Nance Carries ASU to Eighth Straight Victory

Nance Carries ASU to Eighth Straight Victory

ASU ran the ball 53 times, California ran the ball 25. ASU had three running touchdowns, California had none. That could be the story of the game right there if ASU's three rushing touchdowns didn't all come from their third string back. Backup running back Dimitri Nance completed a trifecta Saturday night in Tempe as the Devils improve to 8-0 on the season.

Due to the fact that Ryan Torain is out for the season with a left toe injury, running backs Keegan Herring and Dimitri Nance were called to fill the void that Torain left. Herring did his job tonight, with 96 yards on 24 attempts, which is expected of the veteran running back. But the real story of the night comes from Nance who ran the ball 21 times for 85 yards and three touchdowns.

"I think it was my biggest game," Nance said afterwards to reporters. "I just want to go out there next week and have a better game though," said Nance, who always stays humble yet confident.

ASU faces Oregon next week on the road, which should be the team's most challenging game to date. Yet Nance was not talking about that contest after Saturday's sold out game in Tempe, he was recalling the first eight games played in 2007.

"It took hard work and hard practice," Nance said about what brought the Sun Devils to 8-0. "We practice hard and fast, make it short, get it done and go out there and take it one game at a time."

Students rushed the field after the game, which is usually reserved for upsets. Even thought ASU was favored in the sports books, there is still a feeling around the locker room that the Devils are not getting as much respect as they deserve.

"They doubted us and we weren't getting a lot of respect," Nance said about the critics in the media. "So to know that were going to win the game was just a great feeling to have." ASU, now 8-0 with a big conference win, will undoubtedly get some recognition on a national scale. Not only will the Devils as a team get recognition but Nance will get some recognition as well.

Since Torain has been out, Herring and Nance have been splitting time in the backfield Herring is primarily used for first down situations, and Nance to be used for short yardage situations, like fourth and one (which ASU went for three times on Saturday night), as well as third downs and goal line situations.

"I just have to go in there and step it up you know?" Nance said after the game. "Torain is a great player, but I just have to do what I came to do and just to out there and play the game I'm supposed to play."

Sun Devil Stadium was sold out tonight and at one point the crowd noise forced Cal to call a time out. The stadium has not seen this many fans since 2005's game against USC. "We have the fans behind us now," Nance said. "Now that we have proven that we can be a top team, it is really good for us."

ASU should be ranked in the BCS' top five again this coming week, and Nance's job is to prove to the nation that they belong there. "I just want to go out there and prove that we are top five for a reason," he said.

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