Beavers deal Devils, Sullivan emotional loss‏

After seeming to build momentum in a narrow 20-17 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs last Saturday, the Sun Devils looked flat and unfocused in their Pac-10 opener against the Oregon State. Quarterback Danny Sullivan was looking to bounce back from last week's less than stellar performance against Georgia, but again struggled.

While finishing 32 of 58 for 338 yards and one touchdown and one interception, he averaged just 5.8 yards per attempt and missed on several big play opportunities throughout the entire game.

Sun Devil fans got tired of waiting for the offense to produce and began booing every time Sullivan came on the field, there were even chants of "Brock!," hoping the true freshman signal caller Brock Osweiler would enter the game.

Though the Sun Devil offense won the overall yardage battle with Oregon State 406 to 295, they struggled to get into a rhythm the whole night.

"We were moving the ball pretty well tonight actually if you think about it, but when we got across the 50 (yard line) we couldn't do anything," Sullivan said. "We need to go look at tape and figure it out.

"There were a couple that I missed, but you learn to deal with it and we still made a lot of big plays, we just got across the 50 and couldn't do anything."

The Sun Devils got off to quick starts in both of their wins against Idaho State and Louisiana Monroe, but got behind early last week in Athens, and tonight again versus the Beavers.

"There was still a lot of football left," Sullivan acknowledged. "There was still 30 minutes left when we went down and scored. Then we got the stop and we were still trying to do everything we were doing. Then of course when it got to 28-10 we had to go and throw it, and with about 10 minutes left we had to throw it. That's how the game of football is, you get behind and you have to get the ball down the field."

The lone bright spot for the Sun Devil offense was the re-emergence of wideout Chris McGaha who saw a lot of time in the slot with Kyle Williams hampered by a hamstring injury.

McGaha, who figures to get drafted by the NFL come April, caught 15 balls for 165 yards, both single game career highs.

"With Kyle (Williams) having his injury, we tried to get him the ball more," Sullivan mentioned. "He's one guy who is going to go out there and make catches. It's as simple as that. There's no question he's our best receiver to go along with a bunch of other good guys out there. If we get the ball to him, he's going to make a play.

"They played a lot of Cover-2 tonight, something they haven't done in Lord knows how long. Your basic rule when you talk to coach about it is that it's tough to get it outside. In Cover-2 they have two guys on one, so you have to work the inside."

The loss the Georgia last week gave hope for the Sun Devil fans, and many expected their team to carry that performance over to their tough Pac-10 schedule.

"We didn't have a carry over, we just didn't start fast like we needed to," Sullivan admitted. "We felt really confident after last week because that was a tough environment, it's a new week, it's a new game."

Sullivan's actions spoke louder than words on Saturday night. He refused to answer any questions about his job security, and when asked how he was feeling emotionally after the game, Sullivan paused, responded visibly upset, "I don't want to speak my mind on that right now. I'm done," and abruptly left the room.


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