Arizona State Sun Devils come in on Saturday night’s home game as a three-touchdown favored against the Eastern Michigan Eagles, and should have been another tune-up game before conference play begins.
Things didn’t quite go as it was planned on betting paper, the Devils looked totally lost from begging to the end of this game.
The first half was a very embarrassing display of a team with high aspirations to make a Bowl game at season’s end, the Eagles came in with a very physical attitude and pushed the Devils around with their heavy offensive line all night.
In the first half, the Sun Devils gave up 154 yards rushing and 309 total yards from scrimmage, could only muster 102 total first-half yards of their own, and could not get off the field on 3rd down.
The Eagles were a blistering 9 of 10 in the first half on 3rd down and did not punt the ball until the early part of the 4th quarter.
Sun Devils were booed off their own field by a scattered crowd, and Eastern Michigan continued their dominance in the second half with a shutout 3rd quarter and got the Devils’ offense off the field 3 straight drives.
Starting quarterback Emory Jones played a pretty mediocre game and didn’t have a lot of help from his wide receivers, as they dropped several deep balls that could have changed the complexion of the game.
Jones missed on several plays with inaccurate throws and seemed to have had difficulty throwing the ball to the correct receiver on pass plays, and it also seemed like he was not able to read the entire field as he looked at his first read to the left all night long.
The receiving core of the Sun Devils has yet to have a receiver emerge as the clear number one, as Jones finished 20/32 for 185 yards and one passing touchdown and didn’t use his legs much but added one rushing touchdown.
Sun Devils defense spent a lot of time on the field as the Eagles had long drives of 10 plus plays, that wore down the Devil’s defense. Samson Evans ran 35 times for 257 yards and a touchdown and Eastern Michigan never trailed as an underdog.
EMU and their power run game closed the door on any hopes of a Devils comeback as they finished the 4th quarter with two drives of 11 or more plays taking time off the clock, and got the fumble recovery to go on and close the door and get the upset win 30-21.
The final score doesn’t do the performance of EMU any justice, it was total domination and the Devils looked like a team that clearly overlooked a team that was a three-touchdown underdog.
This could start the talk of calling for Herm Edwards’s job, as after the game he spoke to the media and answered the tough questions from Arizona media pertaining to having his team ready to play “We were ready, we were ready, I told them all week better be ready, this is a physical team better be ready” Herm said.
Edwards concluded “it wasn’t coaching” speaking of his team being prepared to play.
The Sun Devils did not look like a team that was prepared and whether Herm admits it or not, it is coaching or lack thereof as to why a team would not be mentally ready to beat a team they should beat.
The 9 penalties for 89 yards played a big part in the outcome of the game, which again, points to coaching and having a team prepared to play.
The game was totally controlled by Eastern Michigan from start to finish, and they capped the game with a crucial fumble recovery of the Devils trying to make a push at getting closer.
The clock was run out and the upset was completed, as the Eagles sideline jumped around with a certain smile that they had been disrespected and were given no chance in this game.
The key component to the win for the Eagles was the power of their offensive line, which controlled and knocked the Devils back all night to the tune of 468 total yards from scrimmage and allowed a backup quarterback to come in a finish the deal with running 8/55 yards himself.
This was a very uninspiring performance by the Devils and possibly overlooked the Eagles looking forward to the Utah game next week, and they played like they earned the right to just get a win for showing up as the favored.
Conference play is ahead and after this display of lackluster football, it’s going to be a long season for the Sun Devils, and look for the hot seat talk to heat up for coach Herm Edwards.