BOULDER, Colo. – Sefo Liufau has thrown for 1,101 yards against Arizona State, so the Sun Devils naturally expected to see plenty of passes Saturday night when the Buffaloes senior quarterback returned to the starting lineup for the first time in a month.
Instead, they got steamrolled.
Phillip Lindsay rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns in the Buffaloes’ 40-16 romp that marked Colorado’s first win over the Sun Devils in eight tries.
Lindsay averaged 8.4 yards on 26 carries and his big day included a 75-yard TD rumble on the first snap of the second half. He also scored from 13 yards out and capped it off with a 4-yard run in the final minute.
The Buffs ran for 315 yards overall compared to just 50 for Arizona State.
“We didn’t play very well and my hat goes off to them because they ran the ball on us unlike anyone has ever run it the whole time I’ve been at Arizona State,” Sun Devils fifth-year coach Todd Graham said.
Liufau threw for 265 yards on 23 of 31 passing against the nation’s worst pass defense in his return to the Buffs starting lineup for the first time since spraining his left ankle at Michigan on Sept. 17.
His biggest play came when he slipped a sack, rolled left and found Bryce Bobo all alone for a 66-yard gain to the Sun Devils 9. Three plays later, Liufau took it in himself from the 3 to snap a 10-all tie.
“We can enjoy the win tonight, but we have to go back to work on Monday and prove ourselves all over again,” Liufau said.
The Buffs (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) need just one more win to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2007.
Buffs coach Mike MacIntyre called it a breakthrough victory because “this is the first team with a winning record we beat this year and they perennially have beaten us bad.”
MacIntyre’s teams had lost to the Sun Devils (5-2, 2-2) by scores of 54-13, 38-24 and 48-23.
“We’ve usually gotten destroyed by them,” Liufau said. “We want to leave a better legacy than we came in with.”
Senior Zane Gonzalez’s field goals of 50, 51 and 59 yards tied an FBS record for most 50-plus field goals in a game and his 59-yarder established a Sun Devils record. It was the second longest at Folsom Field behind Mason Crosby’s 60-yarder against Iowa State on Oct. 16, 2004.
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