Bad run defense huh?by Tony Capobianco on Oct. 20, 2013, under Arizona State Sun Devils
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.
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