Tempe, Ariz– The Pac-12 Championship will stay in Palo Alto and the No. 7 Stanford Cardinal will return to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl for the second straight year, as they defeated the No. 11 Arizona State Sun Devils by a score of 38-14 Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium. Read the rest of this entry »
Tempe, Ariz.– In a game that meant so much to the could have changed the program here at Arizona State, nothing seemed to go right. They were dominated on both sides of the ball by Stanford in a very tough 38-14 loss Saturday night in Tempe.
From the very beginning of the game Stanford was dominant, as they they opened up the game on the first drive with a 69 yard touchdown from Tyler Gaffney. From there it didn’t get any better for the Sun Devils as they fell behind 28-14 at the half and wouldn’t score again, contributing to the 38-14 final score.
While the Sun Devil’s recover from a very tough loss for the program, here a couple quick notes from the game. Read the rest of this entry »
WHO: No. 7 Stanford (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) at No. 11 Arizona State (10-2, 8-1)
WHAT: 2013 Pac-12 Championship Game (Winner wins trip to Rose Bowl and BCS berth)
WHEN: Saturday, December 7th. 5:45 MST kickoff (ESPN).
WHERE: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
LAST TIME: Stanford 42, Arizona State 28 in Week 3 in Palo Alto, CA, and it wasn’t even that close. Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson combined for 150 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, and halt a great performance from Jaelen Strong (12 catches, 168 yards, touchdown). Stanford dominated the time of possession, (35:26 to 24.34), and were able to withstand a second half after being up 29-0 at halftime.
Tyler Gaffney, running back: It’s been a great year for Gaffney on the ground leading a run based Stanford offense that is predicated on the offensive and defensive lines. Gaffney finished the regular season with 1485 rushing yards (eighth in the nation) on 284 carries and and 17 touchdowns, including 87 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown in the Cardinal’s first matchup agains the Sun Devils. Gaffney is averaging 5.2 yards per carry, and last time out he ran wild for 189 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries.
Shayne Skov, linebacker: Skov is the leader for a talented Stanford linebacking core, and has a habit of stepping up for big games. Skov had his best performance of the season as Stanford hung on to win 31-28 over Washington after 14 tackles and 1.5 sacks from Skov, and he also was in on several stops and helped force a red zone fumble in the Cardinal’s 26-20 win over then-No. 3 Oregon. The senior linebacker had nine tackles and a sack in Stanford’s win over Arizona State earlier this year, and expect him to put up big numbers as they are set to meet again.
Trent Murphy, linebacker: While Skov may be the leader of the Cardinal defense, Trent Murphy is the playmaker on this defense. Murphy is currently sixth in the nation in tackles for loss (19.5) and has 13 sacks on the season. Murphy is no stranger to big plays, and even has a pick six on his resume from Stanford’s win over Washington State. He was held to two tackles in the matchup against Arizona State earlier this year, and it’ll be interesting to see how Murphy matches up against the Sun Devils’ under-appreciated offensive line.
X-FACTORS: Arizona State
D.J. Foster, running back: After being thrust into the starting role with Marion Grice’s injury, Foster “only” won the Territorial Cup MVP with a career-high 124 yards and two touchdowns on just 23 carries in Arizona State’s 58-21 win over Arizona. Foster was used primarily at wide receiver and a change-of-pace back up until Grice’s injury, and has 857 total yards and seven total touchdowns this season. The sophomore was key in the receiving game the last time these two teams met, as he caught eight passes for 80 yards in the 42-28 loss.
Jaelen Strong, wide receiver: The JuCo transfer is Arizona State’s leading receiver this year (69 catches, 1067 yards, seven touchdowns), and is the 24th leading receiver in the country (25th in receiving yards/game). The big play threat has seven 100+ yard receiving games, including a season high 168 yards and 12 catches to go with a touchdown in the last matchup between these two teams. Strong went through a small slump after suffering an injury against Washington, but has come on strong in recent weeks, with 339 yards, 17 catches, and two touchdowns in his last three games.
Carl Bradford, linebacker: Easily one of Arizona State’s most recognizable players, the junior linebacker has had a strong 2013. He is currently 18th in the nation with 16.0 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, and had seven tackles and a sack in the previous matchup against Stanford. If Bradford and Co. can force some negative plays, it creates opportunities for Arizona State’s opportunistic secondary.
18- 18 straight field goals for Arizona State’s freshman kicker Zane Gonzalez, an Arizona State record (previous- 17 by Thomas Weber in 2007). If the game comes down to three points, it seem that Todd Graham has a confident and consistent option to kick field goals.
8- Arizona State is eighth in the nation in scoring offense (43.3 points/game), including 49.1 points/game at Sun Devil Stadium. Arizona State is also 21st in the nation in total offense, with 473.3 yards/game.
12- Stanford is 12th in the nation in scoring defense (18.8 points/game), and has allowed 19.2 points/game on the road this season. Stanford is also 15th in total defense, holding opponents to 341.3 yards/game.
208.5- Stanford loves to run the ball, and are averaging 208.5 yards/game on the ground this season. The Cardinal are averaging 4.96 yards/carry as a team this season. Arizona State is 27th in the nation in allowing just 133.8 yards/game (3.83 yards/carry) so far this season.
Tyler Pollard (@tpollard3), Tucson Citizen: Arizona State 31, Stanford 28 – ASU plays well at home and they’re a different team since
the last time they played Stanford. They trail almost all game but come from behind at the end.
Tony Capobianco (@TonyCapobianco), Tucson Citizen: Arizona State 42, Stanford 24- According to ESPN’s lovable Lee Corso: the Arizona State Sun Devil offense is lead by Tyler Perry. Which means Stanford will have to deal with Medea on offense and a certain someone who looks like Medea on defense. Might be too much for the Cardinal.
Fabian Ardaya (@fardaya15), Tucson Citizen: Arizona State 35, Stanford 24- Arizona State has been a much better team at home this season, and Stanford has struggled outside of Palo Alto. The Sun Devils’ offense shines, but the difference will be Arizona State’s aggressive defense forcing Stanford into some third and long situations and forcing turnovers.
It’s tough to ignore the fact that Arizona State head coach Todd Graham has a history of job-hopping: one year as head coach at Rice, followed by three at Tulsa, and just one season at Pitt before taking his “dream job” in Tempe. While Graham has won everywhere (only one sub-.500 season in his head coaching career), he has done something much more valuable for this program: changed the culture. With this new culture, Graham has the No. 11 Sun Devils (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) in the Pac-12 Championship game and just one game away from the programs’ first Rose Bowl since 1987. Read the rest of this entry »
When the Arizona State Sun Devils played the Stanford Cardinal earlier this season, it was not pretty. The game was over before it started, as the Cardinal put themselves up 28-0 at the half and eventually went on win the game 42-28. Read the rest of this entry »
Throughout his young Sun Devil career, D.J. Foster has been to college football as the utility man is to baseball. Read the rest of this entry »
Tempe, Ariz– The Territorial Cup will stay in Tempe, as the No. 12 Arizona State Sun Devils defeated the Arizona Wildcats 58-21 to give themselves home field advantage in the Pac-12 title game and win over their in-state rivals. Read the rest of this entry »
Tempe, Ariz–The fat lady has sung. In tonight’s win over interstate rival Arizona, the Sun Devils were able to clinch home field advantage for the Pac-12 Championship Game next week. Undoubtedly one of the biggest games in Arizona State’s recent history. Read the rest of this entry »
There is no better, underrated rivalry game in all of college football than the big game between the Arizona Wildcats and the Arizona State Sun Devils for the Territorial Cup. Read the rest of this entry »
PASADENA, Cali.– With the Pac-12 South title and Rose Bowl aspirations on the line, the No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils defeated the No. 14 UCLA Bruins by a score of 38-33 Saturday night from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena in an absolute thriller on national television, clinching the Pac-12 South title and cementing their place in the Pac-12 title game. Read the rest of this entry »
PASADENA, Cali.– Arizona State can celebrate after tonights 38-33 win over UCLA in Pasadena, as they have clinched the Pac-12 South.That celebrating will be short served however, as they still have a lot of work to do with a big game coming up against Arizona and then taking on Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship. Read the rest of this entry »
Pasadena, Cali.– Arizona State is only one win away. One win away from achieving the goal that Todd Graham has stressed all season. One win away from winning the Pac-12 South and advancing to the Pac-12 Championship for a chance to compete in the Rose Bowl.
That one win will not come easy for Arizona State, however. As they will have to take on No.14 UCLA on the road in Pasadena.
And as we are now a little over an hour from kick-off, here are three quick keys for Arizona State tonight: Read the rest of this entry »
Tempe, Ariz.– Arizona State’s defense intercepted Sean Mannion four times and Marion Grice ran for two touchdowns as they overwhelmed the Oregon State Beavers 30-17.
Read the rest of this entry »
The Arizona State Sun Devils (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12) continued their home dominance on Saturday, beating the Oregon State Beavers by a score of 30-17 to remain unbeaten at home. It was an effort in which the Sun Devils’ offense (17th in the nation in total offense entering the game) struggled at times and defense reigned supreme. The Sun Devils remain in control of their own destiny in the Pac-12 South, and look forward to a season-defining game against No. 13 UCLA, who defeated Washington by a score of 41-31 Friday night. The Sun Devils are on a five game winning streak, their highest since 2007. Read the rest of this entry »
Arizona State has proved it all this season…. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, a win is a win. Despite looking sloppy through the first three quarters Saturday from Rice-Eccles Stadium, a Will Sutton interception sealed a 20-19 victory for the Arizona State Sun Devils (7-2, 5-1 Pac-12). With No. 19 UCLA’s 31-26 win over Arizona, the road to the Pac-12 South appears to be a two-horse race as the college football season rolls through November. Read the rest of this entry »
With BCS title hopes on the line for both sides, the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal managed to hold No. 3 Oregon’s offense in check to win 26-20 on “the Farm” and give the Ducks their first loss of the season for the second straight year. But how does this game shake up the rest of the Pac-12? Read the rest of this entry »
If you haven’t noticed already, there is something special brewing on in Glendale right now. Read the rest of this entry »
On top of being possible the most important season of Arizona State basketball history, the 2013/14 season may also be the most intriguing to watch.
This will be a do or die season for the Sun Devils. Their top player, sophomore point guard Jahii Carson, will likely go to the NBA Draft after this season according to many important sources including his own mother.
Center Jordan Bachynski is in his senior season and the Penn State transfer replacing the departed senior leader Carrick Felix, Jermaine Marshall, is also in his last year of eligibility.
Next year will likely be a rebuilding year for Arizona State for it might also be it for head coach Herb Sendek if they don’t make it to the NCAA Tournament this year. Read the rest of this entry »
The Arizona State Sun Devils took care of business Thursday night in Pullman, as they should have. In a dominating effort, ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly had a total of seven touchdowns to lead the Sun Devils to a 55-21 rout of the Washington State Cougars. Read the rest of this entry »
The Arizona Cardinals came into Sunday’s game 26th in the NFL in rushing. They’ve seem to have solved their problem with rookie Andre Ellington, who ran for an 80-yard touchdown in a 27-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Read the rest of this entry »
Former Brophy Bronco Andrew Curtis surprised a lot of people last winter in electing to go to Florida Atlantic University along with teammate Robert Relf, but has made the most of his time in Boca Raton. Read the rest of this entry »
The Arizona State Sun Devils (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) came into their matchup last Saturday against the No. 20 Washington Huskies looking to make a statement. And with a 53-24 win, did they ever, impressing the multitude of recruits in attendance. Read the rest of this entry »
Even after dumping 53 points on the formerly 20th-ranked Washington Huskies, Arizona State is still not ranked in the Top 25.
They do have the most votes for a non ranked team in the AP poll, with 108 while #25 Nebraska has 117 and #24 Michigan has 169.
Basically the voters say that even after dominating then 20th-ranked Washington, the Sun Devils are not better than the Corn Huskers.
Why is that?
Even when looked closely, it doesn’t make much sense. Nebraska dominates teams like Arizona State does but their strength of schedule is very weak compared to ASU. They beat Wyoming, Southern Miss, South Dakota State, Illinois and Purdue. The lone ranked team they faced was then 16th-ranked UCLA and they lost to them at home.
ASU meanwhile, beat a pair of 20th-ranked teams in Wisconsin and Washington and scored 62 points on USC in a game that got the Trojan head coach fired.
The Sun Devils score an average of 45.4 points per game on Wisconsin, Notre Dame and the Pac-12 while Nebraska scores an average of 42.7 points per game on college football’s choir boys.
To have Nebraska siting at 25th in the AP poll, 24th in the BCS standings and 21st in the coaches poll while not having ASU in any of the polls is not right at all.
Especially when most of the national media has considered the PAC-12 to be the second best conference in college football while the Big-10 with 12 teams (14 next year) is considered to be the fifth best conference.
Speaking of injustice, what is Oregon State doing in the BCS standings over Arizona State? Sure the Beavers have the best passing attack in the country, but they haven’t played anyone. Their FBS opponents are a combined 15-25 and they lost to FCS Eastern Washington to start the season.
And this whole time I thought computers and strength of schedule went a long way in the BCS. Apparently it doesn’t.
Follow the editor @TonyCapobianco and follow us @TCSportsAZ
They said Arizona State had a very weak run defense.
They said the Sun Devils couldn’t stop anyone, and that the nation’s leading rusher should be able to run right through them when the 20th-ranked Washington Huskies tread to Tempe on Saturday.
13 attempts, 22 yards and a touchdown.
Arizona State relegated Bishop Sankey to fullback status.
It turned out that the Sun Devils could actually stop the run, not the Huskies. As a team they finished with -5 rushing yards while ASU running back Marion Grice ran for 158 yards and two touchdowns.
Weren’t those supposed to be Sankey’s numbers?
The big knock on Arizona State’s defense under coach Todd Graham was that all you had to do to beat them was run the ball. He was every old school football coach’s dream in 2012. Opponents like USC and Oregon ran so much on the Sun Devils that they actually thought the world was going to end.
They even had similar issues this season when losing to power-running programs Stanford and Notre Dame.
Sankey led the nation at nearly 150 yards per game prior to Saturday’s game and may very well end the season shattering every one of Washington’s season rushing records. He was supposed to run over the Sun Devils like road kill. Instead you get this.
”Man, what an impressive performance; it might be the most impressive performance that we’ve had as a team since I’ve been here,” said ASU coach Todd Graham.
”That was embarrassing,” said Washington coach Steve Sarkisian.
Holding Washington to minus-5 yards on 25 carries matched the second-fewest rushing yards the Sun Devils had allowed since 1996. Overall, they limited the nation’s eighth-best offense to 212 total yards by knocking around Huskies quarterback Keith Price all game and sacking him seven times.
The best part of all this is that no one will really challenge this new notion until the very last game of the season. Washington State’s run game is ranked 123rd in the nation, Utah is 46th, Oregon State is 122nd and UCLA is 39th. They’ll be smooth sailing until Arizona comes to town with the nation’s leading rusher Kadeem Carey, but the Wildcats are 111th in the nation in passing, so the Sun Devils will have an easier time dealing with him and not worrying about their non-existent passing attack.
Time to give Arizona State the ranking it deserves, and its run defense the respect they deserve.
Follow the editor @TonyCapobianco and follow us @TCSportsAZ