Texas Tech Red Raiders
CONFERENCE RECORD: 0-0
NEXT OPPONENT: Louisiana Tech
LOCATION: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
BETTING LINE: ASU -3
OVER/UNDER: -80 (via OddShark)
Arizona State Sun Devils
CONFERENCE RECORD: 0-0
NEXT OPPONENT: UTSA
FINAL LINE SCORE
Texas Tech Stats
*You may notice, just like real life, there’s no Texas Tech defense in this table.
Top Passer: Patrick Mahomes: 38/53, 540 Yards, 5 TDs
Top Rusher: Patrick Mahomes: 11 Carries, 44 Yards, 1 TD
Top Receiver: Cameron Batson: 9 Receptions, 148 Yards, 1 TD
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Kalen Ballage
PLAYER STATS: 13 Carries, 137 Yards, 7 TDs, 2 Recepetions, 48 Yards, 1 TD. T-FBS Record 8 TDs in a single game.
Tonight was absolutely Kalen Ballage’s night. I’m bashing a lot on Tech’s defense in this recap, but make no mistake, Ballage absolutely earned every yard and I’m certainly glad for him that he tied such an impressive record tonight. Ballage scored on over half of his touches. If that’s not a sign of an electric player, I don’t know what is. Kalen was responsible for 48 points. He IS the reason Arizona State won so smoothly. Congratulations to him once again for tying the record.
Arizona State Stats
Top Passer: Manny Wilkins: 28/37, 351 Yards, 2 TDs
Top Rusher: Kalen Ballage: 13 Carries, 137 Yards, 7 TDs
Top Receiver: N’Keal Henry: 6 Receptions, 72 Yards, 1 TD
Top Defender: Gump Hayes: 0 Tackles, 2 Interceptions, 19 Yards
Texas Tech Position Group Ratings
OFFENSIVE LINE: 4.
One of the main reasons Tech’s offense looked downright average in the second half was how much pressure Mahomes faced. The costly safety in the first quarter was also primarily the O-line’s fault.
TIGHT ENDS: See Wide Receivers
RUNNING BACKS: 6.
Stockton looked much better as a receiver than he did as a runner. White and Dauphine couldn’t inject absolutely any life into Tech’s running game, one of the main reasons ASU’s defense looked so much better in the second half.
I can’t really complain about a 540 yard, 5 TD performance. That being said, the game-clinching interception was absolutely Patrick’s fault, and he had a few iffy throws that could’ve been huge.
WIDE RECEIVERS: 8.
As usual, almost every wide receiver caught at least a pass. However, few deep balls were caught. The three longest touchdowns were mostly the work of the wideouts, which is at least a good sign in terms of explosiveness.
DEFENSIVE LINE: -999.
All the cautious optimism form the SFA game is now long gone. When you allow a night like Ballage had tonight, you simply can’t be a truly great football team.
The thing that struck me about the linebacking corps was their bad tackling. I’ve seen plenty of bad tackling under Kliff, but some of them tonight were just head-scratchingly awful. Barely better than the D-Line.
The secondary was not good, but you can at least see they have talent. It was nice to see some depth in the secondary as Nguema was injured for a while and life continued as normal.
SPECIAL TEAMS: 2.
Hatfield missing an extra point is one of those minor things that has major repercussions. There was no return game, as Gonzalez only kicked touchbacks, and ASU almost never punted.
Kliff Kingsbury had a great game-plan for the first quarter and a half. Then, ASU’s defense stiffened and the offense became just a little off. They couldn’t cover for the giant mistakes made by the defense. David Gibbs still needs lots of time to fix this.
Obviously, almost every question on defense for Texas Tech is still frustratingly unanswered. I could blame a lot of things for the loss. I could blame the Arizona heat. I could blame the O-line and kicker for making critical mistakes that cost us desperately needed points. But, there’s only one main reason we lost the game. We couldn’t make a stop. Ballage and Wilkins both played their hearts out, and they deserve all the credit in the world. However, even on a night like tonight, do you think Ballage would have 8 touchdowns against almost any other defense? It’s become clear that the offense needs to consistently score 50-60 points to even keep us in the game. Arizona State looked like a contender in the PAC-12 South this year. In a division that wide open, it’s important to make the first statement. ASU and Utah both made statements tonight, but ASU looked better doing it. On the Tech front, questions about if this year’s defense could be good enough for the Red Raiders to be a Big 12 threat again are now one of the few answered questions on D. Sadly, it looks like the answer is a resounding no. The offense could be NFL playoff-caliber, but we need much more balance if we’re to be in the national spotlight. I hope Gibbs can bring some to us soon.
Cover Picture: @TheSunDevils on Twitter
Arizona State Position Group Ratings
OFFENSIVE LINE: 9.
The Sun Devils absolutely obliterated Tech in the trenches. Manny Wilkins had all day, and Ballage did what he did consistently, all thanks to this stellar young O-Line.
TIGHT ENDS: 8.
I mentioned in my preview that Kody Kohl could have a big game. My prediction came true. He was a real X-factor in the passing game that helped keep ASU multi-dimensional.
RUNNING BACKS: A Bazillion.
I might be becoming like a broken record but Ballage absolutely killed it tonight. 8 TDs is just astonishing. It’s important to note DeMario Richard had a big night as well, running for 109 yards.
Manny Wilkins looked like a third-year starter tonight. Maybe playing Tech’s defense showed a false positive, but he could be the next huge quarterback for the Sun Devils.
WIDE RECEIVERS: 7.
The receiving corps didn’t have too much of a chance to shine with Ballage going crazy like he did. When they did get a chance, they looked really solid. Arizona State is scary y’all.
DEFENSIVE LINE: 7.
Lots of Mahomes running around tonight, especially in the second half. There seemed to consistently be a black jersey in the backfield towards the end of the game.
Tech was usually either playing short or playing long. Not too many big chances for the linebackers to show off. They certainly never made crippling mistakes, and sometimes that’s all you need.
A lot of Texas Tech offense was produced tonight. Most of it was the passing game. That being said, there were a few plays that I was really impressed with how long Mahomes had to hold on to the ball. This unit has huge potential.
SPECIAL TEAMS: 7.
Arizona State actually made all of their PATs. Plus on the few punts Arizona State did execute, it was usually a LONG field for the Red Raiders. That being said, Tim White was mostly shut down in the return game.
Todd Graham quickly figured out Ballage was having a special night, and he was smart to keep giving him the ball. His defense was good enough to slow down Tech, and from there he just let Ballage run all over the Red Raiders.