Best of times, worst of times for Sun Devils

Oct 17, 2011, 3:23 PM | Updated: 4:25 pm

If you’ve been reading my blogs the last few years, you’ve
probably figured out that Charles Dickens is not very
nervous I will soon be to his level as a writer.
Unfortunately for both of us, I must plagiarize in order
to write a summary to ASU/Oregon.

This game really was the best of times and the worst of

In the grand scheme of things, this game meant very

In the grand scheme of things, this game meant everything.

I bet Dennis Erickson told his players at the end of the
game how proud he was of them because they never stopped
fighting all the way to the end.

Knowing Dennis like I do, I could see him asking his
players if they wanted another shot at Oregon. The
players, of course, would respond “YES.”

After he pumped them up, he’d tell them they won’t get it
if they don’t quit making stupid penalties. Then he’d
say, “If you cut out the penalties, catch the football and
start playing good Sun Devil football over the next 5
games, you’ll get your shot.”

He’d be exactly right.

This loss makes going to the Rose Bowl harder because ASU
will probably have to come back to Autzen or go to
Stanford on the way to Pasadena. Although that’s still a
daunting task, there’s nothing that stands in ASU’s way to
get to the Pac-12 Championship Game.

The next 5 opponents are vastly weaker than ASU. The Sun
Devils completely control their destiny. If someone else
wants a piece of the Pac-12 South Championship, they’ve
got to go through Tempe to get it. Unless ASU plays to
the level of the competition, the Sun Devils are in the
Pac-12’s first championship game.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of coming to Autzen stadium
and losing by 14 points. Only three teams since Chip
Kelly moved to Eugene have beaten him in his house.

So in the grand scheme of things, this game meant very

The problem is this game should have been a win. In the
grand scheme it was another ASU missed opportunity. I
don’t mean should have been a win because blaming refs or
acting like the world’s unfair to ASU. I mean “should
have won” because of the opportunity. If you can’t beat
Oregon at Autzen Stadium with the Ducks back-up running
back and back-up quarterback playing, when are you going
to win in Autzen Stadium?

When is ASU going to get that breakout nationally
televised win?

When is ASU going to stop making stupid penalties?

When are the receivers going to make big plays in back-to-
back games instead of showing hints of greatness?

ASU had the chance to show the nation the Pac-12 is theirs
but personal fouls, dropped balls and poor execution cost
them again.

This game was the best of times if you watched Cameron
Marshall get stone-walled in the first 20-minutes yet
never stop fighting. He eventually made it to 97 yards.
Marshall was a brick house in blitz pick-up.

This game was the worst of times if you’re wondering why
Dennis Erickson took two time outs with him to the locker
room at the end of the first half when Oregon was marching
right down the Devils throat against a confused and
scattered defense. One timeout could have caused a
regrouping and settling of nervous minds.

This game was the best of times if you saw the growth and
leadership of Brock Osweiler. He led the team’s offensive
meeting Saturday morning with the projector and laser
pointer. He demanded his receivers stay alive when he’s
scrambling. He didn’t tell Coach Erickson and Coach
Mazzone what he was seeing and then wait for instruction.
He told them what he wanted and expected. Osweiler was
the victim of dropped passes and bad route-running and
still threw for 291 yards.

This game was the worst of times if you found great joy in
the performances of Mike Willie in the Utah game. The
Utes couldn’t handle Willie’s strength and route running.
Willie brought back the frustration of all knowledgeable
fans with his broken route that led Osweiler to throw an
interception right to the spot Willie was supposed to be.

The best of times because a young kicker hasn’t missed on
the road in the last two games.

The worst of times because Burfict still doesn’t get it.

In the past, there were many times ASU fans weren’t
patient enough. They really didn’t know how much needed
to change at ASU and how long the process would take.
Close losses like Wisconsin and USC last year were blamed
on Erickson instead of seeing how close Coach Erickson was
to getting this team to contender status. Those losses of
the past were necessary to get ASU to the point of being
able to legitimately talk of BCS bids.

This wasn’t one of those games. The rebuilding is
complete. The team is here and now. ASU can’t chalk this
up to “learning to be great.” This was the game to show
the nation the Sun Devils have arrived.

It is the worst of times because they didn’t get it done.

It is the best of times because they will get a second

Doug Franz

Follow @AZSports...
Arizona Sports

Motivation Monday: What motivates Doug Franz

Here's what motivates Doug Franz on this Monday.
8 years ago
Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Carson Palmer (3) works out during an NFL football training camp, We...
Doug Franz

In Carson Palmer I trust

Every $19.95 invention grabbed my attention. If I buy now, I can get my offer doubled. However, this offer is not available in stores! From age 5 to 14, almost every time an ad came on TV with an incredible idea, my dad would say, “If the offer is too good to believe, don’t.” Dad, […]
8 years ago
Follow @doug987FM...
Doug Franz

Confidence, questions and concerns from Week 1 of Cardinals camp

Doug Franz gives us what he's confident about and what concerns him about the Arizona Cardinals.
8 years ago
Follow @doug987FM...
Doug Franz

Great does not make Todd Gurley right for the Arizona Cardinals

A completely healthy Todd Gurley will be a great player in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals should not draft Todd Gurley.
8 years ago
Follow @doug987FM...
Doug Franz

In Ray Anderson they trust

All indications point to Jeff Capel as the next head coach of Arizona State.
8 years ago
Follow @doug987FM...
Doug Franz

On Arizona State’s coaching search: Sad, but true

There's zero buzz in the Phoenix marketplace for ASU basketball.
8 years ago
Best of times, worst of times for Sun Devils