Arizona State avoided embarrassment and improved to 1-1 with a much tougher-than-expected 35-21 win over feisty Cal Poly (1-1) Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium. ASU finally iced the game in the closing minutes of their 2015 home opener.
Here are five things we learned in the win.
1. Sun Devil Scare: The point spread was somewhere around five touchdowns but don’t tell that to the home favorites who had their hands full and more with the Mustangs’ triple-option attack. Todd Graham’s defense surrendered close to 300 yards on the ground to the Big Sky member. “That’s a very discipline-oriented offensive scheme,” safety Jordan Simone said. Making matters worse several key defenders played with in-game injuries. “We had about four or five guys on crutches after the game,” Graham lamented. Bob Davie’s New Mexico Lobos will present a similar offensive look Friday night.
2. Foster Care: After only six touches in the loss to Texas A&M it was clear early getting the ball in the hands of D.J. Foster was a top priority for Mike Norvell. The senior from Scottsdale caught a 14-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and was also effective working out of the backfield netting 76 yards on 12 carries. Foster finished with six receptions for 58 yards.
3. White Hot: There’s something to be said for saving your best for last. Junior college transfer wide receiver Tim White started the Devils’ game-clinching drive with a 19-yard reception, then a field position-flipping 59-yard run and finally a four-yard touchdown catch which finally sealed the Mustangs’ fate.
4. Ice Kohl: The emergence of redshirt junior tight end Kody Kohl continued against Cal Poly. The former Mesquite High standout reeled in a key fourth-quarter go-ahead touchdown from Mike Bercovici. The two also connected on a short score in last week’s loss to A&M. He now has five touchdowns in his last six games dating back to last year.
5. High Five: The Devils had five players register double-digit tackles. Emerging linebacker Christian Sam played well again tying Simone with a team-high 12 tackles (two for loss). The sophomore also added two sacks. Fellow Texan Laiu Moeakiola added 11 including two key stops late in the fourth quarter which helped ASU keep momentum.