Both ASU and OR feature high-powered offenses with porous defenses, and both were led by freshmen with very little experience under their belts.
The Arizona State Sun Devils take on the Oregon Ducks in one of the college football games on Saturday, October 29, 2016 start time at 5:00 PM ET, at Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon. With the defeat, the Sun Devils (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) have lost three games in a row and four of their last five.
Although Oregon still struggled at giving up big plays at times, which turned out to be key for the Sun Devils' offensive drives, the Ducks' defense played their hearts out. "I'm just glad that we got the win".
"It's vital that we get our guys back healthy", Graham said. But the game ended on a disappointing note when he was intercepted by Jordan Kunaszyk on the final play of the game.
For every pressure, ASU generated, it blew a coverage down field, confounding Graham and leaving him with simplistic terms for describing the defensive effort. "We gave it everything we had", Brooks-James said after the game. "That is a very unsavory practice they have, so we'll have to do what we can to defend against it". OR pushed Arizona State to third and fourth down situations 14 times, while capturing three key interceptions.
In the fourth quarter, with his team down by 19 and needing points, Graham unleashed Sterling-Cole.
Sterling-Cole's first career TD pass was a 9-yarder to fellow freshman N'Keal Harry that drew the Sun Devils closer at 33-28 early in the fourth quarter.
Ballage took notice, praising his young signal caller for picking up the mantle from redshirt sophomore Manny Wilkins so quickly.
"I think the best part was the win, " Herbert said afterward. "He did a lot of preparing this week, a lot of stuff after hours that he had to come up and watch extra film and do a lot of things. But I think it's very unfair to make that comparison on the field yet".
Arizona State has dropped five straight Pac-12 road games.They are 0-3 this year on the road for the first time since 2008.
Oregon, initiated by a run by Herbert, made sure he never got that chance.
Kalen Ballage would find the endzone on the ground for Arizona State on their second drive of the game to tie the game at 7.
Once again, the ball was placed in Sterling-Cole's hands, but he could not claw ASU back any more.
ASU now gets a much-needed reprieve in the form of their bye week, allowing their 10 injured starters a chance to heal up before their next game, a November 10 Thursday night battle against Utah in Tempe that is also ASU's final home game of the year. But more often through the afternoon, he looked and played like a true freshman in his first ever start. "But I told them, "I'm really sick of talking about heart'". "I hadn't practiced with the No. 1 guys as much as I would have liked to".