Texas-Sized Letdown, ASU Falls to Aggies

What was supposed to be a Texas shootout turned into an old-fashioned blowout in Houston. Arizona State football was done in by two homegrown players who chose to NOT BE Sun Devils. Texas A&M started fast and finished strong pulling away from the Devils 38-17 at NRG Stadium in Houston before 66,300.

“We had a lot of positives but just too many mistakes,” head coach Todd Graham said after the game. “As good as we played defensively…we made some real critical mistakes.”

Here are some quick hits on the night…

THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY: Christian Kirk scored on a punt return and Kyle Allen scrambled for the touchdown that sealed the victory for the Aggies. The duo later hooked up for a long touchdown on a simple swing pass which saw Kirk weave through Graham’s secondary. Allen finished 15-26 for 198 yards and two touchdowns passing. He also added one on the ground. Kirk’s debut netted 106 receiving yards on six catches.
TOO SICK TO CLICK: Kalen Ballage was supposed to be a big part of the Arizona State offensive attack. He was back in Tempe, sent home sick. Not sure that he would’ve made a difference against a Texas A&M defense that just suffocated Arizona State.
NOTHING SPECIAL: No excuses can be made on this line. New special teams coordinator Shawn Slocum was brought in to straighten out that facet of the team and on this night, there was very little good play out of this unit.

“Special teams really killed us,” Graham lamented. “Too many mistakes, especially in the kicking game.”

AGGIE RISING: Texas A&M’s defense wasn’t supposed to be this good…but they were. The Demario Richard fumble in the 3rd quarter was caused by the terrific penetration of the Aggies defensive front. The Aggies sacked Mike Bercovici nine times and pressured all night. They whipped ASU up front recording 14 tackles for loss.

“You’ve got to give credit to their defense,” Bercovici said after completing 25-41 for 199 yards and a touchdown. “They did a good job.”

Truer words have never been spoken.