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. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Arizona State Sun Devils’
Throughout his young Sun Devil career, D.J. Foster has been to college football as the utility man is to baseball. (more…)
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. (more…)
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. (more…)
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
Tempe, Ariz.– Coming into Saturday’s game, the Arizona State Sun Devils defeated the USC Trojans only once in the last 13 seasons. They bucked the trend tonight, in a dominating 62-41 performance.
“Really proud of our players in a big win for our program,” ASU head coach Tood Graham said. “This game was big for our program.”
Arizona State finally saw how good they can be as a team when they play mistake free football. Coming off their first loss of the season, the tale of the tape for the Sun Devils in their past two games had been missed opportunities. They cleaned that up by only turning the ball over once on offense while going six of eight in the red zone against the Trojans defense, who coming into the game had the top red zone defense in the country.
Offensively the Sun Devils dominated. They put up 612 yards on one of the top ranked defenses in the country.
Taylor Kelly threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns while completing 23 of 34 passes. He also lead the team with 79 rushing yards. A big part of Kelly’s success tonight was a result of how well the offensive line played, keeping him upright all throughout the night.
“As a unit we saw things very well tonight,” senior center Kody Koebensky said. “Taylor and the whole offense did a great job of seeing where things were coming from.”
Marion Grice, the nations leading scorer coming into the game, scored four touchdowns to increase his season total to 12 touchdowns through four games.Two of his four total touchdowns came on the ground, contributing to his 63 yards rushing, while catching the other two to add to his 37 receiving yards.
Jaelen Strong, the standout junior college transfer, had another big night as he caught 7 passes for 103 yards. It was Strong’s third straight 100 plus yard receiving game as he has become Taylor Kellys go to target this year.
Defensively the Sun Devils had a few miscues, in giving up big plays in the running game but overall played very well. They forced four Trojan turnovers which contributed to the 20 points they had off turnovers.
Safety Alden Darby, had two interceptions, taking one of his interceptions 46 yards for a touchdown, a touchdown that would prove to be the momentum changer in the game.
USC sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler was 20-39 passing and threw for 295 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Kessler’s interception to Darby earlier in the third proved to be a costly one, as USC was never able to come back from it.
USC’s tailbacks Tre Madden and Justin Davis were the biggest bright spots for USC, as they combined for 244 yards on the ground and were responsible for all six of USC’s touchdowns. Madden had three touchdowns while running for a game leading 128 yards, while Davis also had three rushing for 122 yards.
Marqise Lee, who broke the all time USC receiving record in this game, was held to 92 yards on 7 catches. Lee was taken off the field on a stretcher in the third quarter after an apparent leg injury.
The game was back and forth for much of the first half, but Arizona State pulled away late, scoring 42 points in the second half.
On the games first drive Arizona State came out and did just what it needed to do against the Trojans defense. As Kelly marched the Sun Devils down the field on a 10 play 75 yard drive that ended in a 1 yard Michael Eubank touchdown to put the Sun Devils up 7-0. Senior tight end Chris Coyle caught two passes for 56 yards on the drive.
After the Trojans and Sun Devils exchanged three and outs following ASUs early touchdown, the Trojans offense finally started to get going late in the first. On an 8 play 89 yard drive that saw the Trojans rush for 68 yards, the Trojans answered back with a Justin Davis 26 yard yard touchdown run tying the game up at 7-7.
More of the same to open up the second quarter as with 13:20 left in the second quarter, Kessler put the Trojans up 14-7 after a 7 play 77 yard scoring drive. Kessler was 5-5 with 50 yards passing on the drive.
After scoring a touchdown on their first drive, ASU was shut down offensively until halfway through the second quarter when Kelly connected with Grice on a back shoulder fade for an 11 yard touchdown, tying the game up at 14-14. Kelly got the drive going early on with a 40 yard run off the option, and was able to throw two straight back shoulder fades to march the Sun Devils down the field and into the endzone.
Red Zone efficiency would plague the Sun Devils on their next two drives as they weren’t able to capitalize in the red zone on two straight drives following back to back USC turnovers on offense.
After an interception from cornerback Osahon Irabor put them on the Trojans 34 yard line, Kelly and the offense was able to get the ball all the way down to the Trojans two yard line before a holding call forced them to settle for a 28 yard field goal from freshman kicker Zane Gonzales to put them up 17-14.
On the next possession, Arizona State was again put in good field position after Madden fumbled at his own 47 yard line. Moving the ball down the field and inside the 10 yard line again, the Sun Devils again failed to convert on third down, settling for another Gonzales field goal to make it 20-14 Arizona State heading into the half.
The Trojans, who received the ball to start the second half, came out firing to take a 21-20 lead off a 24 yard touchdown run up the middle from Madden to cap of a quick, three play 75 yard scoring drive. On the drives second play Kessler was able to connect with Lee for a 51 yard catch to make him the all time USC leader in receiving yards.
Arizona State would then respond with 28 unanswered points, all in the the third quarter.
Following the Trojans touchdown, Arizona State came back with a quick score of their own as Kelly connected with DJ Foster deep on 74 yard touchdown pass to make it 27-21. The throw was the longest pass of Kelly’s career.
Arizona State then capitalized on the change in momentum as they forced Kessler throw an interception to Darby, who returned the interception for a touchdown to make it 34-21 Arizona State with 13:05 left in the third quarter.
In their next offensive possession the Sun Devils didn’t let up on the scoring. On a six play 55 yard drive they were able to make it 41-21 off an eight yard touchdown pass from Kelly to Grice, their second connection of the game.
Later in the first it was Grice who ran it in for his third touchdown of the game with a nine yard touchdown run. This touchdown put the Sun Devils 48-21 as they headed into the fourth quarter.
USC was able to finally answer back in the fourth quarter with back to back touchdowns. The first one came off Madden 48 yard touchdown reception from Kessler 48-27, Maddens third touchdown of the game. After recovering an onside kick following the touchdown, the Sun Devil defense gave up another touchdown on a 15 yard touchdown run from Davis making it 48-34 ASU.
ASU then answered with two touchdowns of their own on 28 yard run from Grice and a 1 yard run from Deantre Lewis, blanketing their lead as they went up 62-34.
USC would manage one more touchdown before the final on a 58 yard run from Davis, but it was Arizona State who would cruise onto their first Pac-12 victory of the season with a 62-41 final.
It was the game Arizona State needed to win. It was also a game they needed to win for confidence going into Cowboy Stadium in Texas to face Notre Dame next week, their last out of conference game of the year.
For the first time all year Arizona State fans, coaches, players, and the rest of the Pac-12 saw a glimpse of just how deadly this team can be when it plays up to its potential. It’s a glimpse that will for sure scare some Pac-12 teams across the South heading into conference play soon.
As for USC, this loss may spell the end of the Lane Kiffin era.
Tempe, Ariz.– It wasn’t the way Arizona State head coach Todd Graham and his Arizona State Sun Devils thought they would win it and it wasn’t the way they would have liked to have won it but they will certainly take it. (more…)
TEMPE, Ariz–After opening the season on a bye, the Arizona Sate Sun Devils will open their season at home Thursday night against the pesky Sacramento State Hornets. (more…)
TEMPE, Ariz.– There is hope once again in the desert, as another week ending at Arizona State’s famous “Camp T” signals the beginning of a new season, with big expectations and extra national buzz for the Sun Devils. (more…)
TEMPE, Ariz–College football has just found its next great interior defensive lineman. Move over Ndamokung Suh, move over Nick Fairley, because Will Sutton has arrived, and will be here to wreak havoc on offenses all around the country.
Sutton, a likely first round pick had he left last season after his redshirt junior year, comes into his redshirt senior year looking to break Arizona State’s illustrious single season sack record with 25 sacks. Sutton is tied with UCLA’s Anthony Barr as the single season leader in sacks among those returning in the FBS this season with 13.
The road for Sutton in his quest for the record as well as a successful season for the Sun Devils will be a tough one. After the opening game vs. Sacramento State, ASU faces four consecutive top-tier opponents in Wisconsin, Stanford, USC, and Notre Dame. Each of those teams feature huge front sevens with big offensive lineman to match up against him. Sutton is more than willing to take on the challenge.
“It’s going to be fun. The most important game on that stretch is probably (USC), a Pac-12 South opponent. It’s us, them, or UCLA for the South, I think,” he said. “We just got to take it one game at a time. We got (Sacramento State) right now, but we know what we’ve got ahead of us.”
The team will face a lot of national attention, with most of it falling on Sutton’s broad shoulders. Despite all of the hype surrounding him and his play, Sutton wants to keep his focus on the team.
“I just got to go out there and play my game. If I don’t make plays, I don’t make plays. As long as my teammates are out there making plays and getting W’s that’s all I care about,” Sutton said.
Sutton will also draw a lot of attention from opposing defenses inside. Despite being a part of a defense that also features stars Chris Young, Jaxon Hood, and Carl Bradford, Sutton will likely be double and even sometimes triple-teamed at the line of scrimmage. But Sutton doesn’t mind.
“No, not at all. I embrace it. Can’t wait. It’s just another challenge for me,” he said.
It is also Sutton’s second season under head coach Todd Graham, whose defensive prowess and attention to detail can be tough to get used to. It certainly worked as the season went on last year, as the defense improved, and the team cut down on penalties. This year, Sutton and the rest of the team seem more comfortable and ready to attack than ever.
“There’s definitely a new comfort zone, but we also have to keep guys from getting complacent, because sometimes guys like to ease up thinking, ‘Oh it’s the second year’ but our standard is higher from last year so we got to go out there and perform,” Sutton said.
Despite his chase for the record and the shot at being a top ten pick in the 2014 NFl Draft, Sutton has his focus on the goals of the team as opposed to personal achievements.
“I don’t have any personal goals. I just want to get wins, that’s it,” he said. “It;s a blessing to get (put on awards lists) and get all of that attention, but I don’t pay it any mind. It’s cool every once in a while to see yourself on ESPN , but it doesn’t affect me at all.”
Sutton was named a 2012 Consensus and AP All-American and an All-Pac-12 selection. He is currently on the 2013 award watch lists for the following awards: Outland Trophy, Bronco Nagurski Trophy, Maxwell Award, Chuck Bednarik Award, Walter Camp, and Lombardi Award. He and his trademark dreadlocks will be sure to frighten offenses and offensive coordinators all year as well as at the next level.
TEMPE, Ariz–While many college football athletes were gushing over young running back talents such as De’Anthony Thomas of Oregon and Giovani Bernard of North Carolina, Arizona State running back D.J. Foster was putting up big numbers in a hurry as a true freshman. Now entering his sophomore season, he’s hoping to put the whole world on notice.
As a rotational running back and slot receiver last season, Foster was dynamic, averaging 4.8 yards per carry and 14 yards per reception while also scoring six times and having over 1,000 all-purpose yards. With Cameron Marshall (ASU’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns) graduating after last season, Foster and senior Marion Grice will have to step up to take the majority of the carries in Mike Norvell’s spread offense, and are ready to take on the challenge.
“It’s good to know that my game is becoming more dependable and can be used to last long drives,” Foster said. “Me and Marion (Grice) just have to endure, and we’re definitely preparing ourselves for that.”
Both Grice and Foster are “home run hitters” as far as running backs go, as Foster scored once avery 22 times he touched the ball last season. Grice would have an astounding season himself, scoring once every 7.5 touches, and insane ratio.
“Our coaches really put us into position to be those explosive guys, to be those home run hitters. The way coach Norvell and our coaches set our offense up really puts us into position to make some big plays,” he said.
Foster’s versatility could be what makes Arizona State’s spread unique to others in the Pac-12 such as Arizona and Cal. Only Oregon, with De’Anthony Thomas, has an offensive weapon that can be used in as many ways as Foster. Foster saw time last season as a running back, slot receiver, split back, wide receiver, and returner.
“(My versatility) just helps to get the offense to where it can be. With the more recruits we have coming in Jaelen Strong, Marion (Grice), and Deontre (Lewis) as weapons on offense, the sky is the limit with our offense,” he said.
The Sun Devils are entering their second full season in the Todd Graham regime, as well as their second year with offensive coordinator and spread guru Mike Norvell. Returning starters Grice, Foster, and quarterback Taylor Kelly have been outspoken about their new comfort within the system.
“I definitely feel more comfortable,” Foster said. “Everything is starting to slow down for me, and leadership-wise I’m just trying to be more vocal. I know me and Marion definitely are trying to take on a bigger challenge in leading the offense and the team as well.”
Foster has prepared for the extra carries this offseason by bulking up in his offseason workouts, and trying to keep his incredible foot speed and agility.
“I’ve worked on every part of my game: my hands, my speed, and my weight. Hopefully it can help me out this season to be more durable and hopefully it all pays off. I’ve worked hard for it,” he said.
Luckily for Todd Graham and Sun Devil fans, they still have Foster for at least this season and next season, and will get a chance to watch this talented back hopefully develop into a budding star and big name in college football.
TEMPE, Ariz–Arizona State, for its offensive prowess, is easily one of the most talented defensive teams in the Pac-12 for this coming season. While almost all of the national attention goes to the big interior defensive line of redshirt senior Will Sutton and sophomore Jaxon Hood, almost no attention goes to Carl Bradford, who could be an unsung hero for this Sun Devils squad. (more…)
Arizona State media day was like a social meet and greet between the players and media. One of the newcomers that I got to meet was freshman linebacker Chans Cox. He graduated early from Blue Ridge High School to enroll at ASU for the spring semester. Rivals.com rated him as the nation’s 150 overall prospect, the No. 13 outside linebacker recruit and the No. 3 overall prospect in the state of Arizona. So he’s a huge pick up by head coach Todd Graham and baring health, he should be seeing some playing time in his freshman year. (more…)
PLEASE NOTE: The following article was written by freelance writer Eduardo Louzada, assisted and edited by TC Arizona Sports editor Tony Capobianco.
TEMPE, Ariz– In another early season tuneup game, The Arizona State Sun Devils used a collective scoring attack to rout Florida A&M 97-70. (more…)