Getting shut out on national television is never fun. Being shut out because you turned the ball over five times is even less fun. Getting shut out because you turned the ball over five times just two weeks after laying an egg in your other biggest game of the year downright sucks.
Nobody is happy with the way ASU played against USC or against Cal. The games weren't even close. The Devils looked scared and unfocused against the Trojans and incompetent against the Bears. As fans, we expect more. We want the team to at least be competitive. We're upset that the Devils couldn't give either highly ranked team a good game.
The Sun Devils just aren't ready to make that kind of statement, yet.
There. I said it. ASU is just not ready to beat a top five team on the road. In fact, they aren't really ready to make it much of a game. Accept it. Now, move on.
The schedule makers were not kind to ASU this year. The Devils play one of the most difficult schedules in the nation and their conference road games include the three other best teams in the conference – Oregon, USC, and Cal. The Devils won one of those three. The other two losses are behind us.
It is now time to look forward and take a long-term view of this season and the program. The Devils can still win nine games and reach the Holiday Bowl. Almost all ASU fans would have been elated if you had told them this at the beginning of the season. And this is being done by a team with only thirteen seniors. Ask Cal how important seniors are to a successful team.
In other words, we should be pretty happy with the way this season has gone. Would we have liked for the Devils to perform better in their two "big games?" Of course. Should it taint our overall view of the season? I don't think so.
The Devils, barring a major meltdown, will reach almost every pre-season goal set by the fans, even surpassing many people's expectations. So, it's been a successful season so far and one that lays a solid foundation for Koetter's classes to build upon.
The Trees visit this weekend for Homecoming. The Pat Tillman game against WSU is next. The season ends against a team that has yet to beat a D-1A opponent. Let's root our Devils to a nine win season and be happy with ASU exceeding expectations.
It's easy to always want more. It's now up to the Devils to end on a positive note and for the fans to appreciate how positive
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