Arizona State Sun Devils' Defense Key To Victory vs. Oregon State Beavers

By Joseph Lisi
Arizona State
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The no. 19 Arizona State Sun Devils were poised and confident entering their game with their PAC-12 rival, the Oregon State Beavers. The week before, the Sun Devils had a stunning fourth-quarter comeback in Salt Lake City that propelled the team to the 20-19 victory over the Utah Utes.

The Sun Devils were looking to carry that momentum into their home game with the Beavers. Arizona State had an unblemished record at home (5-0) and led by their opportunistic defense, pounded Oregon State 30-17 for the decisive victory.

The Sun Devils’ defense imposed their will from the opening kickoff. The defensive line led by defensive tackle Will Sutton manhandled the Beavers’ offensive line and created pressure in the pocket for Beavers quarterback Sean Mannion. Mannion was forced into making quick reads and was throwing into double coverage all evening long. The Sun Devils were able to get pressure from their interior line, which allowed the Sun Devils linebackers to roam free and make plays.

Entering the game with Arizona State, the Beavers were averaging 437.7 total yards per game. On Saturday night, the Sun Devils’ defense clamped down on the Beavers’ passing attack, holding Oregon State to 139 total yards in the first half. Of the Beavers’ seven first-half possessions, the Sun Devils forced Oregon State to four punts, two turnovers and a field goal in opening up a 20-3 halftime lead.

Arizona State’s secondary did an excellent job in playing man-to-man coverage as the Sun Devils forced five Oregon State turnovers (four interceptions, fumble) on the night. The Sun Devils held Oregon State to 390 total yards for the game and held the Beavers to 5-of-14 on third-down conversions (35.7 percent). Mannion was harassed throughout the evening and finished the game completing 31-of-46 passes for 320 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions.

Arizona State moved to 8-2 on the season and 6-1 in PAC-12 play.

Joseph Lisi is a writer for, follow him on Twitter @GoForthe2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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