October 3, 2011
He said. She said. Air Express?
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A gutty performance by Sean Mannion, who was asked to shoulder the team with 66 passes, especially considering Arizona State's stout defensive front. More impressive was his poise under pressure, given he is a redshirt freshman making his second ever start.
Aside from that, I'm going to go back to a drum that I seem to beat weekly and that is play calling. Understand that ASU has a good run defense, but eleven rushes (I took out the three QB scrambles). ELEVEN in the entire game?
Take a look at the stats. Take out Mannion's 3 sacks for -27 yards (which gets counted in net rushing figures) and the Beavers had 11 carries for 74 yards or 6.7 yards per carry. Those are solid numbers.
Riley preaches how his offense is predicated on a balanced attack and I get that sometimes you have to abandon the run to make up ground when you're losing big, but the Beavers were in the game from the start.
Coach Langsdorf called four rush plays during the entire second half, and they were getting chunks of yards each time. If fact, the Beavers had gains of 8, 6, 5 and 11 yards in each of the four rushes during the second half. I just don't get it.
As the game wore on, the Sun Devil secondary started having a field day with Mannion, who had to be fatigued after throwing so many passes and taking as many hits as he did. A run now and then to keep ASU honest may have worked wonders.
SHE SAYS-GRADE: C-
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