Impact: ASU football's fight for six wins starts now

ASU football currently sits at 3-3, now clawing back into bowl game contention

The greater majority of football fans and analysts gave ASU football as much of a chance in Saturday’s late-night contest as they did for head coach Todd Graham to keep his job at the conclusion of the season. 

A 13-7 upset for the Sun Devils (3-3, 2-1) against the No. 12 Washington Huskies (6-1, 3-1) was never supposed to come to fruition, but then again, neither was the week-four win over the Oregon Ducks (4-3, 1-3).

In an upset of such a high degree, you would expect the offense, a group that continues to prove its efficiency week in and week out, to be the shining star. 

Yet, that assumption would be wrong.

The Sun Devil defense commanded the night, sacking UW junior quarterback Jake Browning five times.

Despite the convincing sack total, ASU’s defense should have registered closer to eight or nine, but Browning evaded multiple sacks. 

A UW offense praised for being one of the best in the country managed a pedestrian 21 percent conversion rate on third down. 

The team with the NFL-prospect quarterback turned in a weak 139 passing yards, not to mention a 4.6 yard per pass average.

While the Sun Devils’ victory will be told in the bars of Tempe for years to come, the season isn’t over. If anything, it has just begun.

Sitting at 3-3 ASU now has a realistic chance at finding itself contending for a bowl game. With games against Utah, USC, Colorado, UCLA, Oregon State and UA still in the queue, the Sun Devils just need three wins.

The fight for six starts now, and an upcoming battle on Saturday, Oct. 21 versus the Utah Utes (4-2, 1-2) is next on the list. 

BREAKING: Clemson now hates the color orange 

In a week where four top-10 teams fell to unranked opponents there was one upset to rule them all. It was the No. 7 Clemson Tigers (6-1, 4-1) that were knocked off their high horse by the Syracuse Orange (4-3, 2-1) in a 27-24 shocker.

The Tigers were aiming to tally another victory to their 11-game winning streak, but Syracuse junior quarterback Eric Dungey was not having it.

Dungey’s 278 passing yards and three touchdowns paired with his 61 rushing yards led the Orange offense to a win it hadn’t experienced all season — a win versus a ranked opponent.

Not only was it a ranked team, but the Tigers were also the No. 2 team in the nation and just a year removed from a national championship victory.

Similar to ASU, Syracuse was feeling the luck of the Irish from a couple of missed field goals by the Tigers. However, give credit where credit is due.

The Orange fought to out pass, out run and out score what was considered the second best team in the entire country. 

Just a minUTE shy of victory 

What was almost another shocking loss for the USC Trojans (6-1, 4-1) quickly developed into a final minute tug of war against the Utah Utes (4-2, 1-2). Despite both teams having four quarters to bring home a win, the game came down to a two-point conversion attempt with 42 seconds left in the game.

With the ball on the three-yard line, Utah’s senior quarterback Troy Williams walked up and put his hands under center.

As both sides settled in preparation for the snap, Williams took it and rolled right to give the impression of a run.

However, the play-action left Utah’s lead gunslinger at the 11-yard line after a deep drop back.

Williams set his feet at the 10 and looked left, but he didn't like his options, so he whipped his attention to the right pylon and took off.

USC’s junior cornerback Ajene Harris lined up parallel from a much larger Ute wide receiver prior to the snap. As he watched the Utah quarterback fake a handoff, Harris dropped back in coverage to the right side of the end zone.

Harris read Williams’ eyes and saw that the Utah quarterback was going to make a run for it — so he planted two yards deep in the end zone and sprinted to make the tackle.

Williams lifted his arm for a split second to give the allusion of a pass, but Harris didn't buy it — he dove at the three-yard line.

The risky move payed off as Harris tripped up Williams by the ankles, securing a heart-racing 28-27 victory for the Trojans. 

Stay tuned

ASU football will travel to Utah for a duel on Saturday, Oct. 21 with the Utah Utes.


Reach the reporter at atotri@asu.edu or follow @Anthony_Totri on Twitter.   

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