10 Ways ASU Can Beat Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game
|John M. Quick via Flickr|
Arizona State University is playing for the Pac-12 championship trophy tomorrow, in a rematch with a Stanford team that just about blew up the Sun Devils earlier this year.
In anticipation of tomorrow's game, we have 10 (almost-serious) ways ASU can beat Stanford this time around:
10.) Don't Panic
Some players (but certainly not all) darn near crapped their pants after Stanford went up by a few scores early in the last match-up between these two. For example, ASU's punter at the time, Matt Haack, had to punt from his own 22-yard line, down 0-27 in the second quarter. He almost kicked it 30 yards. That's a pants-crapping. His next punt was blocked, and went out of the endzone for a safety. Don't anyone do any of that.
9.) Stay Awake in the Secondary
In the last game between these two, Stanford would run several times in a row, before dropping in the big pass. In one drive, five rushes preceded a 34-yard pass for Stanford.
8.) Get First Downs Early
You can't win if the defense barely got their rear ends off the field and you're already trying to kick the ball back to Stanford. ASU had three three-and-outs in the first half of the last game between these two, plus a four-play drive that ended in an interception.
7.) Doubt the Alleged Brilliance of Stanford
Some of these sports reporters like to rant and rave about how brilliant all of Stanford's players are, because, duh, they go to Stanford. Just consider their team name is a color, and their mascot is a tree. Not exactly Einstein-caliber stuff. Don't get caught up in the hype. They will make mistakes.
Given Stanford's extremely forceful defensive front, adequate blocking from ASU's O-line requires them to be somewhere between normal humans and super-humans. And that's exactly what we, as fans, are asking for.
5.) Make a Signature Play
Pick-six? Punt return TD? Field goal block? Those are the plays that make you feel like you're going to win. Go ahead and make one or more.
4.) Protect the Football Like a Newborn Baby
Rule number one: Don't give your newborn baby to strangers.
3.) Go DJ (and De'Marieya)
Marion Grice rushed for just 50 yards in the first match-up. That ain't gonna cut it. But if you watched DJ Foster and De'Marieya Nelson in last week's pummeling of U of A (124 yards on 23 carries, and 35 yards on eight carries, respectively), then you know there's hope for them tomorrow.
2.) Have the Fans Help Out
There hasn't been a game like this in Tempe for ASU fans for years. They'll be there in force, many of them with their tanks full of alcohol. They'll be helping with general loudness.
1.) Score More Points Than Stanford
No one says this is easy, but our research shows this method actually works 100 percent of the time.
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.