ASU Football Loses to Fresno State As Injuries Stack Up

While college coaches try to control as much as they can, so much depends on the hand they dealt throughout the season. 

Three games in, and Kenny Dillingham is playing Texas Hold ‘Em with a two-card that’s ripped in half and an Uno card. 

The first-year head coach called Drew Pyne’s injury back at Camp Tontozona a “curveball.” 

Little did he know the injury barrage awaiting the team as Week 3 wrapped with a 29-0 loss to Fresno State.

Ben Coleman
Jordyn Tyson
Anthonie Cooper
Aaron Frost
Emmit Bohle
Isaia Glass
Cade Briggs
Jaden Rashada
Jalin Conyers
DeCarlos Brooks
Clayton Smith
Trenton Bourguet
Drew Pyne (again)
Melquan Stovall
Tevin White
Joey Ramos
Max Iheanachor
Bryce Pierre

All these players were either unable for Saturday’s game or injured during the game. It was at the point that the ultra-aggressive Dillingham opted not to push to score at the end of the game – and prevent a shutout – because if another offensive lineman got hurt, ASU would not be able to practice this upcoming week.

The plan was for Trenton Bourguet and Pyne to split reps throughout the game after it was revealed Jaden Rashada would be out due to injury. That plan went away quickly when Bourguet left the field on crutches in the 1st quarter. 

Pyne went 5/13 with two interceptions and two fumbles lost. He injured his lower leg and fourth-string quarterback Jacob Conover came in the game. In total, the Sun Devils turned the ball over eight times.

Perhaps the most surprising part? The 29-0 could have been a lot worse. 

The defense actually played pretty well. But when an offense has six turnovers, the defense can only do so much. 

“Eight turnovers. Giving up 29 points. that’s remarkable,” Dillingham said.

For those who know Fresno State – and Chandler High School alum – Mikey Keene, this was a very Mikey performance. 

Keene threw for 289 yards on 32/49 passing and two touchdowns. He protected the ball well and continued to have positive drives that resulted in points. While he would admit he has plenty to work on to turn those field goals into touchdowns, he hung 29 on the opponent. 

Where do the Sun Devils go moving forward?

Jaden Rashada is out 4-6 weeks at least and will likely only appear in two more games maximum this year to preserve his redshirt status. Trenton Bourguet’s status is unclear with a lower leg injury. As is Drew Pyne, who suffered a muscular injury on his right leg, the same leg where he had a hamstring injury at Camp Tontozona.

Currently Jacob Conover is the next QB up. He led the Sun Devils with 89 passing yards and threw two interceptions. It’s almost a certainty that if he is tabbed to start, he is in a much better position than he was on Saturday where he has a full week to prepare, but how much can this offense do with anyone under center given the piling injuries? 

That’s likely task 1, 2, 3 and 4 for Dillingham this week.

He hasn’t used the injuries as an excuse, and he knows despite the offense that looks more like a hospital wing right now, the Sun Devils need to figure out a way to score. 

“I literally couldn’t even explain how (those injuries are) possible,” Dillingham said. “We’re going to get it fixed. I’m going to get it fixed. That’s a guarantee to get it fixed.”