Edwards: ‘Wet eyes’ from ASU players after Pac-12 South-deciding loss
Arizona State had chances this season all the way until the second-to-last week of the regular season.
More often than not, the Sun Devils failed to take advantage of those opportunities on the road. The recurring theme came to be once again on Saturday, when ASU fell at Oregon, 31-29.
This time, it put the nail in the coffin. The defeat ended Arizona State’s chances at winning the Pac-12 South and stamped a ticket to the conference championship game for the Utah Utes.
“There was a lot of wet eyes in that locker room as you could expect,” first-year ASU coach Herm Edwards told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station. “They took it hard. Just told them you got to keep your heads up. We still have football games left. We got to recover from this and get ready for this big rivalry game.”
The Sun Devils (6-5, 4-4 Pac-12) head to Tucson to close the regular season against the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday. Edwards’ first Territorial Cup meeting comes against fellow first-year coach Kevin Sumlin.
But in looking forward to the final two games, Edwards and ASU must look backward.
What allowed them to get so close to a division title, and what ultimately bit them most?
Well, every single one of the Sun Devils’ five losses were by a touchdown or less this season.
“Those things eat at you,” Edwards said. “I know our team was devastated after the game because of the implications of it. It’s a shame because we had some chances. Just couldn’t get it done.
“I’m disappointed. We got ourselves in position and just couldn’t — I wish I could’ve done more. When that door’s open, you want to make sure you knock it down. We knocked, couldn’t knock it down.”
Edwards said he’ll head into the offseason with a focus on learning how his team can win on the road. ASU went 5-1 at home and, so far, 1-4 on the road this season. He wants to study Pac-12 teams that succeeded on the road this year.
That would be the No. 8 Washington State Cougars, who thumped Arizona 69-28 on Saturday at home but have gone 4-1 away. USC (5-6) handed the Cougars their only road loss, but WSU beat Oregon State (2-9), Stanford (6-4) and Colorado (5-6).
Arizona State’s final two games will be away from Sun Devil Stadium, giving the Sun Devils a few more chances to find answers this year.
“We’ve got to do a better job on the road,” Edwards said.