It’s official, the Sun Devils have lost 6 games in a row, the worst losing streak the school has seen since 1929. That’s 17 years before the Sun Devils became the Sun Devils, and long before they were Arizona State University.
Nonetheless, in a hugely disappointing year, the Sun Devils finally showed some heart in a last minute 25-27 defeat to Oregon State, which continues to find itself in the drivers seat for the Rose Bowl. ASU had glimpses of a running game, with DeWitty surpassing the 100yd mark and logging a 6.9yd average thanks in large part to a second half 53-yard run, by far the longest of the season for the Devils. And Rudy looked like the Carpenter of old in that last minute touchdown drive that gave the team a chance to tie with a two-point conversion.
But it was continuation of errors and bad play that extended the losing streak. Countless false start penalties pushed the offense out of its game and stalled drives. The offense couldn’t punch it in once they got to the red zone, settling for 4 field goals. The offensive line couldn’t protect Carpenter (who started 7/7 in the game), the receivers dropped passes at critical times, and the pass rush disappeared during two key series late in the game. Several bad calls by the refs didn’t help things either.
Next up for the 2-6 Sun Devils are the two worthless Washington schools who were outscored 114-0 yesterday and have just one win between them. ASU must win those two games to build some confidence for a slightly more difficult UCLA team (still a very winnable game) before the annual battle with the Wildcats. There’s no margin of error at this point, we must win all four games to be eligible for even a crappy bowl berth. However, that accomplishment is critical for this team, which desperately needs the extra 15 bowl practices to develop its young talent. Go Devils!
Edit: A preemptive addition to this post, let’s take a look at notable U of A losing streaks this decade alone:
- 5-game losing streaks: 2000, 2001, 2005
- 6-game losing streak: 2002
- 7-game losing streak: 2004
- 8-game losing streak: 2003