Arizona State had to come from behind to win Friday night at UT San Antonio 32-28. Those with maroon and gold-colored glasses will see nothing wrong with the final score or the 3-0 record. Those who are objective will be left to wonder just exactly how good the 2016 edition can be. Here are some of my takeaways from the night.
Tim White played very little but was the MVP
-Not having Tim White on the field was a BIG deal. But there’s no excuse for muffing punts just because your punt returner isn’t playing. White would come off the bench in the second half and make a couple of catches at the position. Who knew that he would be so valuable Friday night. It’s easy to say that if the Sun Devils catch the punts that the game is a blowout and that Arizona State controlled the night. One problem with that flawed logic. THEY DIDN”T CATCH THE PUNTS, so UTSA had great opportunities.
Defense did what they should against an inferior offense.
-Let’s not get carried away with the defense putting a whipping on UTSA in the fourth quarter. We are talking about U-T-S-A. A program whose offense hadn’t done much of anything before Friday nights game. Can ASU build off this toward the California game and the rest of the season? Dalton Sturm is not going to be the best quarterback that the Sun Devils will face this season and he tossed three touchdown passes against them. UTSA busted big plays, just like we saw last week against Texas Tech.
N’keal Harry needs to be fed more often
-This isn’t brain surgery, but it needs to be said. Much like Jaelen Strong, Harry can dominate a game. His 5 catches for 78 yards performance was a nice stat line. His one TD was simply an amazing play. Equal to the one-hander he had last week vs Texas Tech. Can they find a way to get him the ball more? A bad penalty wiped out a second score for Harry. He has impressed the first three weeks, what will he do against much better competition starting next week?
Bring on the Pac-12
-Now it’s time to see if the three tune up games have been able to answer the questions about this team. California, USC, and UCLA the next three weeks. The Sun Devils will likely be favored in one of the three(Cal). But I do think that there’s enough offensive talent on the roster that ASU could surprise some people. Remember, they aren’t ranked and they weren’t picked by anyone to do much this season. I am not surprised that they are 3-0, but they have looked uneven during the three weeks. It’s a team that shows some flashes and then looks mediocre at best. Can they put a complete game together? I’d like to see that…