Arizona State hosted Stanford last Thursday night, just to be outplayed by the Cardinal. Stanford won 20-13 because they simply just were better.
Stanford capitalized on a few key drives that set them up for scores. It was able to limit the Sun Devils on offense and got to take advantage of some holes left by the ASU defense.
The first half started out fairly slow for both teams, as ASU was limited to a field goal and Stanford to six points. Quarterback Manny Wilkins threw for 353 yards, but the Sun Devils were hurt by three turnovers.
Stanford running back Bryce Love was not fully healthy the game in Tempe, but he did play in the first half before head coach David Shaw sat him after halftime. He finished with 11 carries for 21 yards.
Following the loss to Stanford, the Sun Devils are 1-3 in conference play and after the 2-0 start under first-year head coach Herm Edwards, the tone about this team and this season have changed. Many were on board with the hiring of Edwards but are starting to realize that it still will take some time to turn this football program around.
Manny Wilkins, Quarterback
Week 7 Stats vs. Stanford: 26/43, 353 YDS, 1 RUSH TD, 1 INT
Wilkins and his offense couldn’t get anything going throughout most of the game, especially in the first half. ASU was held to two field goals through the first three quarters until Wilkins ran it in for a 10-yard score in the fourth. At the end of the second quarter, a pass intended for N’Keal Harry was intercepted by linebacker Sean Barton leading to a Stanford field goal.
Grade vs. Stanford: B-
Draft Stock: 6th – 7th Round
USC Matchup Preview: Quarterback JT Daniels is currently under concussion protocol and seems like an unlikely starter for Saturday night’s game. If Daniels can’t go, the Trojans will tab third string QB Jack Sears as the starter with backup Matt Fink injured with several broken ribs.
The Trojans are bringing a good defense that Wilkins, and his offensive line, will need to be ready for. Linebacker Cameron Smith and cornerback Iman Marshall have helped lead the USC defense throughout the season, and they should be a tough test for Wilkins. If he can work against a good defense, Wilkins has the opportunity to shine on offense on Saturday night.
N’Keal Harry, Wide Receiver
Week 7 Stats vs. Stanford: 8 REC, 91 YDS
Harry had a better game against Stanford than the previous week versus Colorado. He’s been limited in his yardage as Edwards has been utilizing the run game with his offense, but Harry was able to lead the Sun Devils in receiving yards on Thursday night. ASU was on its way to a potential, scoring drive but Wilkins threw that key interception. Harry’s longest catch was for 28 yards.
Grade vs. Stanford: B-
Draft Stock: 2nd Round
USC Matchup Preview: Harry will be utilized more against the Trojans. With USC’s offensive situation going on with Daniels, the Sun Devils have an opening to dominate on offense, which includes Harry.
He shouldn’t have a hard time leading the team, again, in receiving yards, but he’s going to have a true test against Smith and company. USC will be leaning heavily on their defense to win this game and Harry will be up against a tough test trying to work through good coverage from the Trojans.
Eno Benjamin, Running Back
Week 7 Stats vs. Stanford: 11 CAR, 38 YDS
Thursday night’s game was one of the most limited this season for Eno Benjamin. This is the first game all season where he didn’t lead the team in rushing yards behind Wilkins’ 41 yards rushing. Looking at the outcome of the game and what ASU was able to produce on the field, Benjamin didn’t do much to put a dent in the impact of the Sun Devil offense.
Grade vs. Stanford: C
Draft Stock: 6th Round
USC Matchup Preview: Benjamin could struggle against the USC defense. The Trojans lost to a 23rd ranked Utah last week, but they should be doing everything in their power to win the game through their defense against ASU. Linebacker Porter Gustin is sidelined with a season-ending ankle injury weakens the Trojan defense but not enough for Benjamin to have a big day.
Chase Lucas, Defensive Back
Week 7 Stats vs. Stanford: 6 TACKLES, 5 SOLO
Chase Lucas was able to help the Sun Devils make some notable stops against the Cardinal. He was outpaced by safety Jalen Harvey against Stanford in tackles, but Lucas was able to get five solos to his credit and forced an incompletion.
Grade vs. Stanford: B
Draft Stock: 7th Round
USC Matchup Preview: Lucas would have a lot more to contend with if Daniels were starting. Though USC will be relying on its defense to win this game, Lucas and the his teammates have an opportunity to force turnovers and sacks on the third-string quarterback. Working to get stops on receiver Michael Pittman Jr., Aca’Cedric Ware and more will be keys for Lucas and the rest of the Sun Devil defense.