The Georgia Bulldogs won the game and moved themselves up the ladder from the #21 spot to #18 in the rankings, but it was the Sun Devil play that got me excited.
Let me start by congratulating the Devils on their excellent game Saturday. I have to admit, I was a doubter; I didn't even expect them to do as well as they did. But I don't think I was the only one who was proven wrong and given a show to be excited about. ASU still hasn't made it up into the Top 25 polls yet, but Saturday night's game (even though it was a loss) was good enough to get ASU four big points in the AP poll (that would be good enough for 34th if the rankings didn't actually stop at 25 - and that's four more points than they had before)!
So here's my opinion of what we learned about ASU Saturday night:
Defense - We learned that ASU has a solid defense up front. Their D-line and linebackers got the job done, holding Georgia to only 92 yds rushing. However, the secondary was exposed, getting burned several times down the field including that huge 36 yd completion with a minute and a half left.With the exception of Holdin's interceptions, I wasn't impressed with the secondary.
Burfict - Speaking of defense, Have you heard of Vontaze Burfict? Is it any coincidence that his name rhymes with perfect? Maybe it is, but he really stood out Saturday night. I'd never heard of him before, but my brother-in-law was raving about him before the game even started (i think he has a man-crush). I've been all about senior linebacker Mike Nixon, but I learned he's not the only linebacker we've got. Burfict was all over the field, and came up huge helping to stop Georgia's goal line push in the 4th quarter. At 6'3" and 245 lbs, Burfict was a huge prospect coming out of High School, and though he originally committed to USC, he eventually chose ASU. Now, as a true freshman, he's definitely showing why he was a top prospect.
Quarterback - We learned that Danny Sullivan really isn't that good. He lacks poise in the pocket, he lacks agility, he doesn't scramble well when he gets flushed out of the pocket, he's not a very accurate passer, and he's not the smartest as far as quarterbacking goes. With all that said, I still think he's the best we've got. He's a senior and has been around for a few years, so he knows the play book. And though not the most athletic, he is big (6'4"), which gives him an advantage when he steps back to pass
Weber - Thomas Weber is the man. He'll be out with a groin injury for another few weeks, and that could haunt us. Over the last couple years, Weber has proved himself as one of the best kickers in the nation. And I'll just say what I think - If it were Weber kicking that field goal on Saturday night, it wouldn't have been blocked and we would have won, or at least sent it to overtime.
O-Line - How many plays did Danny Sullivan actually have time to stand in the pocket and throw? It seemed as though he was rushed on every pass play. And I won't say it wasn't to the credit of Georgia's pass rush, but ASU needs to work on pass protection. However, they're run blocking looks fairly good. Nance only ran for 92 yrds, but I felt good about their run blocking.
At any rate, with great credit to our strengths, and despite our weaknesses, towards the end of the fourth quarter, we were in position to put the game away. A few missed catches, bad throws, and a low kick led to our fall. Missed opportunities cost us the game, and I just hope we don't see these same mistakes again.
Check out the Highlight video HERE.