Las Vegas Bowl thoughts (Long)

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Posted by Sun Devil P.A.T. on December 17, 18 at 10:43:58:

Sun Devil fans,

I attended the game in Las Vegas on Saturday. First of all, the weather was spectacular! I also attended the 2011 game against Boise State there, it was a night game, was cold as I've been at a football game in a long time, wind was blowing like hell most of the game. It was almost as brutal as ASU's performance that night (24-56 loss to Boise State).

Fresno State is a very good football team! We all knew that a Jeff Tedford coached team would be good. All you have to do is look at his teams at California, when he coached there, to know they would be good. With Saturday's 31-20 win over ASU, Coach Tedford is now 9-2 against the Sun Devils all time. That's ownership.

The game was lost in the third quarter. Anytime, you get 3 turnovers in one quarter, and score only 3 points off of those turnovers, you are in trouble. When Chase Lucas intercepted a Fresno State pass late in the third quarter, with ASU leading 20-17, I told the guy sitting next to me, if ASU drives for a touchdown, they can win this game. Well, ASU didn't even get a first down. The Sun Devils punted back to the Bulldogs, and a couple of plays later, their stud running back went 68 yards up the gut for the go ahead touchdown. There was 1:00 to go in the third quarter, ASU was now trailing 20-24, but it felt like the Sun Devils had let the game get away from them in a matter of about 5 or 6 snaps.

Fresno State's defense is really good. The Bulldogs defense dominated the ASU offense in the second half. If not for an interception by Croswell, ASU wouldn't have scored a point in the second half. ASU's defense wore down in the fourth quarter because they had been on the field almost the entire second half of the game. The Sun Devils played hard, but I expect them to play hard every game. It's sad that ASU fans have almost been conditioned to "hope" that the team plays hard at a bowl game. See recent no shows at the Holiday Bowl (Texas in 2007, Texas Tech in 2013), Las Vegas Bowl (2011), and Sun Bowl (2017) as examples of what I'm talking about with that statement.

Lastly, I've said it before and I'll say it again, ASU needs to start WINNING bowl games again! With Saturday's loss to Fresno State, the Sun Devils are now 5-11 since losing to the Buckeyes in the 1997 Rose Bowl. 4-10 in their last 14 bowl games, and 2-7 in their last 9 bowl games. Like it or not, ASU is judged nationally by how well they do in bowl games, just like the Pac-12 gets judged as a conference for how well it does in bowl games. Don't believe me, check out the difference in how the talking heads at ESPN talked about the Big Ten Conference following their 3-7 bowl record in 2016, and how they talked about the Pac-12 Conference following their 1-8 bowl record in 2017. Following the 3-7 Big Ten bowl record, the talk was about how you cannot judge the strength of a conference based upon a bowl record. Last year, all you heard from the talking heads was how bad the Pac-12 was based upon their 1-8 bowl record. You NEED to win in the post season, if you want to get national respect. This (winning bowl games), along with being able to win on the road are two things that ASU football needs to change about their program, in my opinion. Go Sun Devils!


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