That was one to forget...
If you have a strong stomach, read the details of last night's 43-21 loss to Oregon that was so much more one-sided than the final score indicates. The Ducks dominated from the game's second possession onward, and held a 43-7 lead just 19 minutes into the contest.
Here now are our grades for the game. They are not pretty.
After throwing 11 touchdowns without a turnover in three conference wins, it was hoped that Taylor Kelly would be ready to take on the big boys.
The sophomore started the game off brilliantly, rolling right and Kevin Ozier for a 28-yard touchdown. But it was all downhill from there. Kelly made several bad decisions, struggled reading Oregon's coverages, and was noticeably off on his throws all night long. The nation's third-highest rated passer coming into the game was just 10 of 18 for 93 yards and had two costly (and avoidable) interceptions that Oregon converted into touchdowns. Kelly ran 16 times for just 38 yards
He was replaced by Michael Eubank in fourth quarter mop up duty. Eubank had a touchdown pass that was almost all the effort of DJ Foster, but also had two interceptions.
Running Back: C-
The end of the game stat sheet has some numbers appear decent, but they were mostly a product of facing the reserve Ducks in the second half. Marion Grice had eight carries for 48 yards, but just 17 in the first half. DJ Foster had the group's best play, a 23-yard catch-and-cut-and-run touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter. Cameron Marshall had 26 yards in the first half, including a 17-yard run, but finished with just 30 for the night as his disappointing senior year continues.
Wide Receiver/Tight End: D
The unit did very little when it mattered, posting most of their numbers in the second half when the game was long since in doubt. Chris Coyle led the way with seven catches for 56 yards, but none mattered during the early parts of the game. Richard Smith had the only reception by the group in the first half, which went for seven yards. It was that kind of night.
Offensive Line: C-
The unit suffered a big blow early, losing right guard and captain Andrew Sampson with an injury. Although he returned, he was noticeably hobbled. The aggressive Duck defense was able to gain penetration all night long, helping to force Kelly into some of his bad throws. Oregon registered five sacks on the night.
Defensive Line: F*
This gets an asterisk due to the injuries to Sutton and Onyeali. Those losses were major game changers, but likely would not have changed the final result. Jake Sheffield took over for Sutton and was thoroughly dominated, as was the rest of the Sun Devil front. Nary was there a play against the Ducks' starting line that there was not a major running lane for the ball carrier. Oregon gained 406 yards on the ground while averaging 6.8 yards-per-carry. Davon Coleman played hard throughout the night, and had the best performance of the group with a sack and two tackles-for-loss.
Like the defensive line, the linebackers were unable to handle the pace of the Oregon offense and the speed of their players. Many times, the group lost control of their assignments, leaving lanes for the Ducks, and they took advantage. The Ducks routinely were able to cutback for big gains and turn the corners and beat ASU along the edges. The angles taken by the linebackers were ineffective. Brandon Magee did put forth top effort all night long, and finished with eight tackles and a sack. Anthony Jones had an interception that he returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Chris Young has 11 tackles, two for loss.
Since the Ducks were running for over 400 yards, there was little need to throw. Oregon quarterbacks Marcus Mariota and Bryan Bennett combined to complete 11 of 19 throws for just 48 yards and two touchdowns. Todd Graham praised the secondary in the postgame press conference, especially Alden Darby, who had 12 tackles, 10 of which were solo. Deveron Carr and Osahaon Irabor played well in coverage, and safety Keelan Johnson was solid as well, with eight tackles and a nice pass breakup.
Special Teams: C+
First, the good. The Sun Devil punting units got a lot of work and were effective. Josh Hubner averaged 53 yards on his four kicks, and Taylor Kelly was effective on his three pooch punts, pinning two inside the Oregon 20. After Foster's touchdown in the fourth quarter, the team successfully executed a dribbling onside kick, which was recovered by kicker Alex Garoutte.
Now the bad. Garoutte, who reclaimed his job after losing it to Jon Mora last week, missed a 43-yard field goal.
Finally, the mediocre. The Sun Devils were just average on returns, with Rashad Ross averaging just 19,6 yards on his six kickoff returns, and Jamal Miles and Richard Smith combining for under six on punts.