Instant recap: No. 16 ASU 38, Colorado 24

[slideshow_deploy id='149980']It didn’t take long at all for No. 16 ASU football to get back in business in the second half against Colorado.

Although redshirt senior quarterback Taylor Kelly threw an incompletion in the first play of the drive, junior running back D.J. Foster followed it up with a 20-yard rush. Two plays later, Kelly found redshirt junior wide receiver Jaelen Strong with a 45-yard pass that got Strong all the way to Colorado’s 1-yard line. Kelly finished the six-play drive with a quick pass to Strong at the line-of-scrimmage for a touchdown, pushing ASU’s lead to 31-17.

The Buffaloes didn’t really slow down either. Junior tailback Christian Powell broke out for a 55-yard run up the middle that set up senior kicker Will Oliver’s 27-yard field goal. On ASU’s next drive, Strong drew a pass interference on third down that extended the Sun Devils’ drive. ASU’s offense still couldn’t get going, but Kelly kept the ball on a read option on third down that resulted in a 50-yard touchdown.

Starting on its own 18-yard line, Colorado again went on a long drive and got all the way to ASU’s 3-yard line, but the Sun Devils stopped freshman tailback Phillip Lindsay on fourth-and-one to get the ball back.

ASU went three-and-out on its next drive. What hurt the Sun Devils though in that drive was that Kelly left the game with a right-foot injury, bringing in redshirt senior quarterback Mike Bercovici for the rest of the game. Television cameras showed Kelly emerging out of the locker room in crutches later in the fourth quarter. He finished the game 13-of-21 with 195 passing yards and three touchdowns, and also had six carries for 70 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground.

The Buffaloes got the ball back on their own 36-yard line. They moved it 20 yards up the field, but got stopped again on a fourth-down attempt.

Bercovici’s first drive at the start of the fourth quarter didn’t go so well. The Sun Devils got six plays out of the drive but were forced to punt on Colorado’s 43-yard line.

With Kelly out, Colorado continued to keep pushing back into the game. A couple of minutes after Kelly returned out of the locker room, Buffaloes sophomore quarterback Sefo Liufau hit junior wide receiver Nelson Spruce for a 31-yard touchdown pass. Bercovici couldn’t give ASU anything better than a three-and-out, and the door was still crept open for Colorado against a deflated Sun Devil team down 38-24.

That door was shut closed though when Liufau threw an arrant interception to ASU freshman linebacker Christian Sam with 4:44 left in the game.

ASU went three-and-out on its final possession. Backup sophomore quarterback Jordan Gehrke came in Colorado's final drive of the game, which ran the clock out.

Although ASU ended the first quarter with a considerable advantage in total offense, Colorado finished the game with 545 yards, more than the Sun Devils’ 427.

Foster finished with 20 carries for 147 rushing yards and a touchdown.

 

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

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.