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Impact: ASU football's defense goes MIA in its loss to Stanford

Despite having momentum from the last two weeks, the Sun Devils could not keep up with the Cardinal


Sophomore wide receiver N'Keal Harry (1) dodges Stanford's Alameen Murphy (4), gaining extra yards toward the sideline in the first half of the Sun Devils' 34-24 loss to Stanford on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California.

A trip west away from the Arizona heat wasn’t enough for ASU football as they were left defeated by the Stanford Cardinal (3-2, 2-1) 34-24. 

The loss was due in part to the Sun Devils (2-3, 1-1) failing on the defensive side of the ball. This time around it was not at the hands of New Mexico State’s Jaleel Scott, nor was it by the right arm of a gun-slinger like Texas Tech’s Nic Shimonek. 

However, as Stanford’s junior tailback Bryce Love broke the school’s single-game rushing record, fans couldn’t help but be reminded of the show San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny put on in week two.

Love’s 301 rushing yards and three touchdowns prove just how vulnerable ASU’s defense was. 

Over the course of the season, the Sun Devils have surrendered 950 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, and the opposing running backs are averaging 5.7 yards a carry. 

Heading into Saturday’s game, another upset did not seem out of the question, considering the recent performance of ASU’s offense. 

Despite coming off as an efficient unit in the past, the Sun Devils were anything but that as redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins threw for a season low of 181 yards and two interceptions. His quarterback rating was a measly 18.6

Although Wilkins had trouble keeping up his recent success, senior running back Demario Richard and sophomore wide receiver N’Keal Harry had great outings.

Richard led the team with 80 rushing yards and two scores, while Harry had 40 receiving yards, 17 rushing yards and a 14-yard touchdown pass. 

ASU will have the luxury of being on a bye this week. This gives the Sun Devils time to recapture their offensive strength and muster up some sort of defense before a matchup at home against the Washington Huskies (5-0, 2-0). 

Jordan Chunn crowned homecoming king 

Possibly the most embarrassing loss of the week came when the LSU Tigers (3-2, 2-1) could do nothing but purr in their 24-21 loss to the Troy Trojans (4-1, 2-1) at LSU's homecoming game.

At the time, the Tigers were No. 25 in the nation, but having four turnovers and going 0-9 on third down was not the way to maintain their ranking.

However, the Trojans deserve credit for their ability to dominate an opponent on the road.

Senior running back Jordan Chunn was at the helm of the Trojans’ victory with his 191 rushing yards and one touchdown. 

LSU will need to bounce back quickly as its next opponent are the No. 21 Florida Gators (3-1, 3-0), a team that has a lead running back who just ran for 318 yards on Saturday. 

Huskies and Beavers set the boundaries for the Pac-12 

Going into Saturday’s game, the majority of people believed the No. 6 Washington Huskies (5-0, 2-0) were the second best team in the Pac-12

However, the combination of a 42-7 blowout victory against the Oregon State Beavers (1-4, 0-2) and a No. 14 USC Trojans (4-1, 2-1) loss moves Washington to the top. 

The Huskies’ junior quarterback Jake Browning had himself another solid performance with 293 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and a rushing score.  

Although Browning commanded the offensive unit, it was the Huskies’ defense that reigned supreme.

The Beavers continue to show their inability to be competitive as they only managed eight first downs and 184 total yards. 

As both teams trend in different directions, the Pac-12 remains divided with Washington and Oregon State on completely opposite ends of the spectrum. 

Coming soon

ASU football looks to recoup as the team has a bye this week. After this week, the Sun Devils (2-3, 1-1) will hit the most brutal stretch of their schedule as they battle it out with the No. 6 Washington Huskies (5-0, 2-0) on Oct. 14.      

*All statistics were retrieved from and

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