Arizona State-Colorado preview capsule
Arizona State (3-2, 1-0 Pac-12) vs. No. 21 Colorado (4-0, 1-0), 4:10 p.m. EDT (Pac-12 Network)
Line: Colorado by 1 1/2.
Series record: Arizona State leads 8-1
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
First place in the Pac-12 South. With USC idle and Arizona State at 1-1, the winner of this game will be atop the division. The Buffaloes are out to show they’re a legitimate contender to win the South for the second time in three years but their schedule so far has been soft. They’ve beaten Colorado State, Nebraska, New Hampshire and UCLA. Those four teams are a combined 1-16.
Buffaloes sophomore WR Laviska Shenault, the nation’s leading receiver, versus Arizona State’s improved secondary that features senior Demonte King, who has two dozen tackles so far, and freshman Aashari Crosswell, who, like King, has three pass breakups.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Arizona State: Senior QB Manny Wilkins is 177 passing yards shy of 7,000 for his career. He has 42 TD passes. His favorite target is WR N’Keal Harry, who has 2,220 career receiving yards, including 419 yards and five TDs on 31 catches this season.
Colorado: Sophomore Steven Montez is the fifth QB at Colorado with 36 career touchdown passes (Sefo Liufau and Cody Hawkins lead with 60; Joel Klatt had 44 and Koy Detmer 40). Shenault leads the nation with 38 catches for 581 yards, averaging 9.5 receptions and 145.3 yards per game.
FACTS & FIGURES
While Colorado is confident despite playing one of the weakest schedules in the nation so far, the Sun Devils are well-tested. The Buffs represent the third ranked team they’ll play this season. Arizona State beat then-No. 15 Michigan State 16-13 and lost 27-20 at No. 10 Washington. … Arizona State has averaged nearly 39 points per game in the series. … The Sun Devils haven’t had a running back fumble away the football in 24 games. … Colorado ranks second in the Pac-12 in total offense (489.8 yards per game) and scoring offense (40.3 points). … The Buffaloes’ lone win in the series was a 40-16 rout in 2016. … Montez leads all Pac-12 QBs with a 75.8 completion percentage.