Shenault’s 4 TDs lead No. 21 Colorado past ASU 28-21
BOULDER, Colo. — Wide receiver Laviska Shenault scored four touchdowns and 21st-ranked Colorado beat Arizona State 28-21 Saturday for just the second time in the program’s history.
“At the end of the day it’s a team sport,” Shenault said, professing to be more excited about the Buffaloes’ 5-0 record, including 2-0 atop the Pac-12 South, than about his 140 scrimmage yards.
The Buffaloes overcame the ejection of star linebacker Nate Landman in the second quarter and stifled Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin in the second half, when the Sun Devils (3-3, 1-2) were stopped on their final five drives, punting four times and turning it over on downs.
The Buffaloes also chewed up 12:34 of the fourth quarter, including the final 7:10 thanks to a pair of third-down grabs by Shenault.
“No better feeling than going and running the ball down their throat for the win,” said Buffs left guard Brett Tonz.
How about stifling Benjamin, who set a school record a week ago with 312 yards against Oregon State?
He finished with 120 yards and two touchdowns but managed just 23 yards and zero scores after halftime.
Shenault scored on a pair of 1-yard runs off direct snaps and caught TD passes of 3 and 30 yards from Steven Montez, who threw for 328 yards.
Shenault caught 13 passes for 127 yards and ran five times for 13 yards.
After his fourth TD, Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins hit Frank Darby with a 72-yard pass to the Colorado 3, where free safety Nick Fisher finally knocked him out of bounds.
The Buffs held and cornerback Delrick Abrams Jr. batted away Wilkins’ pass to Curtis Hodges on fourth-and-goal.
“Obviously another disappointing loss on the road,” said ASU coach Herm Edwards, whose team lost by the same margin at No. 10 Washington last month. “We seem to fall short. The last three road games we fell short by a score. Hard-fought football game. I thought we had some momentum early. Then they got two scores and that was about the game.”
The Buffs’ win assured they won’t have a short-lived stay in the Top 25 after cracking the poll this week.
The teams were evenly matched, but the Buffaloes proved their record wasn’t the product of a weak schedule. The Sun Devils showed they aren’t that far away after hanging tough with another ranked team on the road.
Arizona State hosts Stanford on Oct. 18 after a bye week.
Colorado visits USC, seeking its first win over the Trojans in 13 tries.
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The Glenwood Springs-Rifle sports rivalry goes way back for GSHS baseball coach and former Demons multi-sport student-athlete Eric Nieslanik.