The Sun Devils were one play away from its season being over. Not literally, but a second-consecutive loss to a Los Angeles-based school would have meant no shot at the Pac-12 championship game, no shot at the College Football Playoff, and perhaps would have started a slide lasting weeks. Michael Bercovici had bravely kept Arizona State alive, but would need a miracle on the game's final play to be the hero. USC lined up in full prevent defense, and he entire world assumed Jaelen Strong would get the football.
Play No. 1: Jael Mary
3 Points: The play occurred in a Sun Devil victory
5 points: The play resulted in a touchdown
7 points: The play gained at least 40 yards
9 points: The touchdown came in the 4th quarter of a win
11 points: The play was directly responsible for winning the game
Total: 35 points
Jael Mary, full of grace...the play Sun Devil fans will remember for the rest of time. I've asked the question a million times, but what in the world was USC doing? In fairness to Jaelen Strong, this play was far from his best as a Sun Devil. In honesty, it was actually a pretty easy play for both Bercovici and Strong. All Bercovici did was throw the ball to the end zone, and all Strong did was run under it, unopposed. How the Trojans allowed that is a question that will haunt USC fans for years. But the play was about much more than a Hail Mary to win a football game. It was actually about much more than winning a football game. Jael Mary signified a culture change with the Sun Devil football program.
That single play sent the program into euphoria. The next week, Arizona State dominated Stanford. Later in the season, the Sun Devils would, for the most part, dominate Notre Dame. ASU went to Washington and won a brutal game. Those are all games that likely would have been losses had Jael Mary never happened. Without the Jael Mary, Sun Devil fans likely have reservations about who will lead this team under center in 2015. Instead, the Sun Devils were a shocking loss to Oregon State away a Pac-12 South victory. For a team that had huge questions everywhere but quarterback, it's biggest question ended up being...quarterback. Michael Bercovici is now the man who will lead this team in 2015, and ASU will likely be, yet again, a major player in the conference and country. It's all because of one play; one rather unspectacular play that had spectacular consequences. It all started with Jael Mary.
Jael Mary Christmas Sun Devil fans.