Record night for McGaha in loss

One of the lone bright spots in ASU's 28-17 loss to Oregon State was the play of Chris McGaha. For the first three games the senior was surprisingly quiet in the team's passing game, but on Saturday he caught 15 passes for 165 yards, both career highs. The wide receiver admitted that playing a new role on Saturday contributed to his impressive performance.

It was only the second time Chris McGaha eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark, but his 15 catches are now the second-most receptions in a game by a Sun Devil behind only Ron Fair, who pulled down 19 passes for 277 yards against Washington State in 1989.

"Kyle Williams wasn't feeling 100 percent so I moved inside for this game," McGaha said. "A lot of offense (runs) inside and that's why Kyle was so successful and I just got the opportunity today."

McGaha added that despite his production, not having Williams for the entire game did affect Arizona State's plans of employing a four-wide receiver alignment in the game, among other things.

"A lot of guys had to play a lot of time," McGaha explained, "and he's a great player for us. He can make things happen, special teams, anywhere. I respect him because he went out there trying to do what he could and I know he wasn't 100 percent."

Quarterback Danny Sullivan had a record day of his own in yards (338), completions (32) and attempts (58), yet was scolded by the Sun Devil fans on Saturday for his struggles. The wide receiver doesn't believe that the senior should have been scorned as much as he had in this game.

"I don't think the criticism is fair," McGaha stated. "We could do some stuff to help him out and I feel bad for him. He manages the game well and we just have to make plays for him.

"I know he's pretty upset obviously, because the whole crowd is chanting ‘Brock' (Osweiler Sullivan's backup). I felt bad for him because I knew he was playing his heart out and I'm just there trying to make plays for him, just like everybody else. I know Danny didn't give up on us and we won't give up on him."

The senior added that the team hasn't lost confidence in their quarterback and collectively they have shown their support to him. . "If he has support, he'll have the confidence to make plays," McGaha explained.

McGaha claimed that the offense is simply "shooting itself in the foot" which is why it had struggled the last two contests, both losses.

"We had some good drives," he remarked, "And once we pass the 50-yard line we have penalties, turn the ball over…we can't get a full drive together.

"We have to start fast too and Oregon State came out and started extremely fast. By the time the first half was over we were playing catch up and I think we just ran out of the time."

The wide receiver personally felt he was prepared for the game versus the Beavers, as were his teammates, but naturally admitted that the first half proved the contrary. The apparent lack of explosiveness on offense, according to McGaha, is in part due to the inability to run the ball.

"Or else they play cover-two and we can't go deep," McGaha commented. "Just can't do it."

McGaha had a nagging foot injury in 2008, yet claimed that he is as healthy as he has been since arriving at ASU. He did suffer a rib injury which was properly repositioned by the team's Chiropractor immediately after the game.

Naturally McGaha stated that his record night "doesn't mean anything" in a losing effort. "I'm sure later on it will mean something but right now I'm bitter about the loss," McGaha said. "We needed to start off (in Pac-10 play) good. We needed to start off with a win. We didn't do it and it hurts."


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