Sun Devils Pushed Around by Lowly New Mexico State

Those on the payroll at Arizona State will try to explain away an uninspired 37-31 season opening “win” over lowly New Mexico State on Thursday night. I get company people trying to spin what we all saw.
“There were a lot of positives on both sides of the football,” said head coach Todd Graham after the game. “The biggest thing was just sticking to what we were doing (early). We were rolling and everybody had good things that they were doing.”
Manny Wilkins and Kalen Ballage each scored two touchdowns.
Now to the numbers that are simply unacceptable. New Mexico State had 12 sacks for ALL of the 2016 season. Thursday night they threw ASU QB’s to the ground 7 times. Wilkins acknowledged there is work to do. “I just got to do a better job with the protections. Sliding to certain spots where I know I’ll be protected. You know just protect my body when I’m on the field. They did a really good job, I just got to tweak some things up on my end.”
New Mexico State rolled up 549 yards of total offense against the Sun Devils. Defensive lineman Tashon Smallwood showed some true leadership, I thought, after the game. “We’re not interested in just winning games we are trying to win championships. We got to do everything to a ‘T’. As expected, Graham pushed the positive message after the 6 point win. “The bottom line is that you go out and you’re 1-0. We’ve done a great job at defending this field. Now we have to come back and go to work and get ready for San Diego State.