Can a 62-28 loss actually magnify the virtues of a team and amplify the extent to which a team…
Navy Scouting Report: Arizona State
Arizona State is enjoying a two game win streak after suffering from a four game skid in the games prior.
Recently the Sun Devils enjoyed a fourth quarter comeback that saw them score 24 unanswered points against the instate rival Wildcats. Arizona State used junior running back Marion Grice who ran for 156 yards rushing and three touchdowns. In that game Grice had a career-long 52-yard touchdown run and caught a pass for 18 yards. Senior linebacker Brandon Magee had a career-high 17 tackles in the stunning come from behind victory.
Taylor Kelly leads the Sun Devils read-option spread offense at quarterback and is third in the Pac-12 with a 153.34 passing efficiency. The redshirt sophomore has completed 224 for 340 pass attempts for 2,772 yards passing and 25 touchdowns. Kelly is an extremely mobile quarterback, leading the team with 643 yards gained and, after sacks are included, is fourth on the team with 435 total yards rushing.
Arizona State's offensive line possesses a strong right side, with seniors Andrew Sampson at guard and Brice Schwab at tackle paving the way for an offense ranking 38th in the country and averaging 190.75 rushing yards per game. At left tackle, redshirt junior Evan Finkenberg has been nominated for numerous awards and played in 46 games including starting 33 at left tackle and right guard.
The Sun Devils have a plethora of capable runners in the backfield to choose from. Junior Marion Grice has ran for 520 yards and 9 touchdowns, and leads the team averaging 5.8 yards per rush. Senior tailback Cameron Marshall leads the team with 127 carries for 524 yards and 7 scores.
D.J. Foster adds another dimension with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Though the freshman is a very capable runner, averaging 4.9 yards per carry with 492 yards rushing and two scores, he is also third on the team with 36 receptions for 522 yards receiving and four touchdowns. In fact, every one of the runners in the Sun Devil's stable is a capable receiver--Grice is the second leading receiver with 39 catches for 406 yards receiving and 8 touchdowns.
The biggest receiving threat for the Sun Devils is junior tight end Chris Coyle, who leads the team with 53 catches for 659 yards receiving and five touchdowns. Coyle had a career day with 10 receptions for 131 yards receiving and two touchdowns against Illinois.
Senior receiver Rashad Ross had a career high day against Washington State with eight catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Ross has 33 receptions for 471 yards receiving and three touchdowns.
Kevin Ozier leads the receiving corps averaging 15.4 yards per catch. The redshirt junior is tied for second on the team, with five touchdown receptions and adds 21 catches for 324 yards receiving. Senior receiver Jamal Miles is fourth on the team with 36 receptions for 352 yards receiving.
The Sun Devils' 4-3 defense is ranked 12th in the country in passing defense allowing opponents just 178.8 passing yards per game. The 20 interceptions hauled in by Arizona State ranks fourth in the country. Free safety Keelan Johnson leads the defense with five interceptions, two of which came in the final two contests of the season. Junior Alden Darby is another threat to opposing quarterbacks with three interceptions returned for 154 yards, including a 70-yard interception return for a score against USC.
Though the secondary is very solid, Arizona State's defense is centered around redshirt senior Brandon Magee who leads the team with 104 tackles, including 11½ for a loss, and 6½ sacks. Junior outside linebacker Carl Bradford leads the linebacker corps with 17½ tackles for a loss, including a team high 10½ sacks. Junior Chris Young has also been a constant threat with 75 tackles, including 14 for a loss.
Stopping opposing offenses before they get going has been a key component of a Sun Devil squad who has allowed opponents to score 24 points per game and run for 172 rushing yards per game. On the defensive line, Will Sutton leads the team with 20 tackles for a loss, including 10½ sacks. Junior defensive ends Junior Onyeali and Davon Coleman help provide depth; Coleman leads the pair with 10½ tackles for a loss, including 4½ sacks.
Arizona State holds an excellent punter in senior Josh Hubner who averages 47.1 yards per punt, which ranks third in the country. Hubner has booted 22 punts of 50 yards or more, and kicked a season long of 73 yards.
The Sun Devil's pair of redshirt sophomore place kickers Alex Garoutte and Jon Mora have both spent time kicking this season. The duo has made 15 of 23 field goal attempts this season; Mora leads the pair, making 75 percent of his field goals.
Arizona State also has a pair of dangerous return men who can make things happen in the special teams game. Rashad Ross returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against Colorado; he is averaging 25.6 yards per kick return. Senior Jamal Miles has returned 69 career kickoffs for 1,639 yards with three touchdowns. This season he is averaging 20.9 yards per return with a long return of 31 yards. In the punt return game, Miles is averaging 7.6 yards per return with a long return of 25 yards.
The Midshipmen will have their hands full against an Arizona State offense that racks up 449.2 total yards per game. If Navy is able to get their rushing offense going early then this could be a high-powered offensive shootout. The Midshipmen's defense has been streaky at times and will need to come out ready from the get go against a team with multiple offensive weapons.
A win for Navy would be the perfect ending to a season that started with the Midshipmen dropping three of their first four contests. With the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy won, a number of thrilling comeback wins this season, and the emergence of freshman quarterback Keenan Reynolds, the season has already turned out better than some expected. All they could do now is end with an exclamation point with a Navy win.
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