Don Hansen

Week 12 ASU Stats Notebook

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The “Sun Devil Stats Notebook” series looks at some key statistics throughout the 2014 Sun Devil season.

Key Notre Dame Game Stat

The Arizona State Sun Devils defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 55-31 last Saturday. The emotional game swung back and forth with the Sun Devils emerging victorious. Like a heavyweight title fight, the teams traded punches shifting the momentum throughout the stadium. Notre Dame, with its highly skilled players and terrific coaching staff, is never out of a game. The graph below shows the major swings in scoring. Notre Dame started the game with three points. Next, the Sun Devils responded with 34 straight points. Then, the Fighting Irish lived up to their name, making major adjustments, and scored 28 straight points. Finally, the Sun Devils finished the Irish off in the fourth quarter with 21 unanswered points to close the game out in front of the home sellout crowd.

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Polls

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coaches

Here are some key takeaways when looking at the polls:

  • The Sun Devils find themselves at #7 in the AP Poll and #8 in the Coaches Poll.
  • Notable Pac-12 Writers and their Arizona State rankings: Ringo (8th), Wolf (8th), Wilner (9th), Berk (6th), Jude (7th)
  • The Sun Devils are now 4-1 against ranked opponents this season with wins over USC, Stanford, Utah, and Notre Dame.
  • The College Football Playoff will release new rankings later on today. Last week, the Sun Devils were ranked 9th by the committee, and the committee stated Arizona State was ranked higher than Notre Dame due to the Sun Devils looking better than the Irish against a common opponent, Stanford. Now, how will the committee view the Sun Devils big victory against Notre Dame at home when analyzing Florida State, who narrowly defeated Notre Dame? On the flip side, how will the committee view the Sun Devils narrow, overtime win over Utah after the Oregon Ducks went into Rice-Eccles Stadium and destroyed the Utes 51-27.
  • Again, if Arizona State wins out, there is no reason the potential Pac-12 Champion Sun Devils will not be included in the final four of the CFP as they would be 6-1 against ranked opponents.

Cumulative Team Stats

offplaycallsseasonThe rushing data continues trending upward to where Todd Graham team’s have been his entire head coaching career (53%-55% run / 45-47% pass) with multiple offensive coordinators. Check out the offensive play calling for the past four games:

offplaycallslast4The Sun Devils seem to be stronger than their opponents late in games, and the new emphasis on the run helps tire opposing defenses out.

qbpassThe passing offense continues to be geared toward the wide receivers and running backs as the team wants the ball in the hands of Jaelen Strong or DJ Foster. The tight ends did grab three balls this week. One of the three catches went for a first down while the other two receptions were just one yard shy of getting that first down. As discussed last week, this is a critical component in this offense that creates the necessary offensive balance to open up room for Foster in the middle of the field.

tflsThe tackles for loss distribution across the defense remains essentially the same from the past three weeks. With nine new defensive starters this season, the Sun Devils defensive is now ranked FOURTH in the nation with 8.11 tackles for loss per game. That number is higher than last season’s 7.21 tackles for loss per game which was 18th in the nation.

Week by Week Trending Metrics

The following line graphs continue to track important offensive and defensive metrics for the Sun Devils.

The Sun Devil offense managed to rush for 4.18 yards per attempt against the Notre Dame defense. DJ Foster rushed for 120 yards on 21 attempts which was his first game over the 100 yard mark since the Colorado match-up on September 13th.

offmetricsThe attacking Sun Devil defense is trending upward. Since the disaster against UCLA, the defense continues to improve. Examining tackles for loss and sacks, the dashed trendlines below show the defense is playing as a unit and getting more tackles for loss and sacks. Coaches want their teams peaking toward the end of the season and the Sun Devil defense appears to be doing just that by making more defensive plays each game.

defmetricsWhat other statistics do you want to see us look into? Post a message below and let us know.

About Don Hansen

Don Hansen

Don is a 2003 graduate of Arizona State University where he spent four years sitting in the front rows of many ASU athletic events leading the rowdy student section. Now, Don co-hosts the "ASU Devils Den" podcast covering every detail of ASU football. Don works and resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his beautiful Sun Devil wife and their two beautiful daughters!

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