“MY O-LINE IS BETTER THAN YOURS”
That’s the last line in Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin’s Instagram bio.
A merciless statement that channels the success he’s had this season.
In week five of this football season, ASU hosted Oregon State and won, 52-24. But it’s not the blowout score that should’ve been the takeaway from that game. It’s the performance by Benjamin.
The running back walked away with 30 carries for 312 yards and three touchdowns.
He broke a 45-year record at ASU, becoming the first Sun Devil to have a 300-yard rushing game in a win.
In helping him achieve this, his offensive line.
In the trenches is LT Zach Robertson, LG Alex Losoya, C Cohl Cabral, RG Steve Miller and RT Quinn Bailey.
Even without starting left tackle Casey Tucker, the offensive line has been able to consistently produce opportunities for Benjamin and his quarterback Manny Wilkins.
In their game against the Beavers, ASU totaled 396 rushing yards with help from the offensive line. And recalling the rush yards from Benjamin, he had almost 80 percent of all rush yards.
After that game, Benjamin was named Pac-12 player of week. And since then, he’s been added to the Maxwell Award Watch List.
The Texas native has led the Sun Devils in rushing yards every game this season. And, in total, he has 715 yards on the season.
Collectively, Arizona State has 1,147 rushing yards gained through the first six weeks. Benjamin owns 62 percent of them.
Under former coach Todd Graham, a run game wasn’t on the forefront as it is under first-year head coach Herm Edwards.
Edwards has mentioned in press conferences that establishing a ground game can be the key Arizona State needs to dominate on offense.
The team is 3-3 on the season and 1-2 in conference play, but the rebuild under Edwards has a sort of leniency to the Sun Devils.
They’ve had a few shining moments in these first six weeks. One came as an upset against a ranked Michigan State Spartans team. ASU sent MSU home with a 16-13 loss. And right next to that was the record-breaking game from Benjamin.
He’s on route to rush for over 1,000 yards this season, but it’s no surprise to those around him that he’s gotten to this point.
Benjamin came out of Wylie East High School in Texas. Throughout his first three seasons, he was positioned at running back but this was soon to change.
The team didn’t have a quarterback set in stone, and Benjamin wanted to play the part.
Over his high school career, Benjamin totaled 7,546 rushing yards and scored 111 total touchdowns. He rushed for 2,604 yards and tallied 32 touchdowns as a senior, later to be named 5A state Offensive Player of the Year.
He was selected to the West roster in the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Bowl, playing alongside fellow ASU signees PK Brandon Ruiz and DB Kaelib Jarrell.
A popular trend gaining momentum among high school athletes is to graduate early to then enroll at a university early. This is what the Texas native did.
Now, he’s dominating the run game as a sophomore.
He’s already proved to be a key target with this new Sun Devil offense, but seems to be only increasing week after week.
Benjamin and the Sun Devils will have some tough tests to face throughout the remainder of the season, but it doesn’t seem to be phasing them at all.
Time to see if this running back can help put Arizona State back on the map.