clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ASU Football: Positional Grades for the Victory over Arizona

New, 5 comments

The Territorial Cup is back in Tempe after the Sun Devils beat the Wildcats 52-37 and with the rivalry win, comes bowl eligibility for ASU.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Our positional grades for Arizona State's Territorial Cup win against the University of Arizona:

Quarterbacks: A-

Mike Bercovici wins his last game at Sun Devil Stadium with a victory over Arizona and while the season, on the whole, has not lived up to expectations, this win gives the redshirt senior from California a huge reason to be happy about how his career in maroon and gold is coming to an end.

Bercovici finished his home finale with 315 yards on 21-of-32 passes with two touchdowns. He also scampered his way into the endzone for a 1-yard touchdown run early in the game.

His lone blunder came U of A defensive back Cam Denson read a bubble screen, picked off Bercovici, and took the interception back to the house for a 21-yard pick six.

Running Backs: A

Demario Richard left the game with an apparent ankle injury, but was able to rack up 105 rushing yards and a touchdown before he was sidelined. Kallen Ballage worked his way to 110 yards on 18 carries and D.J. Foster added 33 rushing yards and a touchdown as well.

]The running backs finished the game with 100 percent ball security and made the Sun Devil offense more than one dimensional against a vulnerable and injured Wildcat defense.

Wide Receivers: A+

The sad part about watching Devin Lucien's monster game where he finished with 190 yards on nine catches and a touchdown was that we only get this season of Lucien before he is without eligibility. He will most likely finish the season close to 800 yards and at least four touchdowns once the Devils finish with Cal next week.

Tim White contributed 67 yards on eight catches and redshirt freshman Jalen Harvey caught his first career reception and his first career touchdown on a beautiful 41-yard touchdown throw from Bercovici. The deep ball was there against the Wildcats and the receivers made the most of the opportunities that came their way.

Offensive Line: A-

With only two sacks given up, the offensive line seemed to have its best game of the season and, for the most part, dominated the trenches. The pocket for Bercovici was as good as it has been throughout the year and the running backs had plenty of room to run before contact. It was a solid performance for the big men up front.

Defensive Line: A-

Sacks from JoJo Wicker, Demetrious Cherry, Viliami Latu plus the fact that the unit really limited any sort of rushing attack from the Wildcat offense gives the D-line an admirable grade.

They weren't able to directly recover any turnovers, but the constant pressure that the defensive line was instrumental in creating led to the two turnovers that sealed the game for ASU.

Linebackers: A

The linebackers were absolutely relentless in pressuring both Brandon Dawkins and Jerrard Randall throughout the entire game and credit to Dawkins because he was receiving some hard hits and still getting back up.

Salamo Fiso continued his all-conference level of play with two and a half sacks, joined by Antonio Longino's one and a half sack, and blitzing extraordinaire D.J. Calhoun's one sack. The constant pressure created some opportunities for the ASU secondary to take advantage of late in the game.

Defensive Backs: A-

The 95-yard touchdown play by Trey Griffey brings this grade down and the Wildcats did throw for 340 yards, but the secondary absolutely redeemed what would have been a subpar game with some huge turnovers in the fourth quarter.

Aided by pressure from the front seven, Kareem Orr was able to set a school record for interceptions by a freshman with a monumental pick six and his fifth overall interception on the season. U of A was only down eight and the Wildcats began the drive with a chance to tie the game.

After getting hit hard in the backfield, Dawkins left up a pass for Orr to snatch away and take back 21 yards for six. That interception all but sealed the game for ASU, but the secondary wasn't done.

The next drive, Lloyd Carrington intercepted another pass from Dawkins and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown of his own. Two pick sixes in crucial minutes against U of A to ensure the Territorial Cup came back to Tempe will receive a good grade every time.

Special Teams: A-

Zane Gonzales was perfect for the day, making a 29-yard field goal in his only attempt of the day and going 7-for-7 on extra points. Matt Haack's first punt was shanked for 26 yards, but he rebounded well after that including a 65-yard punt directly after that first one.