The first play of the second quarter saw Charles burst for 12 yards and a first down. Jackson ran a designed draw on the next play, only to lose two yards on the play.
The next snap on second down was fumbled by Jackson, and he was flushed outside for a loss of one.
On the next play, Jackson had a long time to throw in the pocket but couldn’t find a receiver open down field and ran for seven yards. CU was forced to punt again, and ASU’s Terry Richardson ran the 53 yard boot by DiLallo back 48 yards down the Arizona State sideline, giving the potent Sun Devil offense the ball in CU territory to start their drive.
On first down, Carpenter completed an eight-yard pass and Torain ran for three yards on second down, giving ASU yet another first down. Carpenter’s next pass was incomplete, but a second down run by Torain resulted in a nine-yard gain, setting up third and one. On the play, ASU running back Dimitri Nance ran for two yards and a first down. On the subsequent play, Carpenter stood in the pocket and fired a pass to the end zone for receiver Chris McGaha that was caught in spite of pass interference on Colorado. The 6 play, 40 yard drive lasted 2:06 seconds, and put Arizona State up by a score of 14-3 with 10:44 remaining in the second quarter.
At this point in the game Arizona State had run 33 plays for 193 yards, gobbling up 13 minutes and 36 seconds off the clock. CU had run only 10 plays for 22 yards and had the ball a mere five minutes and 53 seconds.
CU began the next series at their own 20 yard line, and on first down Charles ran for no gain. Arizona State’s defense continued to frustrate the Buffs by bringing eight men into the box and daring CU to throw. On second down, Jackson did throw, and completed his first throw of the game to wide receiver Pat Williams for eight yards. On third down, CU tight end Riar Geer caught a Jackson pass and fought for the first down, dragging ASU defenders on his back, garnering CU only their second first down. The next play saw the Buffs get their third first down, as Jackson completed a boot leg throw for 12 yards. CU’s offense appeared to get rolling on the next play, as Jackson scrambled staright up the gut for 19 yards and a Colorado first down.
CU offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich got creative on the next play, as he called a running back throw back pass. Charles took the handoff and tried to throw back to Jackson after running to his right, but the pass was low and Jackson had to fall on it for a loss of 11. On second down, running back Byron Ellis carried for 10 yards, breaking tackles along the way. On third and 11, Charles took a screen pass and burst up the sideline. 23 yards later, CU had a first and goal at the ASU two-yard line.
First and goal resulted in a loss of one on a Charles run. On second down, the option pitch from Jackson to Charles resulted in no gain, bringing up a huge third and goal play. On third and goal, Jackson ran up the middle and it was ruled he fumbled at the goal line. It was picked up by Arizona State, but the play went under review by the replay officials. After the review, it was confirmed Jackson fumbled. Arizona State took over at their own five-yard line.
ASU ran three plays and gained 60 yards, all long runs by Torain. After the three plays, the Sun Devils went from their own five-yard line to the CU 36 yard line. A holding penalty on the next first down moved ASU back 10 yards, and CU defensive-end Abraham Wright came up with a big play and sacked Carpenter on the next play for a 10-yard loss. On second down, ASU got the sack back and then some with a 20-yard completion to the tight-end Miller. On third down, Carpenter’s pass sailed incomplete after pressure from Wright.
ASU came out to go for it on fourth down and 8, a big play for both teams. However, a delay of game penalty against the Sun Devils moved them back five yards. ASU kept their offense on the field, but Carpenter’s pass on fourth down and 13 was incomplete, and CU took over on downs at their own 39-yard line.
The Buffs first play from scrimmage after taking over on downs resulted in a 9 yard gain courtesy of Charles, as he broke through the line of scrimmage on a good run. Charles ran again for 2 yards and a CU first down. On first down, Jackson was sacked by Jordan Hill of Arizona State for a loss of seven. A second down screen pass intended for Charles was incomplete, and on third down, Jackson was sacked again for a loss of five yards. CU and DiLallo would punt again, this one blocked by Arizona State, and the punt traveled only 11 yards.
Arizona State took over at the 50-yard line, and Carpenter scrambled for 8 yards on first down. McGaha caught the second down pass from Carpenter for another 8 yards and first down. The next pass from Carpenter was complete again, this one to Burgess for 13 yards. On the next play, Carpenter was pressured by the CU front four and he threw up a pass to the end zone that was intercepted by a leaping J.J. Billingsley, one of the Buffaloes safeties.
CU took over at their own one-yard line with 20 seconds left in the quarter. The Buffs appeared content to go to the locker room, as Jackson merely dove forward for 1 yard. ASU took a timeout, however, and CU would have to run another play to end the half. On second down, Jackson again fell forward for 1 yard, and that would be the last play of the half.
The first half was a wild one. Arizona State controlled the ball for what seemed like the entire half. On the one drive Colorado was able to establish an offensive presence, Jackson fumbled at the goal line, killing any momentum they had gained. Colorado will have to make some defensive adjustments to get more pressure on Carpenter, as he was at his worst when under duress. Offensively, CU needs to keep doing what got them to the ASU 2 yard line: screen passes, solid running from their backfield, and a crisp intermediate passing game to get the Arizona State safeties out of the box so Jackson and Charles can have more room to run.
End of first half: Arizona State 14, Colorado 3.