Pac-12 South is still in ASU’s reach, despite loss

In today’s media market of movies, television shows and sports, viewers tune in to see suspense.

Most Americans have their own symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder when it comes to entertainment.

College football provides the perfect prescription for those in need on Saturday.

Through three weeks, the Pac-12 has been the conference conducting the biggest upsets and hold-your-breath moments.

Oregon State, UCLA and UA all composed underdog wins over top 25 teams in week two.

But the Pac-12 team that caused arguably the biggest upset of the season thus far is Stanford (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12).

Stanford and the “Nerd Nation” hurt No. 2 USC’s chances at a potential title shot, and put the Trojans in last place in the Pac-12 south, winning 21-14 on Saturday.

A win that comes two weeks after barely stopping San Jose State in the fourth quarter to squeak by with a three-point victory.

USC (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) showed its weakness of not being able to stop the run and not being able to hold onto the football.

Sounds kind of like a team close to home.

No, not No. 24 UA unfortunately — who is 3-0 and leading the Pac-12 South by overall record.

ASU committed trademark turnovers and resembled a team of the past with two interceptions and two fumbles.

From the opening kickoff return of 42 yards by Missouri until the second half, ASU’s (2-1) high-tempo, disciplined game play seemed to have missed the flight to Columbia.

One player that did bring his game face–quarterback Taylor Kelly.

While Kelly did have two interceptions during the game, he showed glimpses of ASU alumnus quarterback Jake “The Snake” Plummer – who led ASU to an undefeated regular season and a second Rose Bowl.

Scrambling out of the pocket for huge gains and doing wonders with his feet to extend plays caused problems for Missouri’s (2-1) defense, which seemed impeccable the first half.

Even after a heartbreaking loss on Saturday, ASU’s future quarterback needs to be set in stone.

Whether it’s Kelly or Michael Eubank, ASU coach Todd Graham needs to decide who is going to get the job done no matter what yard line the ball is on, especially when the game is on the line.

It’s the glimpses of past faults that are over-shadowing fans outlook on the team after this weekend.

Fans and students alike need to look past this loss and to the future with all the young, potential talent this team has moving forward.

With Pac-12 play starting this week, ASU’s pursuit of winning the South begins.

Stanford’s win over USC should uplift the team and fans spirits after Saturday’s loss and motivate them to cruise through conference play.

Graham and ASU still look like a contender in the Pac-12 South, but keeping the intensity and discipline on the road is their toughest challenge moving forward.

 

Reach the columnist at msterrel@asu.edu