The holiday season is a time for people to enjoy the company of their family and friends and to share gifts and great memories with one another. For Arizona State fans, this holiday season is even sweeter as the Sun Devil football team received an early Christmas present in the form of a Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl invitation.
In honor of Arizona State's success this season, the team at House of Sparky has decided to spread more holiday cheer throughout Sun Devil nation by unwrapping some of the best gifts the football team gave to us this season.
On Friday, House of Sparky will begin our "12 Days of Christmas" countdown in which we unveil the Top 12 plays of Arizona State's 2012 campaign. Each day leading up to Christmas morning, House of Sparky will unwrap one of the many gifts that came to us this season by way of Sun Devil players like Taylor Kelly, Marion Grice, Will Sutton, and Brandon Magee.
On Christmas morning, House of Sparky will conclude our holiday series by reliving the No. 1 play of the Sun Devil season so that Arizona State fans can fondly look back at their favorite memories from 2012.
Narrowing down the list of Sun Devil highlights wasn't an easy task as we laid out criteria for determining which plays would make the cut for our holiday special. Ultimately, we decided on a points system that helped us provide a rationale for each of the 12 plays on our list as well as some honorable mentions.
Each play in consideration for our "12 Plays of Christmas" series must be a spectacular Sun Devil effort in its own right. After we determined the possibilities, each play was assigned a point total based on the following factors:
1 Point: The play occurred in a Sun Devil loss
2 Points: The play changed the momentum of a game
3 Points: The play occurred in a Sun Devil victory
4 Points: The play led to a Sun Devil touchdown
5 Points: The play was a Sun Devil touchdown
6 Points: The play was a Sun Devil touchdown scored by the defense
7 Points: The play went for 40 or more yards (Big Play Factor)
8 Points: The play occurred in the 4th quarter of a Sun Devil victory
9 Points: The play was a touchdown in the 4th quarter of a Sun Devil victory
10 Points: The play led to the Territorial Cup Victory
Though not all Sun Devil highlights received enough points to make the Top 12, we wanted to leave you with a little teaser. With the help of Jedi ASU's wonderful Youtube channel, here are a few notable honorable mentions that deserve some love this holiday season as well.
Honorable Mention No. 4: Marion Grice Lays Out Against Missouri
At the 2:10 mark of the video below, Taylor Kelly rolls right and connects with the fully extended Marion Grice in the 4th quarter of the comeback effort in Missouri.
Honorable Mention No. 3: Junior Onyeali Destroys Jon Hays
While the Sun Devils had the Utah game wrapped up by the second quarter, Junior Onyeali made sure to put an exclamation point on the victory with this beat down of Utes quarterback Jon Hays.
Honorable Mention No. 2: Keelan Johnson Strips the Momentum Away From the Wildcats
Though this play didn't make our cut as a spectacular "highlight," Keelan Johnson deserves some credit for coming up with a defining play of the Sun Devil season when he strips the ball away from Matt Scott in the fourth quarter of the Territorial Cup.
Honorable Mention #1: Michael Eubank Soars Like Superman
In the fourth quarter against Illinois, Sun Devil fans were introduced to the superior athletic ability of Arizona State's backup quarterback as Eubank leaped for the pylon on this memorable run.
Don't forget to join us tomorrow as we begin our "12 Plays of Christmas" Countdown
All videos from the wonderful JediASU