Colorado and Arizona State begin conference play this weekend, and both squads are looking to rebound after disappointing losses last Saturday.
The Buffaloes (1-2, 0-0 Pac-12) nearly upset a Top 10 team in Texas AM two weeks ago but then were dominated in a 30-0 home loss to Minnesota. The Sun Devils (2-1, 0-0) are coming off a 27-17 loss to BYU that knocked them out of the Top 25 rankings.
One team will feel better about its situation after Saturday night's meeting in Tempe, Ariz.
For Arizona State it is not a matter of effort but playing smarter.
"The one thing I will say, this team has never not played hard. They play physical. We're just not playing smart," head coach Herm Edwards said at his Monday news conference. "Since we've been here, this team always competes. It leaves everything they have on the grass."
The Sun Devils have hurt themselves in the first three weeks, averaging 12 penalties for 106.3 yards per game. Arizona State had 16 penalties for 121 yards and turned it over four times against the Cougars.
Only three FBS teams average more penalty yards per game then the Sun Devils.
"We need to play a clean game, that's next on the horizon. Can we just play a clean football game? Just play clean," Edwards said. "Don't turn the ball over, don't get a bunch of penalties. Just play a clean game and see what that looks like."
Buffaloes coach Karl Dorrell is searching for answers after two straight games in which the offense has struggled. Colorado scored just seven points in the past eight quarters after putting up 35 points in its season-opening win over Northern Colorado.
Quarterback Brendon Lewis struggled against the Golden Gophers and was taken out in favor of fellow freshman Drew Carter, who didn't fare any better. The Buffaloes had just 63 total yards in the shutout compared to 441 for BYU.
"We're moving on forward to ASU and it was a really good energy today with what we're doing," Dorrell said Monday. "Obviously, we're trying to get the bad taste out of our mouth and it starts with having a great preparation week so we can play well this Saturday."
Dorrell said Carter will get more reps Saturday as the offense strives for some consistency, but he is not in panic mode.
"You can't overreact," he said.
--Field Level Media