Dennis Erickson and his troupe will be in town this weekend... word on the street is that things aren't going so well for the Devils this year. We heard (emphasis on the word heard, it was a radio only affair) that the Devils got trounced by Oregon last weekend, which means they will be an angry bunch on Saturday.
However, my sources tell me it wasn't the only tough loss Arizona State has taken this year. In fact, morale was quite high at ASU to start the year, but it has quickly plummeted: Arizona State will be 2-5 when they enter Reser on Saturday.
To help us get us up to speed with the Sun Devils, we bring in the guys from House of Sparky. Below you will find quotes from their post game articles- hopefully it gives you a feel of what ASU has gone through up to this point.
vs. Northern Arizona (W, 30-13)
The student section was rowdy and ready for another season of college football. After taking a beating in the Holiday Bowl at the hands of Texas, Rudy Carpenter and the boys looked prepared to show their fans that they are a legitimate Pac-10 contender.
The first thing I noticed was the inexperience of the offensive line really shining through. While statistically looking good on paper, Rudy was flushed out quite often. He showed his mettle and got rid of the ball when he needed to, rather than taking those sacks he was so familiar with.
To be fair to the line, they look promising. There are no guarantees in college football, but if they can give Carpenter 4 seconds to find a receiver, there will be hell to pay.
Arizona State 41, Stanford 17
Rudy Carpenter! - Another great game for Rudy. 75% completion, alomost 350 yards passing, 3 TDs. That one interception was not so hot, and he did lose a fumble, but Carpenter is showing how the passing game is going to be one of our biggest strengths this year. He has now thrown for a school record 733 yards in the first two games.
"It's amazing how many times he gets hit and he gets right back up," ASU coach Dennis Erickson said. "He makes plays."
Run game - Thunder and Lightening has begun to show up. Nance (18/75yards/1TD) and Herring (12/59/1TD) combined for 30 carries for 134 yards and 2 TDs, good for a 4.46 YPC average. Very solid, and very nice contributions from these two. The other runners credited with carries (Bass, DeWitty, Carpenter) manged 5 attempts for -6 yards. Ha. Interestingly, Jarrell Woods got no carries.
The defense tightening up in the second half was a great sign, so was the constant pressure and the turnovers. Holding Stanford to 233 total yards, with under 4 yards per run and under 4 yards per pass, to go along with the 3 interceptions was a great performance. Holding Stanford to only 7 points in the second half was huge.
Special teams was solid. Our kickoff return coverage was a little lax, but Weber was a stud again.
The 10 Penalties for 163 yards though - completely unnacceptable. Half of those calls seemed extremely ticky tacky to me, but I might have been influenced by the 60,000 screaming Devils fans around me - but who knows.
All in all - good game boys, lots to build on.
UNLV 23, Arizona State 20
I am disgusted.
Disgusted that we could lose to UNLV at home. Angry that their quarterback knew just how to pick apart our supposedly solid defense. Depressed that our season is circling the drain, and can only be salvaged by running the table and going to the Rose Bowl.
But the worst part?
I didn't think it could ever happen. I was 100% certain we would be 3-0 next week, taking on Georgia in a battle of conference supremacy.
Today, we learned the Pac-10 is a joke. Outside of USC, we are a horrible conference with very little talent at this point in the season. Oregon looks suspect at best, and everyone else lost. Oregon State? Meh. UCLA lost by FIFTY NINE POINTS and didn't score ANY.
There are no words that can truly describe how I feel. Arizona State let me down today, in the worst way. I will be in the student section next Saturday, screaming at the Devils to beat the 'Dogs, but I am beyond dejected at this very moment. Going 8-0 to start the year in 2007; it's like I took it for granted to just get to 3 wins. Shame on me, and shame on the Devils for doing the same thing.
Who do I blame?
In the end, I know we have no one to blame but ourselves. And that is the type of attitude that just might win us some more games.
Georgia 27, Arizona State 10
I just want to begin by mentioning one statistical figure that may indicate why we lost 27-10 tonight. What is this stat, you ask?
We amassed 4 rushing yards. Not on one carry, but in the entire game. The defense didn't have to worry, because Keegan Herring was out and Dimitri Nance has looked terrible this season.
After the game, UGA head coach Mark Richt offered up this bit of information:
"I'm very thankful for the victory," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "I'm proud of our team and proud of our coaches. I thought they did a fantastic job tonight. Arizona State is an outstanding football team that is very well- coached."
What a farce. A politically corr ect farce. ASU is not an outstanding football team. We have lost two straight at home, first to UNLV and then to Georgia. Losing to a team like Georgia, while painful, is fully acceptable considering the caliber of their recruiting and their current status as #3 in the nation.
But after losing to UNLV and Georgia, we must come to the most logical conclusion: We are not a good team. In fact, I might say we are bad. Our secondary has looked miserable these last few games; I am willing to publicly call for the benching of Omar Bolden, who has looked horrible this season.
As you can see, the Devils went from high to low in their first four games. They rode the Dennis Erickson wave through the Stanford game, then hit rock bottom against UNLV. That turned the once appetizing ASU-UGA matchup into an unsavory SEC-trumps-Pac-10 debacle. Okay- they lost by two touchdowns and a field goal. I'll stop being mean now- we lost to Stanford, I know.
Part 2 coming soon.