Jacob Thorpe’s Keys to the Game
What went right
Very little went right for the
Cougars in a game that was never particularly competitive. Freshman wide receiver River Cracraft had 78 yards including a nice 35-yard reception, and safety Deone Bucannon added an interception. But WSU’s small victories never combined to put the Cougars in a position to challenge the Sun Devils, much less win the game.
What went wrong
The Cougars came out flat and uncompetitive, giving up three straight touchdowns to the Sun Devils before putting together any semblance of a drive. No amount of adjustments or halftime inspiration was able to turn the tide as WSU went scoreless after the first drive of the second half.
This game appears to have been decided when the teams got off the bus. The Sun Devils methodically built a 21-point lead in the first quarter, while the Cougars couldn’t move the first-down markers until nearly nine minutes into the game. The game had barely started and it was clear that ASU was going to win, and win big, and WSU did nothing to dispell that notion.
WSU coach Mike Leach had high praise for ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly in the nearly two weeks leading up to the game and with good reason. The Sun Devils quarterback threw five touchdown passes and rushed for a pair, leading an efficient ASU offense that had no trouble finding the WSU end zone.