Sometimes, a football game plays out exactly as it should on paper.
Such was the case during Saturday's homecoming game, as the Arizona State Sun Devils hosted the Pac-12's new doormat, Colorado.
ASU took the opening drive 66 yards and capped it with a nice 25-yard touchdown pass from Brock Osweiler to Jamal Miles. After the defense forced a three-and-out, the Devils extended the lead with a 19-yard score from Cameron Marshall, completing an 82-yard drive. The dominating opening quarter was completed with a beautiful 33-yard strike from Osweiler to Kevin Ozier.
The Sun Devils' turnover hungry defense went to work near the start of the second quarter, as the Buffaloes quickly fumbled. The ensuing drive came up empty for the Sun Devils, but they later managed a field goal to go up 24-0 lead.
It appeared that after another defensive stand by ASU defense that the lead would grow further, but a deflected backwards swing pass was scooped up by Josh Moten and returned 16-yard touchdown.
Undaunted, the Devils answered back with a three play, 62-yard scoring drive that only took 35 seconds with Marshall scoring his second touchdown on an 11-yard run.
The third quarter featured much of the same domination. After another Garoutte field goal extended the lead to 34-7, the Buffaloes appeared ready to score. The had a first and goal at the ASU three, but three straight runs only got them to the one-yard line. They gambled on fourth and goal with a Tony Jones run, but were denied by a huge Vontaze Burfict tackle.
The next possession featured 45 and 21 yard completions to Gerrell Robinson, but the Devils were forced to punt at midfield. However, it was muffed by Keenan Canty, and recovered by the Devils. Three plays later, Marshall completed the touchdown hat trick with a untouched four-yard run.
With the result now assured, the Buffaloes made gamblers sweat early in the fourth quarter. Tyler Hansen connected on a 21-yard touchdown to Toney Clemons, the first offensive points for Colorado in over 120 minutes of game clock time, pulling the Buffaloes to within 41-14, inside of the 31-point spread.
Osweiler's day was done, so Mike Bercovici entered the game and engineered a three-and-out, but on the next ASU possession, Taylor Kelly took over and ASU ran roughshod over the Buffalo defense on their way to an eight-yard James Morrison touchdown, retaking a 34-point lead.
The gamblers again got to worrying when the Buffaloes marched down the field late in the fourth quarter on ASU's second and third string defenders. However, they failed again, as Josh Ford fumbled at the two-yard line and ASU recovered the ball. Some inside runs ran out the remainder of the clock.
The win moves ASU to 6-2 on the season and 4-1 in conference, and drops Colorado to 1-8 and 0-5 in their first season of Pac-12 play.
Osweiler had his fourth 300-yard game of the season, finishing with 307 yards and two touchdowns and Marshall finished with 114 yards. His three touchdowns give him 23 for his career, good for sixth on ASU's all-time list.
The defense forced five turnovers on the night, giving them 24 turnovers in their last six games.
Next week, ASU travels to Pasadena to take on South division foe UCLA.