By Jeff Alba for DieHardDevil.com
The Sun Devil seniors stepped up big time in their last game at Sun Devil Stadium. Keelan Johnson had two interceptions, Brandon Magee had a sack, Rashad Ross scored twice and Josh Hubner was booming punts inside the ten yard line. On Senior Day in Tempe, the Sun Devils dominated their inferior opponent and cruised to a victory over Washington State 46-7. It felt good to get back in the win column after the Sun Devils have ended up as the inferior opponent in the last four games. The win also gives ASU bowl eligibility and some positive momentum as they prepare this coming week for the big game against their bitter rival.
The Sun Devils took control early in this one and never looked back. With Washington State unable to get anything going with a non-existent running game, the Sun Devil defense stepped up and shut down the Wazzu rushing attack. More importantly, the secondary was able to keep the Cougars conference leading passing offense in check. As a result, the Wazzu punter spent a lot of time on the field today.
When ASU had the football, they wanted to attack early and often. Tight end Chris Coyle, who scored two touchdowns in the game said, “We tried to come out fast and speed up the tempo early.” And that’s exactly what they did. In the first quarter, Taylor Kelly hit Ross for a 15 yard score and Coyle for an 18 yard score to set the tone. The ASU passing attack kept rolling in the second quarter as Kelly connected with Marion Grice for a 17 yard score. Grice made an exciting run after the catch evading multiple Cougar defenders to get in the end zone. To end the second half, Michael Eubank, who saw more playing time today, showed off his strong arm and hit Coyle for a 29 yard touchdown strike. The Sun Devils took a 32-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The ASU defense continued to play solid and the scoring pace slowed down considerably for the Sun Devils in the second half. Eubank had a one yard scoring run and Kelly connected with Ross one more time near the end of the third quarter. ASU didn’t score in the fourth quarter and the Cougars finally got on the board with a minute left in the game to avoid the shut out.
Along with the much needed win for the Sun Devils, the day was the perfect send off for the seniors on the roster. Framed jerseys were presented to each senior player before the game and their families were in attendance to greet each player on the sideline. After kick off and throughout the day, it was good to see the seniors step up and have a great game and enjoy their moment. True freshman DJ Foster said it best, “We dedicate this win to the seniors.” Good to hear that kind of respect from the future of Sun Devil football. At the end of the day, the seniors should be proud and content with their effort and performance in their last game at Sun Devil Stadium.
Let’s all secretly hope that this wasn’t Will Sutton’s final game at Sun Devil Stadium also.