Arizona State Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Arizona State Sun Devils  


Arizona State plucked Todd Graham from the University of Pittsburgh last offseason.  It looks like it was a good move.  He finished his first campaign with a 7-5 record and a victory over rival Arizona.  That is pretty impressive.  There has not been much to speak of in recent years with the Sun Devils.  They have been average at best.  Under Graham, their trajectory looks good.  They started really strong at 5-1 and then hit a losing streak that has plagued this program in recent years.  Luckily, this version is a bit more resilient.  They finished the season with two convincing wins to reach the seven win mark since their 10-win season in 2007.

2012 Record: 7-5, 5-4
Coach: Todd Graham
Coach Bowl Record: 3-1

Big Wins: 9/29 at California (27-17), 11/23 at Arizona (41-34)
Bad Losses: 10/27 UCLA (43-45), 11/10 at USC (17-38)

Arizona State is the only team other than Stanford in the Pac-12 to field a grueling defense.  The Sun Devils are not quite as stingy as Stanford is, but they have some impressive numbers of their own.  Their pass pressure is better than just about anyone in the entire country.  They lead the conference and the country in sacks and are second in tackles for loss.  Will Sutton, a future pro prospect on the defensive line, led the way with 10 sacks.  That is from a down lineman position.  Linebacking compatriots Carl Bradford and Brandon Magee helped to clean up anything Sutton left over.  They had four players average close to a negative yardage tackle per game.  They also wield a top 12 pass defense nationally.  At 179 yards per game, that is peanuts for an opposing offense.  They were second in the conference in total yards allowed at just over 350.  Offensively, they were not spectacular, but quarterback Taylor Kelly and his crew were able to score 36 points per game, which is a pretty decent total in the Pac-12.  That number will keep a team in most games.

The one area of the defense that could use a little work is the run defense.  With all of the pressure the interior of the line puts on quarterbacks, they have a difficult time stuffing the run game.  Opponents averaged over 160 yards on the ground this season.  That is not a terrible total, but it keeps their offense off of the field when the opponent is running well.  In the Arizona game, they gave up 292 yards on the ground.  That is 5.1 yards per carry.  They allowed 406 rushing yards to Oregon.  Good rushing teams have given the Sun Devils a problem this season.  The offensive line is also not holding up in pass protection.  Taylor Kelly is having a problem staying in the pocket.  He gets sacked almost four times per game.  The Sun Devils could also be a little bit more disciplined as a team. The last two weeks alone have yielded 11 penalties for 116 yards.  Arizona State is not good enough to gift yards to another team be it offensively or defensively.  If they shore that up they might be able to do more damage on the scoreboard.  

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Cameron Marshall, RB, 524 yards
Passing: Taylor Kelly, QB, 2,772 yards
Receiving: Chris Coyle, WR, 659 yards
Tackles: Brandon Magee, LB, 104
Sacks: Carl Bradford, LB, 10.5; Will Sutton, DT, 10.5
Interceptions: Keelan Johnson, S, 5

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 190.75 (38th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 258.50 (47, 6)
Total Offense: 449.25 (32, 5)
Scoring Offense: 36.42 (22, 3)
Rushing Defense: 172.00 (78, 10)
Pass Defense: 178.83 (12, 1)
Total Defense: 350.83 (27, 2)
Scoring Defense: 24.00 (43, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.50 (37, 5)
Sacks: 4.00 (2, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 3.17 (110, 8)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Las Vegas Bowl    Boise State (24-56)
2007    Holiday Bowl        Texas (34-52)
2006    Hawaii Bowl         Hawaii (24-41)
2005    Insight Bowl        Rutgers (45-40)
2004    Sun Bowl            Purdue (27-23)

*all team stats through 11/24


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