Arizona State (4-1, 2-0) takes on Pac 12 opponent Colorado (1-4, 1-1) tonight at 9pm ET on ESPN.
Coming into the game, the Sun Devils scoring offense has gotten a lot of attention. They opened up the season by putting up 63 points on Northern Arizona, followed by 45 points against Illinois for a combined 108 points in a two game stretch. Impressive for a first year coaching staff.
However, we noticed an interesting note this morning that Arizona State's defense should be getting some love too. They rank 3rd nationally in sacks (4 per game) and 2nd nationally in tackles for loss (9.8 per game), including a 10 TFL performance against Cal.
Of the 343 snaps that the defense has been on the field for, 66 of them have resulted in no gain or a loss of yardage. That's an impressive 19% of all plays where the Sun Devils have stifled opponents at, or behind the line of scrimmage. If you include incomplete passes, that number increases to 39% of all plays that have not resulted in positive yardage.
Tonight, the aggressive Arizona State defense will be going against a Colorado offense that is giving up over 4 sacks per game (119th nationally) and an offense that ranks 100th nationally in scoring (22 ppg) and total offense (342 ypg). Colorado has played 13 true freshman this season (tied for 5th nationally), and has had 14 first time starters (also tied for 5th nationally).