The first half was owned by the Sun Devils.
The opening drive for the Sun Devils started by establishing a run game against Colorado. Three of the first four plays were runs, and the drive ended with ASU watching redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jaelen Strong run all the way to the end zone on a 69-yard touchdown reception (most of it after the catch). It gave the Sun Devils a 7-0 lead a mere 1:32 into the game.
A three-and-out gave ASU the ball right back, and it wasted no time in finding the end zone. This time it was senior running back Marion Grice who scored for the Sun Devils on an 8-yard rush, his 14th touchdown on the year. A two-point conversion put the Sun Devils up 15-0.
Through two possessions, the Buffaloes had a total of -3 yards, failing to have one play for positive yards. Nothing was going right for CU offensively, and the defense was struggling as well. CU allowed the Sun Devils to score on its first three possessions, but confined them to a Zane Gonzalez 26-yard field goal on third drive. With 6:27 left in the first quarter, the score was 18-0 in favor of ASU.
It took until just over six minutes left in the first for the Buffaloes to have a positive-yardage play, but were sacked on the next play, and intercepted by redshirt sophomore defensive back Lloyd Carrington on the following play.
ASU started the drive at the CU 15-yard line, and Grice took it from there, adding his second touchdown of the night two plays later. It gave ASU a 25-0 lead in the first quarter.
Following the interception, CU decided to shake things up at quarterback, replacing junior Connor Wood with true freshman Sefo Liufau, and it worked. On his first drive, Liufau was 5-for-6 passing for 64 yards.
The drive ended with the Buffaloes putting up their first points, a 10-yard pass from Liufau to sophomore wide receiver Nelson Spruce. They failed a two-point conversion and ASU led 25-6 after the first play of the second quarter.
ASU answered right back, as redshirt junior quarter Taylor Kelly hit freshman wide receiver Cameron Smith with a 47-yard bomb downfield. Kelly then found defensive end Davon Coleman in the fullback position to finish the scoring drive. It was Coleman’s first career touchdown, and Gonzalez’s extra point made it 32-6 Sun Devils.
It got worse for the Buffaloes with just under 10 minutes left in the second quarter. After a false start penalty and a tackle for loss backed them up deep in their own zone, Coleman pressured Liufau and it caused an intentional grounding flag in the end zone. The result was a safety, and a 34-6 ASU lead.
The ensuing free kick resulted in another ASU field goal, but not before senior defensive back Parker Orms was ejected on a targeting call on ASU redshirt senior tight end Chris Coyle. Gonzalez split the uprights from a career-long 41 yards out and made it 37-6 ASU.
CU did not have the ball back for long. Sophomore safety Damarious Randall picked off Liufau’s pass for his first career interception, and set ASU up on the CU 5-yard line. The Sun Devils had to settle for a field goal, their third of the night, and the score was 40-6.
Before the half ended, ASU was able to enter the end zone one more time, this time on a 17-yard scramble from Kelly.
At halftime: ASU 40, CU 6. ASU led in total yards 392-93.
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