ESPN insider: Washington State is trap game for ASU

Nov 9, 2011, 8:29 PM | Updated: Nov 10, 2011, 1:10 am

This season ASU was finally living up to some hype, the
sloppy, mistake-ridden team from the past long gone.

The Sun Devils were in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12
South needing only to win out in order to play in the
first Pac-12 championship.

The road appeared to be smooth, with only UCLA, Washington
State, Arizona and Cal left on the schedule, all teams
that have struggled this year.

Then Saturday came.

The Sun Devils from the past returned, as the team lost to
UCLA 29-28.

Winning out will no longer be enough to win the Pac-12
South, as the team no longer controls its destiny.

ESPN’s Mark May was a guest on Arizona Sports 620’s Burns
and Gambo and commented on the Sun Devils dropping the
ball.

“It’s unbelievable,” May said “Remember all year long
about this team it’s about consistency, if they can play
consistent for four quarters they can play with just about
anybody, but they just can’t do it. There’s no excuse to
lose to a UCLA team that just got rolled by Arizona, I
don’t care if you win by seven points but you find a way
to win that game.”

Those three remaining games suddenly become much harder.
This Saturday the team must travel to Pullman, where the
conditions could favor Washington State. Next week the
team welcomes Arizona, who may be having a horrible
season, but you can bet the Wildcats will be foaming at
the mouth to ruin ASU’s chances at the championship. Even
Cal will probably be playing hard, since every team wants
to end its season with a win.

For May, ASU needs to be careful and not let Washington
State become a trap game.

“Playing up at the Palouse at Washington State, that’s no
easy place to play,” May said. “That’s a big trap game for
them because all of a sudden the kids are looking ‘well,
our rival is in two weeks’ and they overlooking an average
or poor Washington State team that can jump up and bite
you.”

May said the coaching staff needs to be at their best to
prepare the Sun Devils in order to avoid an upset. If the
team is upset, May believes Erickson might as well buy his
ticket out of Tempe.

“I think when you look at this program and look at the
opportunities that they have and you can say okay here’s
your schedule,” May said, “you look at who you play, you
look at the talent that you have, but if you had your team
ready to play you’re supposed win the South and be in the
first Pac-12 championship game, so there shouldn’t be any
excuses for that.”

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ESPN insider: Washington State is trap game for ASU