If anyone other than head coach Dirk Koetter knows the Arizona State Sun Devils football team, it’s former assistant coach, and now head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes, Bill Hawkins. Hawkins will hope that this advantage can lead to getting his new team its first win of the season.
The Buffaloes are getting 11.5 points at home in Saturday’s contest. This isn’t surprising as they are the only Big 12 program without a win thus far and they have now lost six games in a row dating back to last season. Their problem so far has been on the offensive side of the football as they are unsettled, too put it nicely, at the quarterback position. This season’s projected starter Brian White left the program after falling into the third string position. James Cox started in the opener and completed just 37.5% of his passes and Bernard Jackson replaced him last week and showed that he is a better runner than he is passer. The offense is surely to show some improvement in week three, but it won’t be dominant in this one by any means. However, Colorado’s defense has been good and has kept them in both of its games thus far. Coach Koetter has been looking to establish more of a running attack with the Sun Devils this season, but he may have his work cut out for him this week as the Buffs have given up just 65 total rushing yards this season with their opponents averaging less than one yard per carry.
We must also keep in mind that the Buffaloes are the two-time defending Big 12 North champs and they have done it with defense. If Arizona State is staring at Colorado’s 0-2 record, the Sun Devils will have a rude awakening when facing this defense. I do expect the Sun Devils to have some success passing the football and coach Koetter may have to abandon his run-first mentality this season in order to be successful in this one.
Colorado may not be as good as it has been, but its 0-2 start is misleading as the Buffaloes’ offense will improve each week as their quarterbacks gain experience. Arizona State has shown offensive spark, but not against anyone with a defense remotely close to the caliber of Colorado’s. I’ll advise you not to fall into a bookmaker’s trap with this tricky line and to tackle this play with Jimmy Boyd if you’re looking for a surefire winner this Saturday.