The University of Colorado Buffaloes are set to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday, October 15, in an extremely important Pac-12 Conference game. Both teams are currently tied with Utah at the top of the Pac-12 South Division standings with a 2-1 record in the conference. The winning team will be the favorites to advance to the Pac-12 championship game at the end of the regular season. Since both teams are extremely talented, a breakdown of the matchup will help determine the favorite.

Arizona State is known for their uptempo offense that can put a lot of points on the scoreboard in a hurry, but quarterback Manny Wilkins has actually struggled a lot this season — a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 5/4 is not what you would expect from a quarterback on a very good team that averages nearly 40 points per game.

If Wilkins doesn’t step up his game, then he is really going to struggle against the great Colorado pass defense. The Buffaloes have a suffocating pass defense that has only allowed an average of 184 passing yards per game. If Arizona State gets down early, then they are going to have a hard time coming back with a one-dimensional offense.

Arizona State may be known for having the high-scoring offense, but the Colorado Buffaloes actually have a statistically better offense. Steven Montez may only be a freshman, but he has proven that he can carry the Colorado offense on his own. Even if the Buffaloes defense struggles at some point in the game, the Colorado offense will not have any problems keeping up with the Arizona State offense.

Since both of these teams can light up the scoreboard, the outcome of this game will come down to the defenses. Colorado currently has the 23rd ranked defense in all of college football. The Arizona State defense can stuff the run, but they are currently giving up more than 400 yards a game through the air. Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay may have a tough time finding open running lanes, but the passing game should be able to pick apart the terrible Arizona State secondary.

Another great way to compare these teams is by looking at their results against the same opponent. Both teams lost on the road against USC this month, but Colorado gave the Trojans a much tougher game. The Buffaloes played USC tight the entire game in a four point loss while the Sun Devils got manhandled by USC 41-20. The Colorado Buffaloes appear to be the stronger team, so they should be able to find a way to get a much needed Pac-12 Conference win at home against Arizona State on Saturday.