Saturday night will go down in history for Sun Devil fans everywhere. In what was the craziest day of college football that we may have ever seen, Arizona State added its own jolt to the day as a successful "Jael Mary" silenced the Coliseum crowd and handed Todd Graham's Sun Devils a shocking win.
But there was a lot of football played before Arizona State's walk off win, and a few notable Sun Devil performances stick out. Here are our game balls.
We knew from Bercovici's first start against UCLA that the offense was in good hands with the redshirt junior, but we didn't know how long it would take for him to fully adjust and stop making common mistakes made by young quarterbacks. Bercovici's completion percentage wasn't stellar as he went 27 of 45 on the night, but he racked up an incredible 510 yards, becoming the first Sun Devil quarterback to eclipse the 400 yard mark in both of his first two starts. More importantly than yards, Bercovici threw five touchdowns against the Trojans, none more pivotal than the 46-yard hail mary strike that won the game. Playing 25 miles from his hometown of Calabasas and playing in front of his parents, Bercovici's night will be one he won't forget.
Arizona State's appreciation for the 6-foot-3, 215 pound receiver from Philadelphia,Pennsylvania continues to grow with each impressive catch he makes. Never a speed guy at receiver, Strong did what he does best and beat the USC corners to the ball repeatedly on Saturday, amassing 10 catches for 202 yards. Strong caught two second quarter touchdowns, and was also the recipient of the now legendary hail mary from Bercovici. The quarterback's throw was high and ahead of his receivers, allowing Strong to race downfield and jump right in front of USC corner Hayes Pullard for the walk-off score. Adding to his legacy in Tempe, Strong's play on Saturday helped keep Arizona State in the Pac-12 South race.
For a team who didn't even take a kickoff out of the endzone until the UCLA game, Arizona State's kick-return team came to life on Saturday against the Trojans and helped flip field position for Bercovici and the offense. Nobody was bigger in that endeavor than Middlebrooks, as the 5-foot-9 running back brought a spark to Arizona State's return game. In five chances, the redshirt senior racked up 131 yards on returns, including a long 47-yard return. Middlebrooks and the rest of the Sun Devil returners haven't gotten many chances to return anything so far this season, but he produced well in the chances he got on Saturday. If the Sun Devils are able to get consistent returns of 25-30 yards from Middlebrooks, it'll help give the offense an extra boost headed into every drive.