The Arizona State Sun Devils travel to Boulder, Colorado, tonight for a nationally televised contest against the Colorado Buffaloes. The 4-1 Sun Devils are a heavy favorite in tonight's game as Colorado is 1-4, including a loss against Sacramento State. Here are the keys to victory for the Sun Devils.
1. Start Fast: Colorado is going to be rocking tonight as the Buffaloes are hosting a blackout game and a capacity crowd is expected. Basically Colorado is doing to ASU what the Sun Devils are doing to Oregon, making it their biggest game of the season. The crowd is likely to be intense and ASU needs go out and quiet the crowd early. A nice, long touchdown drive would do the job nicely.
2. Blowout the Buffaloes: Colorado should not be in this game in the 4th quarter. It is important for Arizona State to keep this game out of reach in the second half. The closer the game is, the more confidence that Colorado has and the better the Buffaloes wil play. Scoring early and often will also take the crowd out of the game, which will only help the Sun Devils.
3. Avoid Mistakes: Obviously this is a key in every game, however in this game it is especially crucial. Colorado can only beat ASU if the Sun Devils let them, the Buffaloes are not good enough to beat ASU if the Sun Devils play their best game. It is important for ASU to not give Colorado any short fields because of turnovers, and the Sun Devils must limit penalties on the road.
4. Limit Colorado's Big Plays: One way Colorado can stay in the game is with big plays. The ASU defense has to force Colorado to put drives together on the Sun Devils, and the ASU defense cannot give up long scoring plays to the Buffaloes. It is unlikely that Colorado will put together four or five touchdown drives on the ASU defense, however a few long touchdowns and Colorado could find themselves in this game.
5. Win Special Teams: The third facit of the game has been lacking for the Sun Devils this season at times. Besides the punting game, the Arizona State special teams have been sub-par. Jamal Miles has yet to break a kick or punt return this season and the kicking game has been disastrous. Whoever is kicking field goals, it will be crucial that they build confidence for the Oregon game.