Prediction: Arizona State wins, 64-24. That seems exuberant, right? I agree. I also saw a fire in Todd Graham at practice Thursday. He is mad. He knows they blew a golden opportunity against the Fighting Irish. And he knows people doubt this program, again. I think the Sun Devils come out firing, throwing deep and opening big holes in the running game. I also expect the defense to make a statement, harassing the quarterback while not having to worry about one of the conference’s worst rushing teams. I like Arizona State to win big.