Behind the Numbers: Run game powers ASU football over Colorado

The Sun Devils are now one win away from being bowl eligible

ASU football executed its game plan perfectly and came away with a bounce-back 41-30 win over the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday night. 

Despite playing in front of only 44,553 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, the Sun Devils (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12) got their running game going in the second half and limited one of the best backs in the Pac-12, both of which fueled a fourth quarter comeback over the Buffaloes (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12) on Salute to Service Night. 

After being blown out by USC a week ago, ASU improved to 8-1 all-time against Colorado and are one win away from being bowl eligible. The Sun Devils also moved to at least 4-2 in the Pac-12 standings for the first time since starting out 5-1 in 2014 and are tied for the second-best conference record in the South division with their archrival, the Arizona Wildcats at 4-2. USC (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) defeated the Wildcats on Saturday in Los Angeles to take control of the division heading into the season's final three weeks. 


ASU's win over Colorado was its 600th victory in program history. 


Senior running back Demario Richard rushed for a career high 189 yards against the Buffaloes. 

After Saturday's performance, Richard is sixth in ASU history with 2,743 career rushing yards. 

Richard has now scored in four-consecutive games for ASU, the first instance of this kind of touchdown streak in his college career. 

He tied the game up, 27-27, with a 5-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. 


The Sun Devils' defense held Colorado senior running back Phillip Lindsay to 85 yards on 23 carries (3.5 yards per carry), although he did score two touchdowns. 

Linsay had carried the ball 44 times for 301 yards and five touchdowns in three prior contests against the Sun Devils. He ran for a then career-high of 219 yards and three touchdowns against ASU last season, leading the Buffaloes to a 40-16 win, their only win against ASU in program history. 


Redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins ran for a career-high 95 rushing yards against the Buffs. 

ASU sacked Colorado sophomore quarterback Steven Montez five times. 

The Sun Devils' 30 sacks are tied for second in the Pac-12 with Oregon. Only USC (34) has brought down opposing quarterbacks more often. 


ASU is now 14-3 for games in which the team does not turn the ball over, for the Todd Graham era. 

The Sun Devils are 2-0 when they do not cough up the football for 2017 and have only turned the ball over seven times this season, the 15th-best total in the nation. 

8, 6

Redshirt senior linebacker Alani Latu now has eight tackles for a loss and six sacks for this season after recording 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for a loss against Colorado. 

Latu entered this season with only 1.5 tackles for a loss and zero sacks for his career.


Redshirt junior linebacker Christian Sam recorded career tackle No. 200 in the first quarter of Saturday's game. 

Sam finished the game with 12 tackles, bringing his collegiate total to 210. It was his seventh-consecutive game and the 11th time in his career that he has logged tackles in the double digits.


ASU finished the night with 17 explosive plays (plays over 10 yards) on offense. 

Freshman running back Eno Benjamin contributed three of them and scored his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter. 

**Stats for this article were obtained by Sun Devil Athletics in a press release 

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