Behind the Numbers: ASU uses long drives and defensive stands to upset Oregon

ASU's win earned the program its first victory against Oregon since 2004

ASU football came through late in the game on offense and corrected a glaring weakness on defense to upset Oregon in front of 50,110 at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. 

After a disappointing week three loss at Texas Tech, the Sun Devils seemed to come out with a sense of urgency and a chip on their shoulder. 

From the beginning, ASU established control of field position – the defense stifled the Ducks' offense on the first drive of the game and shortly thereafter, the offense quickly responded with a touchdown. 

That sequence set the tone for the game and gave ASU momentum they would never really relinquish. Oregon did outscore the Sun Devils 7-0 in the second quarter and took a late lead, but the Ducks' advantage was short lived. 

The win moved ASU to 24-15-1 all-time in conference home openers, including 4-2 under current head coach Todd Graham.


Oregon's offense converted only one of 11 attempts on third down, despite ranking inside the top-10 nationally in that category coming in. 

The Ducks came into the game with the nation's third-highest scoring offense, and Sun Devils entered with the nation's worst third-down defense. 

Oregon senior running back Royce Freeman came into Saturday's contest leading the nation with nine rushing touchdowns and had rushed for more than 100-yards in six straight games. 

But the Sun Devils defensive front held Freeman to one touchdown and 81 yards on 15 carries. Freeman did average 5.4 yards per carry and, once they got down early, Oregon certainly had to throw the ball more. 


Oregon scored 35 points against ASU, its lowest point total of the season. 

Before facing the Sun Devils, the Ducks led the country in points per game (56.0) and total points scored (168), and were second in total offense (609 yards), while ASU allowed the eighth-most points per game in the FBS (37.7).


ASU senior running backs Demario Richard (71), Kalen Ballage (50) and redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins (56) combined to rush for 187 yards. 

In the first three weeks, ASU averaged 97 yards per game, which was ranked 115th in the FBS and 11th in the Pac-12. The Ducks gave up 108.3 rushing yards per game in their first three games, which was ranked 31st in the FBS and fourth in the Pac-12. 


Wilkins has yet to throw an interception this season in 140 passing attempts. 

Among FBS quarterbacks that have attempted at least 100 passes, the ASU gunslinger is one of only four to have not thrown a pick. North Carolina State junior Ryan Finley (159 attempts), Appalachian State senior Taylor Lamb (120) and University of Oklahoma redshirt senior Baker Mayfield (101) are the other three. 


The victory gave Graham his 90th career win overall, and his 41st at ASU. The 2017 season marks Graham's sixth year at the helm of ASU. 

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