No duo in the nation wreaked more havoc with opposing quarterbacks than ASU's pair...and they are also coming back for more
Ding, ding, ding.
"Ladies and gentlemen. The winners...and NEW tag team champions of the nation...Will Sutton and Carl Bradford!"
Helped by a 3.5 sack effort against Navy, Sutton and Bradford battled back and overtook Florida State's tandem of Bjoern Werner and Cornellius Carradine, who did not tally any against Northern Illinois, to post the top combined sack total of any teammates in the country.
Only six of the 124 FBS schools managed to have a pair combined for over 20, led by the Dynamic Devil Duo.
|Will Sutton (13) / Carl Bradford (11.5)||ASU||24.5||Yes / Yes|
|Bjoern Werner (13) / Cornellius Carradine (11)||FSU||24.0||No / No|
|Travis Johnson (13) / Travis Raciti (8.5)||SJSU||21.5||No / Yes|
|Morgan Breslin (13) / Leonard Williams (8)||USC||21.0||Yes / Yes|
|Anthony Barr (13.5) / Cassius Marsh (7)||UCLA||20.5||Yes / Yes|
|Jared St. John (11.5) / DeAndre Brown (9)||Tulsa||20.5||No / No|
In fact, not since Al Harris (19 sacks) and Bob Kohrs (14) were annihilating everything in their path back in 1978 has a duo been as potent for the maroon-and-gold as Sutton and Bradford were in 2012. Most promising of all is the fact that Sutton and Bradford are coming back in 2013, after Sutton put off the NFL for a year to return for his senior year.
Interestingly enough, the other two tandems on the list share the Pac-12 South with the Sun Devils, UCLA and USC.
This is also becoming a trend with Todd Graham and defensive coordinator Paul Randolph.
Last season at Pitt, their tandem of Aaron Donald (11) and Brandon Lindsey (8.5) finished second among the nation's sack duos to Illinois' Whitney Mercilus (16) and Michael Buchanan (7.5) (who themselves were coached by current ASU linebackers coach Ron West).
Those duos helped power a dominating run of pass rushers under Graham and Randolph. The 2012 Sun Devils finished second in the nation in sacks with 4.0 per game, while the 2011 Panthers were third at 3.31.
What will 2013 hold for Arizona State's defense?
It's still too early to tell, but chances are, a lot of quarterbacks will be hurting when it's over.