Brock Osweiler leads as ASU Sun Devils find a way

Sep 10, 2011, 6:34 AM | Updated: 8:10 am

There they were, sitting in the post-game press conference 37-30 winners.

Brock Osweiler, Aaron Pflugrad and Jamal Miles were together, ready to
answer questions.

The first one was asked, and the QB’s teammates looked to him for

Less than an hour earlier they were looking at him to make plays. And he
did, giving his team their first victory over an AP Top 25 team since October
of 2007.

“We couldn’t make things easy,” the junior said, noting the huge crowd,
which was raucous and clad in black. “Had to keep things exciting. Our
team is just relentless, we refuse to give up.”

Osweiler, who completed 24 of 32 passes for 353 yards and three
touchdowns wasn’t kidding. The game wasn’t easy, it was exciting and the
Sun Devils did not give up.

They almost didn’t win the game, either.

Up by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter, a muffed punt gave the Tigers
new life as they were able to score with 12 minutes remaining to pull
within seven and again with 2:50 left to tie it.

One final possession got as far as the Arizona State 31, but a 48-yard field
goal attempt by Grant Ressel sailed — no, spun — far, far left, giving the
Sun Devils another shot in overtime.

And just like that, a game that seemed like a “classic ASU” contest, one
where they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, turned into something
not seen around these parts in a while.

A close win over a good opponent.

“We came into the stadium tonight wearing T-shirts that on the front said
‘Band of Brothers’ and we firmly believe that’s how this team is and that’s
how we stick together and we can get through these hard, hard fought
games,” Osweiler said.

That attitude helps, as does the opponent committing 11 penalties for 114
yards, rendering your own 12 for 110 somewhat moot.

But it will be easy to gloss over the mistakes because hey, a win is a win
and Arizona State is now 2-0 and likely heading for a top 25 ranking.

“I have been in that locker room when we lost those close ones last year
and we were able to find a way to do it [this time] which I think is a
springboard,” ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson said. “Every week for us is
hard and our league is so difficult that you just never know what is going
to happen.

“But to be able to have a big lead then blow it then he misses a field goal…”

Erickson is right, the Pac-12 is tough. Truth be told, while this win is
certainly nice for Arizona State the games that really matter begin in two
weeks, when Sun Devil Stadium will host the USC Trojans.

But in a way, the win is not so much about earning a non-conference
victory as it is a sign that maybe luck is finally starting to smile on Tempe’s
team, as there would be no choke job — hard as they may have tried — in
a game on national TV.

A sign of growth? Perhaps.

“It’s what you work for,” Osweiler said. “When you’re waking up at 5:30 in
the morning every day from January to August and you’re doing all the
workouts and you’re watching all the film…these are the games that you’re
working for, the big games to win them when they’re close.

“For us to do that tonight it’s a great feeling, but at the same time it’s just
one win.”

Osweiler continued, saying the team has a lot more games they have to be
ready for.

And he’ll be leading the way.

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Brock Osweiler leads as ASU Sun Devils find a way