Oct 27, 2013 - 11:45 am - Arizona State Sun Devils
Tempe, AZ - Through seven games in 2013, ASU 5-2 (3-1) sits atop the Pac-12 South.
With the toughest part of the schedule behind them, the Devils feel confident going into their final five conference games. However, the competition is tough: Washington St., Utah, Oregon St., UCLA and Arizona.
We are at what is hopefully the perfect half-way mark of 2013. Because to play seven more games, the Devils will have to win the PAC-12 South title which would ensure a 13th game in the PAC-12 Championship. Then win or lose, game #14 will come in the form of a Bowl game.
* * *
Looking back a year ago, one thing can't be overstated about 2012. In one year, new Head Coach Todd Graham's staff and team who "bought in" established a new identity for Sun Devil Football, finishing 8-5 including three straight Wins and ASU's victory in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.
There's truth in the old cliche, "To know where you're going, you have to know from where you came."
Let's look back at key developments from the first seven games of 2012, when the Sun Devils sat at exactly the same record that they are at now, 5-2 (3-1).
Game #1, Aug. 30, 2012 - ASU vs. NAU: W, 63-6
Marion Grice led all rushers with 107 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns
The Sun Devils rushed for a combined 305 yards on 51 attempts (5.98 per attempt)
Taylor Kelly made his first career start going 15-19 for 247 yards and one touchdown.
Kelly also rushed six times for 43 yards.
Brandon Magee made two tackles and one interception, which he returned 45 yards for a touchdown. It was his first and only career pick six.
ASU allowed 237 total yards (88 rushing, 149 passing)
Game #2, Sept. 8, 2012 - ASU vs. Illinois: W, 45-14
#52 Carl Bradford pulls Illinois QB's Jersey
The Sun Devils forced three interceptions, two from linebacker Carlos Mendoza.
A shoulder injury would end Mendoza’s season against the Illini
QB Michael Eubank threw five passes completing all of them for 69 yards and tossing two touchdowns.
Eubank also ran seven times for 51 yards and another score.
TE Chris Coyle hauled in 10 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
ASU sacked Illinois six times for -35 yards.
ASU racked up 510 total yards of offense, (192 rush, 318 pass)
Game #3, Sept. 15, 2012 - ASU at Missouri: L, 20-24
Taylor Kelly was 14 for 23 passing for 178 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Kelly had a team-high 15 rushes for 59 yards.
The Sun Devils were held to 113 yards rushing, their second lowest total of the season.
LB Brandon Magee recorded his second interception in three games.
Magee led all Sun Devils with 12 total tackles.
ASU controlled time of possession, holding the ball for 34:51 to Missouri’s 25:09
The Sun Devils were lights-out on third down, allowing Missouri to convert only twice in 12 attempts.
Game #4, Sept. 22, 2012 - ASU vs. Utah: W, 37-7
Freshman RB, #8 D.J. Foster
Utah’s two-time 1,000 yard rusher, John White, was shut down by ASU’s defense, gaining only 18 net yards on 14 carries.
ASU’s defense allowed only 129 yards of total offense.
The defense only allowed two drives of more than 26 yards.
21 of ASU’s 37 points came in the first quarter.
QB Taylor Kelly threw 326 yards on 19 completions as well as three touchdowns and one interception.
RB D.J. Foster rushed a team-high seven times and 70 yards as well as catching one pass for 26 yards.
LB Brandon Magee had a game-high 10 tackles as well as a forced fumble that he recovered.
Game #5, Sept. 29, 2012 - ASU at Cal: W, 27-17
ASU sacked Cal QB Zach Maynard seven times, tied for the most in a game all-season
DT Will Sutton and DE Junior Onyeali combined for five of the seven sacks.
The Sun Devil offense ran a whopping 94 offensive plays for 409 yards.
Of those 94 plays, ASU ran the ball 48 times (51%) but only gained 116 yards (2.4 yards per rush) and didn’t score a rushing touchdown.
K Alex Garoutte had a rough day going 2 for 5 on field goals, one of which was blocked.
ASU fumbled the ball three times but didn’t lose any of them.
WR Kevin Ozier caught three passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns.
Game #6, Oct. 11, 2012 - ASU at Colorado: W, 51-17
The Sun Devils put on their second-best offensive performance of the year with 593 yards of total offense (261 rush, 332 pass)
Taylor Kelly passed for 308 yards on 20-28 passing and tossed five touchdowns.
RB Marion Grice did most of his damage as a receiver, catching five passes for 101 yards and three touchdowns.
RB Cameron Marshall rumbled for 98 yards on 13 carries.
RB D.J. Foster led the team with 132 all-purpose yards (61 rush, 71 receiving)
LB Brandon Magee made a game-high nine solo tackles as well as sacking Colorado QB Jordan Webb twice
DT Will Sutton also chipped in two sacks.
Game #7, Oct 18, 2012 - ASU vs. No. 2 Oregon: L, 21-43
Sun Devil #10 Keelan Johnson jumping to block an Oregon Field goal
ASU scored on its very first offensive play, a 28-yard strike from QB Taylor Kelly to WR Kevin Ozier.
ASU suffered demoralizing injuries to DT Will Sutton and DE Junior Onyeali in the first quarter.
The Sun Devil defense was gashed for a season-high 406 rushing yards.
The Sun Devil defense gave up touchdown runs of 71 and 86 yards.
QB Taylor Kelly was 10 of 18 passing for 93 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He was also sacked five times.
QB Michael Eubank didn’t fare much better, going 10 for 19 passing for 123 yards, one touchdown and two picks.
S Alden Darby led ASU in tackles with 12.
The Sun Devils outscored Oregon 14-0 in the second half but it was too little, too late by then.
* * *
There are certainly some similarities and differences between what ASU did in the first half of 2012 and what we have seen in 2013.
But the question is, will the 2013 Sun Devils push that rock further up the hill with their remaining schedule?
Oct 12, 2012 - 02:56 pm - Great Sun Devil Victory last night. The 1st half ended with some "absolutely can't happen vs. Oregon next Thursday" mistakes, but Coach Graham took full advantage of the half-time locker room. ASU came out possessed in the 2nd half when they shut out the Buffaloes and scored another 31 points to seal the 51-17 Win and move ASU to 5-1 (3-0).
Here are three of the many Sun Devils that performed well last night:
Passing: T. Kelly (ASU) - 308 YDS, 5 TD
Rushing: C. Marshall (ASU) - 13 CAR, 98 YDS, 1 TD
Receiving: M. Grice (ASU) - 5 REC, 101 YDS, 3 TD
DieHard Game Analysis is coming next. In the meantime, enjoy the Complete Game here: ESPN Replay, ASU 51 - Colorado 17.
ASU Sun Devils 51 - Colorado Buffaloes 17
#SunDevilPride #SunDevil4Life #Speaking Victory #ALLin #AreYouProveIt
Oct 11, 2012 - 12:08 pm - By James Romo for DieHardDevil.com
The Sun Devils are in Boulder, Colorado tonight for a prime time match up in front of a national audience on ESPN. This is the type of exposure that a team on a hot streak can, and should capitalize on. On paper, the Buffaloes are outmatched in every facet of the game. But here's the thing...Football is not, and never has been, played on paper. Coach Graham's team will still have to execute their schemes, and maintain discipline and focus on both sides of the ball to come away with a win. Here are the keys to an ASU victory:
The Sun Devils face Colorado tonight on ESPN at 6 PM.
Just do what you do - The CU defense is allowing 165.6 yards per game on the ground, and 308.8 yards in the air. Even worse, they are giving up 6.8 yards on opponent's first down plays. If ASU can get themselves into second down and short yardage situations, it should really open up Coach Norvell's playbook for big play opportunities. Ultimately, CU just doesn't have the personnel to play ASU straight-up with a base defense, and expect to stay in the game due to mismatches all over the field. I predict that they will attempt to take away what has been the strength of the ASU offense - the intermediate passing game. That means that Taylor Kelly may see a ton of nickel packages, or at the very least, a heavy emphasis on dropping players into coverage. Kelly is going to have to make the proper reads and let the ground attack take over and exploit what the defense gives them. If the Buffs decide to play the run in their traditional 4-3 defense, then TE Chris Coyle and DJ Foster must continue their receiving production in the space between the linebackers and secondary. A much improved ASU receiving core could have a break-out vertical receiving game if the running game can gain some steam. It really is a "pick your poison" situation for the Buffs defense.
Don't give up momentum - Nothing gives an outmatched and struggling team hope like allowing their defense to make plays against you. The Devils have gone two straight games with what Coach Graham calls "100% ball security", meaning they haven't committed a turnover. CU is getting some key cogs in their defense back tonight after recovering from injuries. It'll be very important to put that "High Octane" offense on display and keep the pedal to the metal and put this thing away early. The weather in Boulder at kickoff is forecast to be 58 degrees and partly cloudy. The elements will not come into play, and should allow for ASU to have their full playbook at their disposal.
Stay focused - Again, there is no better way to lose a game that you are supposed to win than by letting your opposition hang around. Look no further than the heavily favored Florida State team that got upset at NC State this past Saturday as a perfect example of dominating the first half of the game, but allowing the opponent to keep the score close and ride their home crowd to a win. The ASU defense should be able to create enough pressure on CU quarterback Jordan Webb without heavy blitz packages that can lead to giving up game-breaking plays. The ASU secondary, who are allowing a Pac-12 Conference best 137 yards per game passing will have to be solid in coverage, and I expect the Devils to focus their attention on CU running backs Tony Jones and Christian Powell. The Buffs are thin at receiver, which should allow ASU to bottle up the CU run game and force second and third down and long yardage situations forcing Webb to beat them with his arm.
Get out of town intact - There is a fine line between playing "loose" and playing "relaxed". What I mean by that is that a player can play loose while still maintaining intensity and adrenaline. Those two factors help players avoid getting injured while playing in the controlled and violent environment that is college football. Whether it's coming out with a lack of intensity, or losing intensity throughout the course of a lopsided game, it's just way too physical of a game to participate in without a player having a fair amount of adrenaline pumping through his veins, and at the same time, allowing his body to absorb the brutality of it. The ASU depth chart is just too thin to overcome injuries at any position. This defensive unit will have to escape Boulder unscathed if the Devils have any hopes of maintaining their grip on the top spot in the Pac-12 South.
On Special Teams
This should be a perfect opportunity to break in a new kicker. Coach Graham stated after the Cal victory last week that the place-kicking job was up for grabs going into tonight's game. All indications are that Jon Mora has won (at least for FG's) the job. In what Sun Devil Nation is hoping will be a decisive victory, it would be a chance to get Mora some still meaningful reps, but in a low-pressure situation. The best case scenario for the Devils is that this game does NOT come down to a game-winning field goal, regardless of who gets the nod.
This game sets up as prototypical "trap game" that many pundits believe will have ASU vulnerable to an upset as they look ahead to another Thursday night match-up next week against 2nd ranked Oregon. However, Coach Graham and staff have placed a heavy emphasis on fundamentals in practice this week, and have proclaimed that they are not looking beyond tonight's match-up with Colorado. I suspect that the ASU players and staff won't be satisfied unless they leave Folsom Field tonight with more momentum heading into the teeth of the conference schedule, and without any significant injuries. A strong contingency of DieHard Devils have invaded Boulder for the game, and should provide a big lift for the team.
Oct 29, 2011 - 10:29 pm - Source, Arizona State Athletics
Final Stats | Quotes | Notes | Photo Gallery
ASU football statistics through Colorado game (10/29/11)
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Brock Osweiler winged passes into tight spaces. Cameron Marshall, finally fully healthy, showed off his ability to get into the end zone. That ballhawking defense did what it does best.
Letdown? Not a chance, at least not this time.
Osweiler guided Arizona State's offense to near perfection during a big opening blitz, Marshall scored three touchdowns on the ground and the 23rd-ranked Sun Devils maintained control of the Pac-12 South with a 48-14 rout of Colorado on Saturday.
"We didn't want to come out lethargic like we have the past few times (against underdogs)," said Arizona State receiver Gerell Robinson, who had four catches for 89 yards. "This is a different team with a different mindset. We know that we control our own destiny and it's the first time we're in this position, so we're not going to slip."
Arizona State hasn't been particularly good against teams it was supposed to beat, including a sluggish-starting win over then-winless Oregon State to start October.
Knowing they couldn't afford a slip-up against an injury-riddled, 31-point underdog, the Sun Devils (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) manhandled the Buffaloes on both sides of the ball from the start, jumping out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter.
Marshall finished with 114 yards on 15 carries, Arizona State had 522 total yards and its defense forced five turnovers to stay a game ahead of UCLA in the division race.
"From Oregon State, we learned how to come out and start a football game, how to come out and execute," said Osweiler, who hit 18 of 28 passes for 307 yards and a pair of touchdowns. "I think we did a great job of that today."
Arizona State's start left Colorado with another disappointing finish.
The Buffaloes (1-8, 0-5) couldn't stop Osweiler's passing, Marshall and the running game (207 yards on 36 carries) or hold onto the ball on offense as Colorado suffered its 22nd straight road loss and sixth straight overall.
Tyler Hansen, back from last week's concussion, threw for 285 yards and a touchdown, but also had two interceptions after replacing freshman Nick Hirschman in the first quarter.
Colorado had a respectable 420 total yards of offense, but the offense couldn't find the end zone until the game was out of reach.
Adding another lopsided loss to the pile left first-year coach Jon Embree fuming, focusing on the players who appear to be along for the ride instead of the ones trying to turn the struggling program around.
"You can tell which ones by the way they play, the way they act on the sidelines, how they act after a loss like this, how they have acted after previous losses," Embree said. "In some cases we can't do anything about it because they are the only people we have, which is the sad thing."
Arizona State put itself in control of the Pac-12 South with a solid run through the toughest stretch of its schedule.
The Sun Devils have a favorable closing road to the Pac-12 Championship game, with four of their five games against teams with losing records.
Unlike the Oregon State game, there was no lookahead or letdown this time.
Osweiler hit Jamal Miles on a 25-yard touchdown pass on Arizona State's fifth play. Next drive, Arizona State's line created a hole big enough for a bus to drive through and Marshall cruised through for a 19-yard touchdown run.
Osweiler made it 21-0 before the first quarter was over, threading a 33-yard pass just over the shoulder of Colorado defensive back Ray Polk into the hands of Kevin Ozier for a touchdown.
Marshall added touchdown runs of 11 and 4 yards to keep the Buffaloes from making any kind of run.
"We took down there right away and scored and dominated the first half," Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson said. "I thought it was a good effort, I really did."
Arizona State's dominance wasn't much of a surprise the way Colorado's year has gone.
The Buffaloes came into their inaugural Pac-12 season without much depth, making the rash of injuries even tougher to take.
Colorado's injury report for Arizona State listed 18 players, including five out for the season, leaving Embree to spend his first season in Boulder shifting the roster around like a game of Sudoku while trying to find combinations that work.
The lack of a bye week hasn't helped much, either.
Outscored 145-33 the previous three games, Colorado found itself on the wrong end of another rout almost from the opening snap.
Arizona's offense had its way with the young Buffs, piling up 222 yards in the first quarter on the way to a 31-7 halftime lead.
Colorado's offense didn't have it much better, even after switching quarterbacks.
Hirschman opened under center and nearly threw an interception on his first pass. He was just 3 for 6 for 16 yards when Hansen replaced him for Colorado's third series.
Hansen appeared to be fine after last week's hit and had a few decent plays in the first half, but he and the Buffaloes couldn't get out of their own way.
Colorado had two turnovers in the half - an interception by Hansen and a fumble on a hook-and-ladder that failed miserably - and got its only points when Josh Moten scooped up a deflected backward pass and ran the fumble in for a 16-yard touchdown that made it 24-7.
Three plays later, Marshall scored on an 11-yard touchdown run, set up by Osweiler's 51-yard pass to Aaron Pflugrad over the middle. Hansen completed a Hail Mary to Logan Gray at the halftime buzzer, but the 53-yard pass was well short of the goal line.
It was that kind of day - and season - for the Buffaloes.
"There are some guys who are just OK with wearing the jersey," Hansen said. "That's wrong and that's what has to change. We have to change that culture around here."
Just like the Sun Devils have.
Source, Arizona State Athletics
Oct 29, 2011 - 10:12 pm -
Source, Arizona State Athletics
Recap | Final Stats | Notes | Photo Gallery
ASU head coach Dennis Erickson
On the game overall
“I thought we did well particularly in the first half. In a game like this you get a little sloppy in the fourth quarter but we gave our guys a chance to play. That second group on both sides played the whole fourth quarter and part of the third so they got some experience. I thought offensively we ran the football extremely well, Cameron and Brock had a good game. It was a good game. Defensively, we got turnovers again which makes a big difference. I thought that goal line stop there in the third quarter was outstanding. In games like this, I’ve been in a whole bunch of them it’s just nice to play well and come away and win.”
On what was the difference offensively
“Finally you see Cameron Marshall pretty healthy and it is a different game when he is healthy for us offensively because the things that he can do, running the football. They were giving us the run, they were doing a lot of different things to stop some of the passing things we were doing. Cam and Colin , we had a lot of guys beat up that sucked it up and they came back in and played well. I think we have four games left and all we can worry about is UCLA next week.”
On being +11 in turnovers with 24 through the first six games
“I just hope it keeps going that’s an amazing statistic to have that many turnovers. That’s unbelievable.”
On the Colorado defense blitzing
“We picked it up both on the pass end and the run game, that’s how we had some of those big runs. You are going to see something all the time. We knew we were going to see different things; we are going to see different things from now on defensively. I don’t know that they can throw anything more than what we have seen but I thought our offensive line adjusted extremely well.”
On the secondary
“I thought all the corners and the safeties played well, unfortunately Deveron Carr went down with a concussion, I don’t know what he will be like for next week which kind of puts us right down to the nitty gritty here. Our secondary has jumped up and played extremely well and done what we have asked. They are being well coached. They are just playing well, they are part of a defensive unit and they know what their job is and they are doing a good job with it.”
“It has been real positive out there. In California, Arizona and Texas and the places we are going, we have lots of momentum going on in recruiting.”
Safety- Keelan Johnson
On his interception
“My interception was having the ability top read the quarterback and the linebackers having great drops which allowed me to be a free player and use the best of my abilities to do what I needed to do.”
RB- Cameron Marshall
On the way the team played after a bye week
“We came out really focused, I know in the past years we come out of bye weeks kind of flat. This year we really stressed that we need to come out focused and ready to go and I think that is what we did.”
On ankle updates
“Bye week helped a lot. I am feeling great right now, probably the best I’ve felt all season. So bye week came just in time.”
On the wide open touchdown play
"I saw the hole I guess, just space. I was running, waiting for someone else to come and no one else came and I was just able to get to the end zone. Just space the O-line did a great job; one of the easiest touchdowns of my life.”
QB - Brock Osweiler
On coming out focused
“We are very determined to meet our team goals and in order to do that we have to win every game from here on out. Regardless of our opponent we are going to be ready to go and today I think we showed that. The offensive line did a tremendous job opening up holes, giving me time to throw the ball and our playmakers made big plays.”
On learning from Oregon State game
“You learn lessons from every football game, whether it’s a win or a loss, but I think from Oregon State we learned how to start a football game, how to be prepared and how to execute. I think we did a great job of doing that tonight.”
On touchdown pass to Jamal Miles
“That play with Jamal was something we had worked on all week. It was kind of an option for me to choose who I was going to send to the middle of the field. By the defenses leverage I gave Jamal that call and he did a great job of getting on that safety’s toes and crossing his face and made a great catch.”
On ASU’s maturity level
“We are a veteran team and we are very hungry. We set very high goals for this football team and we haven’t forgotten that. In order to reach those goals we need to take it on a week-by-week basis and that’s what we are doing right now. I think that does show the experience and the veteran leadership that this football team has right now.”
Head Coach Jon Embree
On what the team has to play for
“We have all talked about it, but it’s been all talk and no action. We have some people who are comfortable with the results, that’s just the facts. We are comfortable at times with what happens. So I am trying to create a culture and environment where that isn’t the case and we’ll keep working on that and keep coaching the guys that want to do it, keep putting them out there to make the plays. The other ones that just want to be on the team, be around if it goes good and then decide to jump in the water when it’s not going good. We will just have to keep weeding them out.”
On how he can tell who is committed to the team
“I can tell by how they play, how they act on the sidelines, how they act after a loss like this, how they’ve acted after previous losses. Sometimes you can’t do anything about it because they are the only people we have, which is the sad thing. But I guarantee you, it’s not going to be like this in the future.”
On his plan with Tyler Hansen and how he played
“The interceptions weren’t his fault, I will start with that. I thought he played pretty well, he could have gotten rid of the ball a little quicker at times. The two interceptions weren’t his issue.”
On how Nick Hirschman played
“He was late on things, we just wanted to get him going and see how Tyler was and we felt that with how game was going we needed to get Tyler in to get things started.”
On what can be done to score more
“Don’t turn the ball over and convert when you’re down there. Don’t get down 21 to nothing.”
On getting a start after being out-manned
“I understand we’re playing shorthanded and I understand it’s not the best circumstances for us. That still doesn’t change your mindset. My mindset is to go out there and win in spite of. You can find a million reasons why you can’t, the goal is to go out there and find the one reason you can and go out there and do it. You cannot control injuries, you cannot control other team’s schedule. All you can control are your plays, how you handle the ball, how you handle your assignment and trust your teammates and hope they do the same.”
On blaming himself for not reaching some of the players
“I put a lot on myself, but at the same time you have to want to do it. Some situations we can’t make changes but like I said it’s not going to stay like this.”
On pulling Malcolm Creer out of the red-shirt and the injuries that he incurred during the game
“He’s done. MCO and possible ACL. Unbelievable, poor kid.”
QB – Tyler Hansen
On his injury coming into the game
“They told me I was officially cleared yesterday morning. They told me I was good to go. There was no holding me back, no limiting to what I couldn’t do, no nothing. It felt good to get in there.”
On quarterback Nick Hirschman
“I thought Nick had a great week of practice. He came out here and maybe he was a little nervous. I don’t know the reasons why he was taken out so early. I think he’s fine. He’s going to be a great player for us. I just took it one play at a time and tried to get the ball out on time. I thought Arizona State’s defensive line was pretty good, so if you sat there in the pocket too long they were going to get to you and hit you.”
On the remaining games
“I think next week is a big game for us. Obviously USC is coming into town and we have an ESPN game. We’re blacking out the whole place, so it’s a lot to play for in itself. I think our last three games are games that we can win. They’re teams that are struggling just like us, so I think there’s a lot to play for.”
On trying to get their first Pac-12 victory
“We’re still trying to get there. We’re working. I think there are a couple games on the road that we have a quality chance to win, so we have to keep fighting.”
Source, Arizona State Athletics
Arizona State Football