First half recap: No. 16 ASU 24, Colorado 14

[slideshow_deploy id='149980']The Sun Devils forced a quick three-and-out on Colorado’s first offensive drive. ASU’s drive on offense lasted 3:07, the first that lasted longer than three minutes this season. It ended with Foster’s 15-yard touchdown run.

ASU almost gave up a touchdown on the following kickoff to Colorado when Buffaloes redshirt freshman tailback Phillip Lindsay returned the ball all the way to Colorado’s 46-yard line. It was short-lived though, as sophomore quarterback Sefo Liufau threw an interception to ASU redshirt junior safety Jordan Simone on a deep pass.

It only took two plays for the Sun Devils to find the endzone again. A pass interference on Colorado drawn by redshirt junior wide receiver Jaelen Strong and a 19-yard catch by Strong set up redshirt senior quarterback Taylor Kelly’s screen pass to freshman running back Kalen Ballage that resulted in a 38-yard touchdown. Colorado and ASU’s next offensive drives both ended in three-and-outs. The Buffaloes finally earned their first first down toward end of the first quarter but were forced to punt for a third time.

ASU sophomore kicker Zane Gonzalez capped of the Sun Devils’ seven-play, 67-yard drive with a 31-yard field goal at the second half that put ASU up 17-0.

Colorado finally found its groove and got on the scoreboard when Liufau led a 10-play, 77-yard drive that finished with a 4-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Shay Fields.

The Sun Devils couldn’t follow up, as they went three-and-out even while targeting Strong twice.

Colorado advanced up the field 77 yards again on a balanced effort on the air and on the ground. Liufau connected with junior wide receiver Nelson Spruce for a 15-yard touchdown, putting the Buffaloes within three points.

ASU tried handing the ball off to Foster twice but came up with another three-and-out for the Sun Devils, who went 0-4 on third down in the first half.

All of the momentum that ASU built up in the first quarter disappeared at that moment, but hope quickly came back alive.

Simone stripped tailback Tony Jones for a fumble with freshman linebacker D.J. Calhoun recovering on the Buffaloes’ 9-yard line. Foster rushed twice for two yards each before receiving a 5-yard pass from Kelly for a touchdown to put the Sun Devils up by 10.

Colorado started the ball with 2:41 left in the half. The Buffaloes used nine plays but failed to get to field-goal range before the quarter ended.

ASU finished the half with 242 yards of total offense but only had 20 yards in the second quarter. Colorado had 191 and 169, respectively.

ASU will start with the ball in the second half.

 

Reach the reporter at jnacion@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @Josh_Nacion

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