CU Buffs fall to Arizona State in Pac-12 opener

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TEMPE, Ariz. – Colorado found some offense in the desert, but not nearly enough to snap its losing streak.

Arizona State pulled away in the second half to hand the Buffaloes a 35-13 defeat at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday night.

The Buffs (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12) have lost three in a row and dropped their conference opener for the first time since 2017. ASU (3-1, 1-0) rebounded from its first loss, led by quarterback Jayden Daniels, who accounted for 311 yards in total offense and two rushing touchdowns.

Shut out a week ago for the first time in five years, CU’s struggling offense finally found some success, at least relative to the past two weeks.

Alex Fontenot ran for 65 yards and a touchdown and the Buffs gained 183 rushing yards overall. That helped them avoid a third straight game with less than 10 points – something no CU team has done since 1963 – but there wasn’t enough firepower to threaten the Sun Devils in the second half.

Freshman quarterback Brendon Lewis completed just 7-of-17 passes for 67 yards, his third consecutive game with less than 100 yards.

CU’s offense got off to a slow start, while ASU jumped to a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter on a 7-yard touchdown run from Daniels.

ASU added an 11-yard touchdown run from Rachaad White for a 14-0 lead 9:28 to go in the second quarter.

Despite the 14-0 deficit, there were some signs of life by the CU offense in the second quarter.

Down 7-0, the Buffs drove to the ASU 28-yard line early in the second, but Cole Becker’s 46-yard field goal attempt was blocked.

Then, down 14-0, the Buffs had their best drive in a while, going 58 yards in 10 plays to set up Becker for another field goal attempt. After a 0-for-3 start to his career, Becker hit this one, from 51 yards, to put the Buffs on the board with 13 seconds to play in the half.

Becker’s field goal snapped a scoreless streak of 137 minutes, 11 seconds for the Buffs, dating back to the first quarter of the Sept. 11 matchup against Texas A&M.

It didn’t take long for the Buffs to score again, as they took the second half kickoff and went on an even more impressive drive.

Big runs from Jarek Broussard and Fontenot and a 26-yard pass from Lewis to Ty Robinson set up Fontenot for a 1-yard touchdown run. That cut the deficit to 14-10 with 11:01 to play in the third quarter.

That was as close as the Buffs would get, however.

ASU quickly responded to the CU touchdown with one of its own. A six-play, 71-yard march was capped by a 17-yard TD from receiver Elijhah Badger.

Early in the fourth quarter, the Sun Devils dug into the playbook for another score, as receiver Ricky Pearsall caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage and threw a forward pass to White for a 30-yard touchdown and a 28-10 lead.

Daniels added a 15-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter to make it 35-10.

Becker hit a 33-yard field goal with 3:56 to play for the final points.

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