ASU defense ready for the challenge presented by Stanford’s power running game

Dec 5, 2013, 9:36 PM | Updated: 9:37 pm
Follow @CraigAZSports...

TEMPE, Ariz. — It’s not new. It’s just not widely seen, especially in the Pac-12.

“It’s kind of unorthodox. It kind of caught us off guard when we saw it,” linebacker Chris Young said.

“Yeah, I’ve never played against an offense like that,” linebacker Carl Bradford added. “It’s pretty scary at first, but you just got to attack it and trust yourself, trust your teammates.”

The Sun Devil defense, in the first meeting against Stanford, played on their heels, regularly getting pushed off the line of scrimmage by an offensive line that featured six, seven and sometimes even eight players with their hands in the dirt.

“It’s not a bad idea. It’s pretty smart,” defensive line coach Jackie Shipp said Thursday.

The formation, often referred to as “jumbo”, “heavy jumbo” or “monster” rocked ASU for 240 rushing yards, the third-most given up by the Sun Devils defense all season.

“They run a pretty tough scheme of the power,” Young said. “That was probably one of the biggest things that we had to adjust to when we played them the first time.”

Even without the extra linemen, Stanford plays a physical brand of football upfront.

The Cardinal feature an offensive line with one sophomore, two seniors and two fifth-year seniors that averages 6-foot-6 and 305 pounds. They provide running lanes for the conference’s fourth-best rushing attack (208.5 yards per game), plus they protect the quarterback better than any other team in the conference. Junior Kevin Hogan has been sacked only 11 times in 12 games.

As the experts like to say, the Pac-12 Championship Game at Sun Devil Stadium Saturday will be won in the trenches.

That first matchup between ASU and Stanford, won by the Cardinal 42-28, was 11 weeks ago.

“This is a different team since we played Stanford. Needless to say that we’ve grown in so many ways as athletes. We’ve matured. I think we understand the game better,” Young said.

And have performed better, too.

The Sun Devil defense has held four of their last seven opponents under 100 yards on the ground.

Facing physical power-running football teams like Stanford, Wisconsin and Notre Dame has prepared ASU for what awaits in two days, according to Bradford.

“We got a feel for it and now we know how to beat it,” he said.

Penguin Air


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona State Football

Michael Matus #91 of the Arizona State Sun Devils looks on before the game against the Washington H...
Jake Anderson

ASU football senior DE Michael Matus out for season due to knee injury

Arizona State Sun Devils DE Michael Matus will miss the entire 2022 season due to a knee injury, head coach Herm Edwards announced on Monday.
13 hours ago
Utah quarterback Cameron Rising warms ups before the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game against O...
Associated Press

AP college football rankings: Utah Utes lead Pac-12 in preseason poll

The Pac-12 favorite Utah Utes came in at No. 7 in The Associated Press preseason college football rankings released Monday.
13 hours ago
Offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson #77 of the Arizona State Sun Devils reacts as he runs on to th...
Arizona Sports

ASU’s LaDarius Henderson named to Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award watch list

ASU offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson was named to the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award preseason watch list ahead of the 2022 season.
2 days ago
Quarterback Graham Mertz #5 of the Wisconsin Badgers is sacked by defensive linemen Joe Moore #58 a...
Jake Anderson

D-line has to be ‘catalyst’ if ASU wants to repeat as best defense in Pac-12

The D-line will have to be the "catalyst" for ASU if it hopes to be the best defense in the Pac-12 for a second consecutive year.
2 days ago
Colorado running back Alex Fontenot runs away from Arizona State linebacker Merlin Robertson (8) in...
Arizona Sports

ESPN picks ASU’s, Arizona’s best 2023 NFL Draft prospects

Arizona and Arizona State are on different trajectories heading into the 2022 season, but both teams have potential NFL prospects.
4 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils tight end Messiah Swinson catches a ball during ASU fall camp practice in ...
Jake Anderson

Arizona State’s offense starting to click, TE Messiah Swinson an X-factor

ASU's offense is finally starting to click as the team completes its second week of fall camp, including the first practice in full pads.
4 days ago
ASU defense ready for the challenge presented by Stanford’s power running game