Impact: After securing bowl eligibility, ASU football's focus is on UA

The Sun Devils secured the largest lead of the season and never looked back

Despite a final quarter surge from the Oregon State Beavers (1-10, 0-8 Pac-12), ASU football was able to secure a 40-24 win, locking up bowl eligibility

The Sun Devils (6-5, 5-3 Pac-12) burst out of the gate to a 30-0 lead on the shoulders of senior running back Demario Richard’s third straight 100-yard rushing performance. 

Richard’s 119 rushing yards and trio of touchdowns complemented by fellow senior tailback Kalen Ballage’s 103 rushing yards doomed OSU.

ASU’s rebooted offense seems to have an emphasis on the ground game. Over the course of the first eight games, the Sun Devils amassed 971 rushing yards. 

In the last three, ASU has racked up 961. 

Mind you the Sun Devils’ last three opponents are guilty of having some of the worst defensive fronts in the country. Nevertheless, a win is a win, and this just so happens to be ASU’s sixth of the season.

Bowl eligibility likely would not have been possible without the turnover-hungry defense.

Redshirt freshman defensive back Chase Lucas and redshirt junior defensive lineman Renell Wren both snagged an interception. Not to mention, junior defensive lineman JoJo Wicker sealed the game with a fumble recovery on the Beavers’ final drive. 

While ASU has earned a bowl-game appearance, the Sun Devils’ sights need to be set for the Territorial Cup game this Saturday. In the last four meetings, the home team has walked away with the trophy, which would seemingly favor ASU. 

However, this UA team is led by one of the most dangerously athletic quarterbacks in the country, and as you have learned already, nothing is guaranteed in the Pac-12. 

Battle in the Coliseum leaves UCLA banged up 

The rivalry in Los Angeles might have hit a new high after the UCLA Bruins (5-6, 3-5 Pac-12) were left heartbroken after a 28-23 loss to the No. 11 USC Trojans (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12). 

A game featuring two top NFL quarterback prospects in USC’s redshirt sophomore Sam Darnold and UCLA’s junior Josh Rosen was everything it was promised to be.

The future NFL draftees combined for 685 passing yards and four scores.

Rosen threw three of the touchdowns while on the opposite side Darnold rushed for one. 

Although the game shaped up to be worth the price of admission, UCLA’s former head coach Jim Mora desperately needed a different outcome.

Mora was fired Sunday morning in a statement from Dan Guerrero, the Bruins’ athletic director. 

"While his first four seasons at UCLA were very successful, the past two seasons have not met expectations. We thank Jim and his family for his service to our school and his unquestionable commitment to our student-athletes," Guerrero said in the statement. 

UCLA has stated it will honor Mora’s contract, “which ran through the 2021 season and included a buyout of roughly $12 million, exclusively using athletic department-generated funds,” according to the Los Angeles Times. 

Destined for a rematch? 

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0, 7-0) and No. 4 Clemson Tigers (10-1, 7-1) continue their crash course toward a third-straight meeting in the BCS National Championship.

A lot can change in the coming weeks, but after the teams outscored their opponents by a combined score of 117-3 this weekend, it appears the two are destined for another matchup. 

The Tigers quieted the rumblings of angry college football fans who called their place in the top four a joke after an earlier loss to the Syracuse Orange (4-7, 2-5). 

On the other hand, the Crimson Tide have not lost a game since last year’s 35-31 loss in the national title game to none other than Clemson. 

Both teams look vastly different after several players departed for the NFL, but one thing is for sure: there may be a round three of Alabama versus Clemson sooner rather than later. 

Stay tuned

ASU football will return home for its final regular season game of the season to battle it out with the UA Wildcats (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12) on Saturday, Nov. 25. 


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

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.    


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.