Last Saturday’s Pac-12 matchup featured two teams with playmaking wide receivers, but one team’s work in the trenches decided the outcome. Colorado (5-1) defeated Arizona State (3-3), 28-21, behind a seven-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter, where the Buffaloes offensive line dominated the Sun Devils defense. Head coach Mike MacIntyre (pictured above) has his team playing at a high level in the middle of the year. DraftNasty’s Troy Jefferson gives his impressions in this in-game report:
Colorado offensive line
The Buffaloes offensive line has powered Colorado to an undefeated start to the season. The Buffaloes front five has been able to keep junior quarterback Steven Montez (6’5, 235) clean and has opened lanes for senior running back Travon McMillian (6’0, 210). The Buffaloes are one of only three FBS teams to have a player in the top 20 in rushing yards, passing yards and receiving yards per game. Colorado’s offensive line held the Sun Devils to three tackles for loss and zero sacks. It must have impressed Montez, who invited his entire line to the postgame press conference. The group is headlined by senior right tackle Josh Kaiser (6’6, 300), who has the ability to play both tackle positions.
1 N’Keal Harry (6’4, 214) Arizona State WR-Junior
Harry is a big-bodied wide receiver, who knows how to use his size against smaller cornerbacks. The junior has a knack for seemingly being unfazed when catching the ball in traffic. Harry also has a shiftiness to his game that allows him to serve as a punt returner for the Sun Devils. The projected Day 1 wide receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft suffered a thigh injury as a result of taking a big hit on a punt return. The injury forced him to miss most of the second half. For the game, he finished with three catches for 62 yards. On the season, Harry has 34 catches for 481 yards and five touchdowns.
2 Laviska Shenault, Jr. (6’2 220) Colorado WR- Sophomore
Shenault Jr. does a little bit of everything offensively for the Buffaloes. The wide receiver lined up in the slot, on the outside and took direct snaps out of the Wildcat formation against the Sun Devils. Not many players in college football move with the fluidity of Shenault, Jr. The sophomore wideout accounted for all four of the Buffaloes touchdowns on Saturday, scoring two as a wide receiver lined up out wide and two from the Wildcat position. Through more than a quarter of the season, Shenault Jr. should be considered as a Heisman candidate. The DeSoto, Texas, native has 51 receptions for 708 yards and has scored six receiving touchdowns. He’s added four more rushing scores on the ground.