Arizona State put together a complete performance Saturday night in its 26-10 over Stanford, and in doing so shed the Cardinal-colored monkey off of its back. The victory ends a six-year drought without a win over the Cardinal, and it serves as revenge for those who played in the two blowout losses to Stanford last season. In their domination of the two-time defending Pac-12 champs, the Sun Devils controlled all three phases of the game. But which Arizona State players shined the most Saturday? Here are our game balls.
The redshirt junior quarterback didn't know until Saturday whether he was going to make his third career start or if Taylor Kelly was going to return, but Bercovici didn't let the uncertainty rattle him. Bercovici showed complete control of the offense, and even showed his growth as a quarterback in a couple of read-option keepers that would've made Kelly proud. He didn't put up numbers like the ones he did in the USC and UCLA games, but his 23 of 33 clip and 245 yards were more than enough for an efficient Arizona State offense. Bercovici orchestrated four drives of at least ten plays, and the 26 points Arizona State put up on the Cardinal was the most they've allowed all season. Bercovici also contributed on special teams, making a perfect pooch punt that pinned Stanford at their 1-yard line.
Saturday surely wasn't Foster's best statistical day, but the junior running back broke out of his two-game slump against the Cardinal. Foster only accumulated 59 rushing yards on the night, but he scored his first rushing touchdown since the Colorado game. As he always does, Foster's contributions were not limited to rushing, as he was also the Sun Devils' leading receiver, with seven grabs for 92 yards. Foster worked both out of the slot and out of the backfield, and his 27-yard catch on 3rd & 11 kept a fourth quarter drive alive and helped to ice the win. Foster may not have amassed the statistics that he put up in the first three games, but his game elevated on Saturday and is worthy of a game ball.
Arizona State Special Teams
A unit that has struggled in each of Todd Graham's three seasons, the Sun Devil special teamers made multiple game-changing plays against Stanford. Facing Ty Montgomery, who was named a consensus All-American as a return specialist in 2013, the Arizona State kickoff and punt coverage teams shut down the Cardinal star. Montgomery returned three kickoffs for 57 yards, and his only punt return ended in disaster for Stanford. Matt Haack's booming punt sent Montgomery into a back peddle and he wasn't able to corral it, allowing Arizona State's Damarious Randall to pounce on the ball deep in Stanford territory. Arizona State punched in the touchdown and took a 14-0 lead that would prove to be insurmountable.
Placekicker Zane Gonzalez missed a 48-yarder in his first field goal attempt, but he made his next four to slowly close out the Cardinal. Bercovici's pooch punt to the 1-yard line led to an Stanford 3-and-out, and the Sun Devils recovered another Cardinal fumble late in the fourth, this time on a kickoff return. The Sun Devil return teams didn't make any mistakes, and Kyle Middlebrooks had a 32-yard runback on his only kickoff return. All in all, it was the best performance that Todd Graham has gotten out of his special teams this season.