It was a game Frank Kush has got to be happy about.
With a rush-to-pass ratio of 47-32 and San Jose State defenders unable to take down Ryan Torain at the line of scrimmage all night, the Arizona State Sun Devils systematically and efficiently beat the Spartans 45-3 last night.
Torain looked like an absolute beast last night. He hit holes with lightning speed, broke tackles and just plain looked too good for San Jose State to stop him. The senior running back ended the night with 123 yards and three touchdowns, and that doesn't include a fourth TD that was called back due to a holding penalty.
In previous seasons, that kind of penalty would have thrown off the Devils offense for the rest of the drive. However, on the very next play after the Torain touchdown was called back, Rudy Carpenter hit Mike Jones with a touchdown pass.
The words of the night were "resiliency" and "efficiency." The Devils looked much more disciplined, losing only 40 yards to penalties on five flags all night; a refreshing change from the ASU Flag Fiestas of previous years. Sun Devil receivers ran crisp routes, the offensive line was quick to open holes for Torain and Keegan Herring and the ASU defense, as expected, looked quick in coverage and solid in the box.
On the efficiency front, the Devils controlled the clock, holding onto the ball in excess of 37 minutes. Carpenter's passes were on target for the most part, going 14/20 with two touchdowns and no picks. Two of those incomplete passes can be attributed to two dropped passes by Brent Miller and one that was broken up nicely by the SJSU secondary. Carpenter looked unafraid of throwing toward Dwight Lowery, as the Spartans put him on an island for most of the night.
Defensively, the Devils got constant pressure on Spartans quarterback Adam Tafralis and knocked stud running back Yonus Davis out of the game early in the first quarter. Davis could be seen limping to the locker room midway through the first quarter. Tafralis didn't throw anywhere near Josh Barrett on any of his 13 attempts, but Robert James and David Smith picked up that slack, both picking off passes from the Spartans senior QB. For Smith, it was his second consecutive regular season game with an interception, going back to the UA game in 2006.
Video highlights from last night's game will be posted late tomorrow night.