I'm an ASU fan, first and foremost. I wear my insane level of commitment on my sleeve every day and defend my school no matter what the argument is about.
Tonight, I am so damn proud. Todd Graham has taken an undisciplined yet talented group of players and turned them into an unstoppable force. The offense has been clicking on all cylinders. The defense, while showing room for growth, put together a clinic with a litany of interceptions.
Undoubtedly, Illinois depends heavily on Nathan Scheelhaase for their success. Without him on the field, they are an inferior product. But Scheelhaase doesn't play defense for the Illini, and the Sun Devils were a well-oiled machine on offense from the start.
I can't say enough how happy I am with the quality of the schemes that ASU is running and the full buy-in that every Sun Devil has displayed this season.
DJ Foster is a legit force, and he's only a true freshman. Cameron Marshall has seen his workload decrease, and that is a good thing for everyone. If Marshall is fresh during the final 5 weeks of the season, that could make all the difference in close games.
Taylor Kelly, Michael Eubank, Chris Coyle. These offensive pieces have been working flawlessly. Carlos Mendoza looked great at linebacker and I hope he heals quickly and is back on the field soon. We will need Brandon Magee back against Missouri next weekend, so hopefully he responds well to concussion tests in the next few days.
There are things that ASU needs to work on. Ball control, defensive containment on the edges, making the right decisions defensively on a QB option read. We will hash those out over the course of the week before the Missouri game. For tonight, we can just celebrate the triumph that unfolded on Frank Kush Field at Sun Devil Stadium. This is what it is all about.
The Sun Devil Rises.