By:|Lester Johnson:|4.0 Sports Media
Tempe Arizona- The Sun Devils are a whole different team when they play in the desert.
ASU (3-2, 1-1) scored on six of their first seven possessions of the game and went on to beat OSU 52-24 in front of a crowd of 51,443 at Frank Kush Field.
ASU running back Eno Benjamin must of had a special helping of his mom’s home cooking because he beat up on the Beavers defense all game long.
With the sophomore performance Benjamin etched his name in the school rushing record with the first 300-yard performance in 106 seasons. The record stood for 45-years which was set by Ben Malone. The ASU back capped off his day with 30 carries for 312 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
“If you saw the way we practiced this week, you would have known it was going to happen. That’s just a testament to our offensive line.” Eno Benjamin said after the win over Oregon State.
OSU is among the worst in the nation in rush total defense. Benjamin and Manny Wilkins shred the Beavers defense like cheddar cheese from the inception of the game. Benjamin average 10.4 yards per carry made tacklers miss, broke away from second level defenders without missing a gear in open field. Benjamin for the game had just one rush for a loss.
“The largest topic is just tackling. We just have to get guys on the ground. We had plenty of opportunities at the line of scrimmage. We had a couple in the backfield. We have to improve in that area. I just don’t know another way to say it.” OSU coach Jonathan Smith said.
Herm Edwards is an old school coach and wants to be a smash mouth, ground and pound kind of team.
“Football is about knocking a person off their spot. When you say I’m going to run it right there and you’re not going to stop me and you do it for 314 yards, that’s a pretty good night.” ASU Herm Edwards said.
The Sun Devils opened leads of 24-3 and 38-17, both times threatening a blowout.
Oregon State (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) found their offense in the second quarter with consecutive touchdowns that cut into 21-point deficit (24-3) to seven (24-17). But ASU (3-2, 1-1) needed just a little under a minute to score again. The Beavers were outscored 21-7 in the second half and didn’t have any answers for Benjamin.
Eno Benjamin had 44 and 47-yard touchdown runs in the first half, he also caught an 8-yard touchdown pass. In the fourth quarter more of the same, with the Sun Devils up 38-24, Benjamin put the game away with carries of 15, 22, 23, 5 and 10 yards for his third rushing touchdown in an 11-play, 94-yard drive that put the game away for good. It was definitely a complete day for Eno Benjamin and the offensive line.
OSU quarterback Conor Blount was sacked four times in the contest, and was under constant pressure all game. But he was poised to complete 14-24 passes for 145 yards and touchdown.
The story of the game was the play of the offensive line, even without injured starting left guard Casey Tucker, they created gaping holes in a defense that came in allowing 280.3 rushing yards per game . (ASU ran for 396 overall, fourth-most since 1996).
“That’s how you try to orchestrate it,” Edwards said of a running game that chews up clock, opens a sizable lead and forces an opponent into taking chances and making mistakes.
The Sun Devils will be on the road next week to play the # 21 ranked Colorado Buffaloes which will be televised on PACN.