Devils overcome sluggish performance

"Brocktober" got off to a slow start at Sun Devils Stadium on Saturday night but ultimately the maroon and gold were able to make the necessary adjustments to defeat the Oregon State Beavers 35-40.

It wasn't unusual to see the Sun Devils come out to a lackluster start and tonight's matchup was no different. The offense was unable to put points on the board, not scoring until the second quarter when quarterback Brock Osweiler connected with wide receiver A.J. Pickens for a 17-yard TD.

"We just couldn't get rolling," Osweiler said. "I was making some bad errors and Oregon State schemed up pretty well. At times it seemed like they knew what was coming so that's a credit to them but I was just making errors I cant make but I learned from it and we got the win tonight. It's always easier to learn when you get the win and it shows a lot of character from what this team fought through tonight."

Despite preparing to face the Beavers defensive unit all week, the maroon and gold struggled in the first half to find a way around their opponent. Osweiler admitted his unit was caught off guard by things they had not seen from the Beavers in the past.

"They ran their base coverage's like we expected," Osweiler began. "But at times they would drop a lineman rather than rush him. But as far as going into this game we knew on third down they were a big man team, they stuck to that but as far as first and second down they did a lot of different stuff with their defensive line and I think that was the biggest thing we weren't prepared for. They hadn't showed that on film and they didn't do that last year when we played them."

The Sun Devils lost their center, Garth Gerhart, to an ankle injury in the first quarter and although the senior was unable to return to the game, his backup Kody Koebensky stepped in to fill the vacancy.

"I think Kody played great," Osweiler commented. "Its tough to replace a guy like Garth when he plays with the caliber that he does but Kody came in, didn't miss a beat and got all the calls right tonight. He executed and played very well."

Despite losing a key member of their offensive line, luckily the run game didn't miss a beat. Cameron Marshall, who has been phenomenal so far this season with 5 TD's in the last two games alone, had one of the most amazing plays of the game evading numerous defenders during his 37-yard TD run.

"That might have been the coolest football play I've ever seen and I have a pretty good view from where I sit," Osweiler said of his teammate. "Cam made an absolute unbelievable football play. I don't know how many guys he ran through but I think I saw at least 4 or 5. He had this determination that he wasn't going down and Cameron is a very special player and it was pretty cool to watch."

Many would say it was the most impressive run of Marshall's career and the junior running back would have to agree.

"That was probably my favorite run I've ever had," Marshal said. "It felt good and I just kept moving my feet and guys were bouncing off of me and I was able to put it in the end zone."

Marshall, who has been unable to participate in most practices throughout the week while he rehabilitates a sprained ankle but by the looks of his performance on Saturday's it's nearly impossible to tell.

"I've just been preparing and praying a lot this week," Marshall admitted. "God really got me through this week I can honestly say that. Yeah I'm beat up right now but I sure every running back in the nation is beat up right now so that's just part of the position so you just roll with it."

Defensively, the maroon and gold were able to dominate the Beavers with five turnovers including four interceptions.

"As a defense that is what we want," commented safety Clint Floyd. "We want turnovers so we can put our offense in the best position possible so as long as we get turnovers, everything is going to go good for us.

"We would have had these guys out of the game early if we would have caught the ball and did what we had to do. But we came out in the end when it matters most and did what we had to do."

Throughout the week at practice, cornerback Alden Darby joined the outside linebacker group, allowing the Sun Devil defense to have another defensive back on the field playing the nickel position to slow down the Beavers' offense.

"It was great," Floyd said of his teammate. "He's fast so it helped us out there because we needed another DB back there. They're a vertical team and they were going to try to throw downfield so having Darby as a nickleback helped us a lot just in coverage and everything."

Darby's switch in position was kept a secret all week in order to catch the Beavers off guard, which proved effective. Darby has his first career interception and added on another at the end of the fourth quarter.

"After my first one, which was my first one as a division 1 football player, I went back to the sidelines," Darby said. "I was overwhelmed and smiling with joy because it was my first interception but I didn't want to relax because I was still hungry, trying to make tackles and make plays.

"That brought my energy up a lot after the first pick and it put a lot of confidence in me so I just knew if I did my job it'd probably come back to me again. I have a lot of appreciate for my defensive line for putting pressure on the quarterback so thanks to them."

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