Filed Under:  U.S. & World

Clean football revives Arizona State

Contributed by on October 8, 2015 at 2:56 pm

Brad and Joe begin with a detailed dive into how the Sun Devils were able to put together a complete game in toppling the Bruins. Jaleel Wadood is a fixture at safety, while Adarius Pickett joined him in the 2014 class. The 2015 class has several players who could be turned to as well, as DeChaun Holiday, Stephen Johnson, Octavius Spencer, Colin Samuel, Will Lockett and Nathan Meadors look like the next great group of defensive backs for the Bruins.

The Sun Devils, a 12-point favorite, will be looking to defend their home field when Colorado visits.

Arizona State is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games.

A win like the one over UCLA could turn out to be a turning point in the season for this ASU squad that looked to be dead and buried after four weeks of action. They start Division I play off with a game against Alaska-Anchorage on Friday night, followed by a game with Alaska-Fairbanks on Saturday night. Worse, the Buffs lost two critical pieces to injury.

Arizona State has had a knack of bouncing back from hard losses, beating USC in 2013 after being run over by Stanford the week before, knocking off the Trojans again last season on a Hail Mary after losing to UCLA.

“We’re happy, but we’re not surprised”, said Ballage, who missed the first three games of the season because of mononucleosis.

Arizona State does many things well, but they happen to excel in the facets of the game where the Buffs are now most vulnerable. ASU has also been plagued by unforced errors, like turnovers and penalties. The Sun Devils ran for 134 yards in the second half. Arizona State will likely be the guinea pig for other western schools thinking about jumping to Division I hockey, so the more successful they are both on the ice and financially, the better it is for the sport. Senior D.J. Foster remains the primary target and most concerning threat, though his role has shifted from working out of the backfield to lining up out wide. Oddly enough however, he may be less risky to Colorado’s defense when working as a receiver. That leaves running backs Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage (The One That Got Away) to be reckoned with. His 3.5 yards-per-carry average marked the lowest since his freshman season. “That’s life. You’ve got to go out and be aggressive”.

With limited numbers needed to get to Colorado’s quarterback Sefo Liufau, the Sun Devil defensive could be swarming the Buffaloes come Saturday. However, ASU played a sloppy game against WBU, conceding two quick goals, having to drag itself out of an early deficit. Aside from one big drive through the air and the work done on Glen Ihenacho by Nelson Spruce, the Buffs were unable to fully capitalize on that weakness. His best three performances have come in three victories.

The Sun Devils are now averaging 8.8 tackles for a loss per game this season, which ranks them second in the conference and ninth nationally. “We have the experience up front on the line”.

The Bruins used to be a relatively consistent team, a team which would win the Pac-10 every few years and play a prestigious January bowl with the same relative level of frequency.

“When you play an aggressive defense”, he said, referring to Arizona State, “you better be aggressive offensively”.

Bercovici ran practically untouched up the middle for a score early in the third quarter, and Foster caught a TD pass shortly afterward.

ASU asks fans to stop painting faces 11AM KNXV