What was expected to be a run-heavy contest between two teams with elite tailbacks, turned into a one-sided affair in which ASU (1-1) was manhandled by San Diego State (2-0) 30-20.
The Sun Devils came off a close win over the New Mexico State Aggies determined to develop a run game after a 76-yard performance. However, ASU ran the ball 31 times for a lackluster 44 yards against SDSU.
Although the run game was a struggle for the Sun Devils, it was the overwhelming strength for the Aztecs.
Senior running back Rashaad Penny accumulated 353 all-purpose yards, 11 more yards than the entire ASU offense.
Penny nearly cracked the top-five in rush yards this week among Division I college running backs.
One of the few strong points in ASU’s baffling defensive showing was senior linebacker Koron Crump, who added two more sacks to his season total of four. With back-to-back two-sack games, Crump is currently tied for the second most sacks in Division I football this season.
After two team outings, ASU still finds itself fourth in sacks among the most competitive programs this season.
As redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins and company head to Texas for a seemingly light-weight bout with the Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0), the Sun Devils have found themselves in must-win territory.
A loss on Sept. 16 would likely mean the Devils would be a month away from a realistic chance of winning.
No matter the next ASU win, one unfortunate reality for Sun Devil fans is that the team will soon enter a brutal stretch against the Oregon Ducks (2-0), No. 14 Stanford Cardinal (1-1) and No. 6 Washington Huskies (2-0).
These are all either ranked or soon to be ranked teams that have outscored their opponents the first two weeks by a score of 298-126.
The Jackson Six
The No. 14 Louisville Cardinals (2-0) outperform the North Carolina Tar Heels (0-2) on the road by a score of 47-35 thanks to a monstrous day from junior quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Jackson accumulated 525 total yards and found the end zone six times. The 2016 Heisman winner had 127 more yards than the Tar Heels' entire team.
He was able to complete throws to nine different pass catchers, four of which had three or more grabs.
The Cardinals’ wide receivers delivered for Jackson, which positively affected his week two performance. His success kept him in the top five in pass yards for the weekend. Not to mention Jackson’s rushing rodeo places him fourth in rush yards among quarterbacks this season.
Maybe ASU should call the Cardinals’ all-star and ask if he wants to be the team’s new tailback, considering that his 132 rush yards this week out performs the Sun Devils rush total for the season thus far (123 yards).
Trojans clip the Cardinal
The highly-anticipated clash between two Pac-12 powerhouses resulted in the No. 4 USC Trojans (2-0) pulling away late from the No. 19 Stanford Cardinal (1-1) to win 42-24.
Sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold dazzled Trojan fans by completing 80 percent of his passes for 316 yards and four touchdowns.
The 6-foot 4-inch gunslinger wasn’t even the most impressive part of USC’s critical win. All week Stanford was the team set to trample the Trojans via a punishing ground game.
However, it was USC’s dynamic duo of junior running back Ronald Jones II and freshman tailback Stephen Carr that wowed the crowd.
Jones II and Carr combined for a staggering 34 carries, 235 yards and two touchdowns.
After witnessing the beating Penny dealt the Sun Devils, there is no saying what the Trojans might accomplish against the ASU front seven.
Next week the Sun Devils (1-1) will attempt to add to their win total in Lubbock, Texas as they duke it out with the Texas Tech Red Raiders (1-0) on Sept. 16.
*All statistics were retrieved from espn.com.