The mistakes in the Oregon State game were over-whelming. You can go down the list and name almost every member of the ASU program and find a game-costing decision that was inexcusable.
The problem is so basic. CATCH THE FOOTBALL! Two touchdowns were dropped against Oregon State. Two third down conversions were dropped. One third down conversion won’t go down as a drop but Kerry Taylor didn’t look for the ball along the sideline and was very lazy with his feet and caught the ball with his toes on the chalk.
It’s hard for me to judge the other major errors I saw in Corvallis when so many of them are fixed just by catching the ball. Take everything I say through rest of the blog with a grain of salt because it ranks so far below receivers simply catching the football.
Someone please donate the money to buy the team a jugs machine so the receivers can just stand there and catch.
Other mistakes that cost the game:
D-LINE: How does an offense that comes in 113th in the nation in total offense rack up over 400 yards? I must recant on how bullish I was at the beginning of the season. ASU’s defense is one of the most over-rated elements of the game in all of college football.
From the sideline it looked like there should have been quite a few more holding flags thrown on the Oregon State O-Line. However, the refs were very consistent and called very few holding penalties throughout the game.
The D-Line did nothing in this game. RB Rodgers had some big holes in the middle. QB Katz had all day to throw. Sure there were open receivers but you can’t leave your DB’s hanging out to dry that long.
COACHING: How about a blitz? Yes, your D-Line should have done more. Yes, you don’t have a secondary good enough to blitz like Rex Ryan. Yet, at some point, you have to accept the fact that their O-Line came to play and your front wall didn’t. There was not enough done schematically to make a sophomore QB feel uncomfortable.
At the end of the first half, why are you punting the ball to one of the best punt return teams in the nation? That punt has to go to the sideline. Sure, Mike Riley pulled a brilliant punt return reverse. I understand sometimes you have to nod your head to great coaching but this isn’t one of those times. ASU should never have given OSU the chance to return the kick. At the end of the game OSU punted it to the sideline and forced ASU to go 85 yards. Their coaching staff got it right, ASU’s did not.
The 4th quarter time out with the clock stopped before Oregon State punted was horrible. It cost ASU 40 seconds of possession time when they could have stopped the clock on OSU’s last possession.
How do you not on-side kick after the last ASU TD? Do not take this as a decision that cost ASU the game. The chances of recovering an on-side kick are much smaller than fans realize.
I have no idea if ASU would have got the ball back. I do know one thing, though. Kicking it deep ends the game. Your defense has been horrible. You’re kicking to one of the best return teams in the country. They have one of the best RB’s in the country to run out the clock and you have only one TO left. You have no chance to win the game once you kick it deep.
QB: This was Stephen’s worst game as a Devil. I understand what happened against Oregon. He was pressing and running for his life. He tried to make miracle plays against a top 5 team and it just didn’t work.
There was no excuse in this game. I counted 5 of the 11 defenders on the field around one ASU receiver on the red zone INT. He has to throw the ball to Dennis Erickson before taking a sack in the two minute drill.
He has to learn that dropped passes and poor protection are not his fault. He can not change his game and try to be a hero just because others aren’t doing their job.
This offense is predicated on taking what the defense gives you. Then you take advantage of mental mistakes caused by the quick pace of the offense. There is no pace when you’re constantly turning the ball over or dropping passes.
O-Line: There is not Pac-10 quality talent on this O-line. Mazzone’s offense is being completely wasted.
LB’s: Burfict really is as good as advertised. The problem is he’s always running off the field with small injuries or getting into someone’s face on the other team. At some point someone on this coaching staff has to have the onions to stand up to him and lay down the law. Let him know the next PF he receives will put him on the bench the rest of the quarter.
There’s a lot more I could go into but let’s face it, if the receivers start catching the football, a lot of these points are moot. There’s also the fact the bus just pulled up to the plane and I’m getting ready to come home.