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DieHard Storyline, Devils vs Buffs: The Only ASU Game that Matters Kicks Off at 7:00PM Tonight
James Romo
By , DieHardDevil.com
October 12, 2013 3:26 PM

Against powerhouse Oregon, CU attempted an on-side kick and a reverse pass that went for a 75-yard TD

Tempe, AZ – The once proud and dominant Colorado Buffalo football program has been a punch line for more than the past decade. First year head coach Mike MacIntyre inherited a program in shambles, but now has his team flashing signs of becoming a more competitive football program.

With a “nothing to lose” attitude, the Buffalo coaching staff has shown to be fearless in their offensive play-calling and gambling for big plays on defense. In last week’s game against powerhouse Oregon, CU attempted an on-side kick and a reverse pass that went for a 75-yard TD, all in the first five minutes of the game in an attempt to grab early momentum.

That type of “shock the world” mentality is the perfect strategy against an ASU squad coming off of a treacherous four week stretch of games against some of the nation’s best programs, and ripe for a mental let down.

Tonight, 7:00PM Kick-off in Sun Devil Stadium: What to watch in the DieHard Storyline vs Colorado


In his first start for ASU, DB Damarious Randall collected 17 tackles

In his first start for ASU, DB Damarious Randall collected 17 tackles

Hungry ASU Defense Ready to make Statement

The Buffs like to line up in double Tight End sets. They have found success running big play action passes to stand-out WR Paul Richardson. Against Oregon last week, CU picked up some yards between the tackles and running zone read option out of that multiple TE set against Oregon.

The return of ASU DT Jaxon Hood should help improve a struggling Sun Devil rushing defense that has not yet been able to contain any of the power running teams they’ve faced thus far.

Buffalo QB Connor Wood has been a pleasant surprise for CU fans, showing both the ability to get the ball down field to his improved receiving core while also making plays with his feet. The bad news for Wood is that he’ll be facing a battle-tested ASU front seven who hope to catch up on sacks after under-performing in ASU’s first 5 games.

In order to put away what should be an over-matched Buffalo offense, ASU will have to be  more assignment sound and better at tackling tonight.

 

The Buffs Might Have a Few Tricks up their Sleeve

Coach MacIntyre and staff will likely pull out plenty of tricks tonight while looking for their first signature win of the season. Also, this could very well be the proverbial “trap game” for ASU.

After one of if not the toughest 4-game stretch in the country, the Devils can not look past Colorado. ASU needs to maintain their focus. Looking at film, I’m assuming that the CU coaching staff has taken notice of the mental errors committed by ASU this season, and will attempt to create more break-downs tonight.

 

Strong and Foster Will Lead Sun Devils

Sun Devil Sophomore, #8 D.J. Foster

Sun Devil Sophomore, #8 D.J. Foster

Defensively, CU will line up in a 3-4 defense with emphasis on stopping the run. If ASU continues to struggle dominating the line of scrimmage, a gambling Buffalo defense could bring some wrinkles that QB Taylor Kelly has not seen.

The saving grace for ASU is that the Buffs play primarily man-to-man coverage with their corners which should allow for another big game from WR Jaelen Strong. Oregon was also able to present the CU defense with mismatches against their linebackers, something that I’m sure ASU OC Mike Norvell has taken notice of.

Getting the ball in the flat to speedier play-makers like DJ Foster should be the difference in this ball game. ASU found a ton of success with the screen pass against the Buffaloes last season. Expect more of the same tonight.

Look for the Sun Devils to come out aggressive against Colorado tonight. Coach Graham preaches a “one game at a time” philosophy which calls for the same level of intensity to be brought each & every week.

In a few hours, we’ll see if ASU can dominate an opponent that they should. I expect to see a sense of urgency in Graham’s team as they look to remain undefeated in the Pac-12 south.

The Sun Devils are looking for their second victory in the Pac-12 South

The Sun Devils are looking for their second victory in the Pac-12 South

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