Boulder, CO — The Colorado Buffaloes prove their worth to remain in the Top 25 with a win over the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday, 28-21.
Laviska Shenault Jr., receiver for the Buffaloes (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) made an impact racking up four total TD’s, two running and two receiving. The Colorado offense was on fire as the offensive line remained strong allowing quarterback Steven Montez to throw for a total of 328 yards.
The game may have gone to OT if the Arizona State defense could’ve held back the Colorado offense with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter. The line remained strong and during one of the last and most important drives of the game, Shenault Jr. ran into the end zone for one yard, forcing the score to 28-21.
“I think that opportunities presented themselves and [Colorado] capitalized on the opportunities when they presented themselves and we didn’t. That is what the game boils down to…”, stated Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards.
Arizona State (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) began the game with explosive energy as running back Eno Benjamin put the Sun Devils on the board with a one yard rushing TD. Benjamin scored two of the three touchdowns. The Colorado defense had one job: stop Eno Benjamin.
“First of all, Arizona State is really good football team… the running back Benjamin, I was a little nervous, in the first half we had a hard time tackling him. In the second half, our guys adjusted. I thought the D-line and the front seven play in the second half was pretty amazing,” stated Colorado head coach Mike MacIntrye.
Last week, Benjamin had a whopping 312 rushing yards on the Oregon State Beavers but the Buffaloes had a job to do. Benjamin fell short of his memorable performance with a total 130 rushing yards on the night.
Arizona State receiver Frank Darby put his team on the board for the last time in the third quarter with a 40-yard reception from quarterback Manny Wilkins. Darby received for 131 yards, breaking his record for most receiving yards in a game this season.
Montez, a consistent leader for the Buffaloes, broke 1,000 passing yards for the year and is sitting pretty on a 75% completion percentage. Montez passed to Shenault Jr. for a 30-yard completion in the third quarter to tie up the game, 21-21.
“He knows where he wants to go with the ball. That saying we have of, ‘knowledge plus confidence equals playing fast’, that helps,” said MacIntrye about his quarterback, “…he’s just continued maturing and he’s gotten a little bit better in every area, and that’s making a huge difference.”
Colorado acquired close to a total 500 yards on the night and according to Montez, all the thanks should go the offensive line, “there would be no skill guys if it wasn’t for this group right here. There would be no such thing as skill guys. These guys probably have the most skill on our offense as far as I’m concerned.”
No. 21 Colorado Buffaloes leads the Pac-12 South and goes on to face their first Pac-12 game on the road against the USC Trojans (3-2, 2-1 Pac-12) on Oct. 13, airing on FS1.