We lost. That much is clear, and we had an excellent chance to tie it at the end on our 2-point conversion attempt. So, I can't complain; our defense was excellent and our offense did its part by actually putting 12 points on the board.
But why do we keep having to discuss Pac-10 officials? It seems like never a week goes by where there isn't some complaint about lackluster officiating, from missed calls to inconsistencies in the treatment of each scenario.
Tonight, Omar Bolden was flagged for pass interference on a play that Jason Sehorn found to be nothing more than a well defended pass deflection. As a matter of fact, I nearly jumped out of my chair when I saw the flag come in out of the corner of the screen.
What exactly did he do wrong, sir official, sir? Was his form too pristine? His deflection too overwhelming? Did he really impede the receiver's ability to catch the ball? Absolutely, because he jumped and smacked it away. This wasn't pass interference, it was excellent pass defense.
On the ensuing drive by Arizona State, Chris McGaha was whacked right before the ball got to him on a long distance throw from Rudy Carpenter. Expecting a reciprocal call, I quickly realized that no flag was coming. It's funny listening to Sehorn blow up on air; his reaction along the lines of "this is difficult to watch" really resonates with me and bothers me at the same time.
As the Pac-10, Tom Hansen and his cronies have the obligation to provide us with superior officials. If these are the best we can do, ASU is at a constant disadvantage. It's embarrassing to watch these referees ruin the integrity of our sport.
Another thing I couldn't help but notice was the clock management. Every time we got a first down on our march late in the 4th quarter, the clock seemed to run 3-4 seconds longer than it should have, after the whistle blew. I don't want to go out on too big of a limb and call shenanigans on the time keeper, but come on. This is your job, you should be able to do it correctly. If you can't flick a switch when you hear a whistle, you are in dire need of some help.
But anyway, let me quickly talk about the game itself.
- Troy Nolan came up huge with that INT returned for a TD; he is a workhorse that I am truly proud to have on our team.
- The offensive line was a leaky faucet again tonight.
- Carpenter needs protection, but he also needs to look a little harder for open men. This is a problem that is not a recent development.
- I dislike Pac-10 officials. Oh, I already mentioned that.
- Jacquizz Rodgers is impossible to bring down; it's downright ridiculous to see 5 defensive Sun Devils fall down when they try to tackle him. Terrell Carr should be ashamed of that tackle attempt he had; he was made to look plain silly by a 5'7" running back.
- The Sun Devils are now 2-6, and the Beavers are in control of their own destiny to go to the Rose Bowl. Does anyone remember 2007 anymore? I sure seem to have forgotten that magical season.