ASU wants Emory Jones to avoid QB duel with Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders

Sep 9, 2022, 10:50 AM
Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) scrambles during the second half of the team's NCAA ...

Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) scrambles during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Central Michigan, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders ranks eighth in the nation with 463 total yards — a combination of passing and rushing yards — piled up in his team’s season-opening victory against Central Michigan.

The seven players who produced larger totals to this point, led by North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye’s 777 yards, played a Week 0 game and have a full game of extra time-on-task.

If we throw the Cowboys’ Fiesta Bowl win against Notre Dame in there to compare Sanders’ production over his last two games, he’d be at 959 total yards.

From that lens, we can say the dude has been wildly productive through the air and on the ground in his last two college football outings.

So with the Arizona State Sun Devils heading to Stillwater to face the Cowboys on Saturday, head coach Herm Edwards had a message to his own dual-threat quarterback, Emory Jones.

“My message to him is don’t make it a quarterback duel,” Edwards told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Friday. “Don’t try to out-duel the other quarterback. When the quarterback does something, don’t feel like you have to do something. Let the offense take care of itself. If we function that way, we’ll be OK.”

Jones’ experience as a Florida Gators quarterbacks the past three seasons gives him a resume with a good amount of game experience in hostile territory.

Keeping his teammates calm and focused is as important as not trying to keep pace with a Cowboys quarterback who rung up 406 passing yards and 57 more on the ground while scoring six touchdowns last Saturday.

“… The parts around (Jones), how much experience do they have?” Edwards said of his quarterback. “And I think he’s going to have to calm those guys down sometimes in the huddle. I’m going to have to help him on the sideline. But I think he’s well aware of what he’s walking into. He’s been in these situations before.”

Jones looked plenty calm in ASU’s season-opening win against Northern Arizona last Thursday, completing 13 of 18 passes for 152 yards while rushing for 48 and two scores at Sun Devil Stadium.

Now he faces his first test as a Sun Devil, leading ASU on the road to face the No. 11-ranked team in college football.

“Honestly, those are the most fun games for me,” Jones told reporters this week. “We’re excited. We know what we’re going into, we know it’s going to be loud, we know it’s going to be rockin’.”

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