November 27, 2005
(at ASU 23, UA 20)
(UA 61, Kansas 49)
(UConn 79, UA 70)
(Mich State 74, UA 71, OT)
You know what they say: If you can't say anything nice, make fun of somebody nobody likes. That's right, it's time for some John Mackovic jokes.
How many Mackovic-coached teams does it take to change a light bulb?
I don't know, Mackovic's teams never showed up.
What's the difference between a Mackovic team and the Titanic?
One was a catastrophic tragedy resulting in the shortening of many innocent lives, the other was a boat.
Mackovic's bad start was blamed on Tomey not leaving enough talent behind. Well, if Tomey left the cupboard bare, then Mackovic ripped the cupboards out, burned them, and detonated a nuclear warhead in the kitchen.
How does Mackovic call for his dog?
Come Pete! Come Pete!!
John Mackovic who?
That's what we should have said when he called instead of letting that numbskull berate our players, alienate our fan base and bury our beloved football program in a deep dark tomb out of which we are still trying to climb.
OK, maybe that last one isn't funny. On to the actual game thoughts.
Carpenter threw for 246 yards. Burgess ran for 83. Combined, that was the best performance by a Rudy since the Cosby Show.
ASU won the game in the fourth quarter with defense, special teams and running the ball. Did I step into some sort of vortex? Maybe I should try and bend a crowbar to see if this strange planet's sun also gives me superhuman strength.
Mike Bell carried the ball 20 times in the first half alone. He finished with 117 rushing yards and added another 34 yards on his one reception. That's 151 yards in basically half a game, on half a set of legs.
It's not a sexy number, but 900 yards rushing in three consecutive seasons is an impressive feat. Considering how bad the teams around him have been, it's darn near miraculous. I'm very proud to say Mike Bell played for my University.
Before the game if you had told me any of the following:
-We hold them to a five-point half
-We have a hundred-yard rushing by halftime
-ASU scores less than last year
-ASU only scores two touchdowns
I'd have immediately taken it and laughed all the way to the victory bank. Good thing I kept my receipts.
Some would say, why dwell on a disappointing loss? Dwell is certainly the right word because that's where we live. 2320 Disappointing Loss Way, Tucson, Arizona, 8573&8. If you can't dwell on a disappointing loss, you're rooting for the wrong football team.
Don't stop me now, I'm just getting started.
Try and wrap your head around this stat: ASU had zero passing TDs. Sun Devil QBs were averaging 3.3 touchdown passes a game coming in. Keller had four TDs in each of his first four games. Carpenter had eleven in his first four games. They had none against the Wildcats. Our defense held their offense to only one touchdown the entire game.
And we lost! We completely shut down the #3 offense in the entire country and we do not win the football game. Only at Arizona.
A couple more Only At Arizona moments: Gilbert Harris drops a wide-open pass that would've made it 24-5 midway through the third quarter. Chris Henry steps on the sideline at the ASU 34 with a full head of steam and no one in front of him. If he scores it's 27-12 in the fourth quarter. Three plays later Tuitama throws the interception and gets injured. Is there a Texas fan pumping out Mike Stoops voodoo dolls?
Our special teams were especially bad on Friday. A bad punt snap caused a safety. There was a missed field goal, followed by a botched hold on another field goal attempt. Finally there was allowing the punt return touchdown. Even if you charge the defense with the second point on the two-point conversion, the special teams were directly responsible for a negative fifteen points in a three-point loss. The pain, it lingers.
Injuries are not an excuse, but when your field goal unit is down to the third string holder, you know it's not your day.
ASU's game-winning drive was a thing of disgusting beauty. When you get the ball with just under five minutes left in a tie ballgame, you usually end up scoring too quickly, or not scoring at all. The Devils went 77 yards in thirteen plays to set up a chip shot with nine seconds left. Forty of it came on the ground including a devastating first down run on third and eight. Again, what planet am I on?
The season began with a young quarterback throwing a key interception in a three-point loss. The season ended with a younger quarterback throwing a key interception in a far more painful three-point loss. In between there were a lot of key turnovers in a lot of close losses. But there is some good news:
Only 66 days till the Signing Day.
Now that it's officially basketball season, I suppose I should comment on the Maui Invitational.
Anybody got any good Ben Lindsey jokes?
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