Robert James is less than impressed with ASU's 34-13 win Saturday night over San Diego State. The…
James Launches Devils to Another Comeback Win
The Devils came out to a terrible start and the Beavers spotted them 19 points after the first quarter. How could ASU be 3-0 and be losing to a mediocre PAC-10 team like Oregon State by 19 in the first quarter?
Oregon State was by far the Devils' hardest game of the season and it appeared that the maroon and gold just needed to be reminded of that. After a quick kick in the mouth ASU reclaimed its poise and began their 44-point comeback. As always, the defense and Robert James were an integral part of their team's effort to keep the ‘L' column at zero.
James realized that his team was in the driver's seat against OSU well before the game started. For some reason ASU lent the Beavers the keys to the Hummer in the first quarter. "They weren't beating us," James said. "We were beating ourselves."
James led by example for a fourth straight week with nine solo tackles and two interceptions. The first catch came in the eighth minute of the second quarter when the Beavers were holding a 19-7 lead and going for another score. Their interception led to a field goal by Thomas Webber and put the Devils within nine.
James recognized that OSU quarterback Sean Canfield doesn't try to trick the secondary with his looks. "As I watched film," said James, "the quarterback leads you to where he is going. He doesn't really look to one place then lead you back to the other." Consequently, the linebacker recognized where Canfield was going with the pass, and it was a simple decision by James about what to do.
"I saw the ball and I figured if I don't jump for it somebody else might," James said. "So I just jumped up and got it. It was a good play for the defense." James' second INT was at the start of the second half with OSU starting at their own 26-yard line. "I just wanted to make a play for the team and get us back on top," James said about his second pick of the night.
A bigger impact was felt when OSU was facing a third and one situation halfway through the third quarter. On this play Canfield handed off to Bernard like he had done so many times before. This time Bernard was stopped for no gain by James and Jon Hargis, forcing a punt. After the punt Rudy Carpenter would pass the ball 43 yards to his number one target (literally and figuratively) Mike Jones putting ASU within six.
So what was the difference maker at halftime that the defense employed the rest of the game? "We just made the adjustments and we were ready to go," James replied. "The first quarter they had that long run, they had that long pass, and we just didn't hit our gaps right. We had planned on how to do that, to make sure everything was good and we didn't end up getting that done so that's how they got the run and that's how they got the pass."
Coach Bray chalked up some new strategy at halftime according to James. "Coach told us: "We have to do this, and we have to do that," he got on that chalkboard and we vowed to come out and make it happen," James commented. The linebacker was disappointed that the Beavers still got some touchdowns but he feels lucky for walking away with a win on Saturday night.
Playing from a deficit might become too comfortable for the Sun Devils, who are going to face some serious opposition later in the season. "Unfortunately," said James, "we are going to have to get better and better because we are not going to get that opportunity with every team we face." It is not his favorite way to start out a game that's for sure James remarked. "But that is the way it has been going so far."
Playing games is still seen as a privilege and not a rite to Robert James. "Right now I just want to stay humble, stay hungry, and hopefully keep doing this consistently."
DevilsDigest.com Recommended Stories
Sun Devils tame Lions with dominating second
Arizona State is still in the midst of finding itself as a basketball team. While staring into the mirror that was the team’s third game of the season the Sun Devils beat Loyola Marymount 68-44…Read More
Odell Beckham makes catch of the year
Former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham made what has to be the most incredible catch of the NFL season. Check out the highlight reel grab!Read More
ASU displays inconsistency in win
What started as an overpowering performance turned into a stagnant offensive night for ASU. The Sun Devils jumped off to an early lead that at its peak was 22 points, yet the team’s offensive virtues…Read More
George Lea Commits to ASU
George Lea’s last official visit took place in Tempe this past weekend, and it’s probably no surprise that today the New Orleans defensive lineman from Landry-Walker High School decided to commit to…Read More
College Week 13: 10 Saturday Takeaways
Breaking down all the battles that mattered this weekend.Read More