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Pac-12 teams should pay Illinois defense

Pay up, Pac-12.

When Arizona State lost to unranked Illinois on Saturday night in Champaign, they did more than blow a game they should have won. They created video gold out of the Fighting Illini’s game film.

ASU’s offensive line allowed quarterback Brock Osweiler to be sacked six — count ’em, six — times on Saturday. The line leaked like a sieve and cost the Sun Devils the game and likely their rank, but they also showed every chink in their armor.

The Fighting Illini sent in delayed linebacker blitzes several times and they worked. While they may not have gotten the sack every time, the delayed blitz exposed the issue of ASU’s backfield being in motion or picking up early blocks. Add in Osweiler’s apparent ignorance of the coming pressure and the Sun Devils have shown the world how they can be beat.

You can complain about the bad play calls or questionable refs that were all over ASU with holding calls all you would like, but the reality is you can’t win a game by giving up six sacks and having your quarterback under constant pressure.

Hopefully the rest of the Pac-12 wasn’t tuned in to BTN — I had enough trouble finding it on my TV — and Illinois gets something more than a “thanks” out of the teams who were shown how you pick apart ASU’s offense.

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