TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Alejandro Mata kicked a 43-yard field goal with 12 seconds left, Shedeur Sanders accounted for two touchdowns and Colorado ended an eight-game Pac-12 losing streak with a 27-24 win over Arizona State on Saturday.
Arizona State (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) labored offensively much of the afternoon without three starting offensive linemen and two key backups due to injuries.
The Sun Devils found the right gear at the right time, moving 94 yards in 13 plays to set up Trenton Bourguet’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Troy Omeire with 50 seconds left.
Sanders answered quickly, hitting Javon Antonio for a 43-yard completion on the next play. The Buffaloes (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) moved close enough to set up Mata’s winning kick despite struggling to get their explosive offense going most of the game.
The Sun Devils sacked Sanders five times and gave the Colorado quarterback little time to find receivers downfield. Sanders, the nation’s second-leading passer at 356 yards per game, was held to 239 yards on 26-of-42 passing.
The coach’s son was still effective when he needed to be, running for a touchdown in the first half and hitting Antonio on a 9-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Bourguet threw for 335 yards and a touchdown on 32-of-49 passing, but was under near constant pressure. Arizona State lost its seventh straight Pac-12 game and is 1-5 for the first time since 1942.
Defense controlled most of the first half in the desert until a late flurry.
The Sun Devils picked their way down the field on their opening drive with underneath crossing routes to reach Colorado’s 2. Arizona State went with an odd formation near the goal line, spreading all its linemen out except center Leif Fautanu and Bourguet followed him in for a 2-yard TD run.
Arizona State’s offense went quiet until late in the first half, putting together a drive to set up Cam Skattebo’s 1-yard run with 6 1/2 minutes left.
Colorado had a similar half.
Xavier Weaver scored on a fourth-and-1 run to tie it 7-all, but the Buffaloes had a hard time keeping Arizona State’s rush off Sanders until late in the half. Colorado pieced together a scoring drive and Sanders scrambled in for a 16-yard score shortly after Skattebo’s touchdown.
Arizona State quickly moved into position for Dario Longhetto’s 33-yard field goal to lead 17-14 at halftime.
Colorado: The Buffaloes’ defense was solid all game and Sanders was good when he needed to be, leading Colorado its first Pac-12 win since beating Cal in overtime a year ago.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils’ defense kept Sanders in check for most of the game, but gave up the big play that set up the winning kick. Arizona State’s offense was good at times, but not good enough to outlast the Buffaloes.
Colorado: Hosts Stanford on Friday.
Arizona State: Has a bye week before playing at No. 7 Washington on Oct. 21.