Pac-10 Week 10 Notes and Observations: Arizona State Sun Devils
Arizona State Sun Devils 4-5 Overall (2-4 Conference)
This Week’s Score: USC 14 – Arizona State 9
Next Week’s Opponent: @Oregon
Can a 14-9 loss to USC be classified as a moral victory for this Sun Devil team? I for one do not think so. Like the Georgia and Cal games, ASU should have beaten USC but couldn’t because of offensive ineptitude.
In the week leading up to the ‘SC game, Dennis Erickson was quoted as saying two things that should bother Devil fans. First, he stated that while QB Danny Sullivan may not win many games for ASU, he doesn’t lose them either. After Will Harris’s game-changing INT TD, does that logic still make sense?
Second, Erickson stated that his reason for sticking with Sullivan had a lot to do with the fact that freshman QB Brock Osweiler “isn’t ready”. The true freshman may not be, but how ready is Sullivan? It seems clear to me that the “unready” Osweiler gives the Devils a much better chance to win than the much-maligned senior.
Will coach Erickson finally adopt Pete Carroll and Jim Harbaugh’s youth movement mentality by rolling the dice with an inexperienced but ultra-talented young QB? Don’t hold your breath.
While the loss to the Trojans was disheartening, there were some positives. Obviously, the defense was exceptional all game, holding an explosive offense to 258 total yards and 12 first downs (ASU had 23). I was most impressed with the two new secondary starters, as both S Clint Floyd and CB Deveron Carr locked down their assignments all night (Floyd had the lone Barkley INT).
QB Brock Osweiler’s numbers may not look great (11/27 153 yards 1 TD 1 INT) but he displayed phenomenal arm strength and his mobility was as good as advertised. WR Chris McGaha (9 rec. 118 yards 1 TD) made some incredible catches (no surprise of course) and he now leads the team with 613 receiving yards (4 TDs).
Next, ASU heads to Eugene to play an angry Oregon team. At 4-5 (2-4 in Pac-10), the Devils may have to win out in order to secure a bowl game, especially with six Pac-10 teams already bowl eligible. Once again, don’t hold your breath.