Sun Devils stifle Stanford, five takeaways

In Todd Grahams two-and-a-half seasons, Saturday nights 26-10 win over Stanford was the most impressive showing by the football team in Grahams tenure. Don’t agree? 
Wisconsin-controversial officiating at the end of the game could’ve gone either way.
UCLA last year would be a close second. 
Arizona? rivalry game, different deal than beating a perennial BCS team like the Cardinal. 
Here are my other takeaways from the win.

Defense rules
Arizona State held Stanford to just 288 yards in total offense. Cardinal QB Kevin Hogan was just 19-39 for 212 yards. ASU blitzed from so many different angles, it seemed like Hogan was getting jumpy as the game progressed, unsure where the pressure was coming from. Stat sheet showed four 3-and-outs by ASU, so the Sun Devils finished with 19 more offensive plays for the game. 
The defense was only on the field for 61 plays

Jaelen is Strong
NFL scouts sitting behind me in the press box were buzzing after Strongs ‘over the top’ reception against two Cardinal DBs in the second quarter. Strong caught 8 balls for 75 yards and a TD on the night. He continues to be a man among boys on the field. It’s time to start wondering if Strong will be at ASU for his senior year. In my opinion he has to consider going to the NFL after this season is complete.

Special Teams were special 
To say that the “teams” had been under the gun would’ve been an understatement. But Saturday night was a different story. 
De’Marieya Nelson forced a fumble and was in on a punt that was downed at the one. 
Matt Haack had two strong punts and it looks like Graham might’ve gotten the kick return game figured out with Kyle Middlebrooks.

What can Brown do for you? 
J.C. cornerback Kweishi Brown was terrific against Stanford stud Ty Montgomery. 6-tackles, 5 pass breakups.

Coaching staff comes through
Grahams record at ASU is now 23-10. To dominate Stanford physically was the most impressive aspect to me on the night. There weren’t the mental mistakes that we saw in the USC game (just 2 penalties). Bottom line, the coaching staff made several adjustments during the bye week which gave them a little more experience. On offense, Mike Norvell has done a terrific job of putting backup quarterback Mike Bercovici into successful position over the last two games.

Next-at Washington next Saturday night at 7:30. Our coverage on the road from Seattle starts with next Fridays show(10a-noon) from the team hotel. Washington was drilled by #9 Oregon 45-20 Saturday afternoon.

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