I put on my Arizona State University t-shirt this morning, anticipating an enjoyable evening watching the Sun Devils achieve a fairly easy victory in the Holiday Bowl. I didn’t expect it to be as easy as last year’s victory over Navy in the Fight Hunger Bowl, but Texas Tech’s 7-5 record made an ASU win seem inevitable.
But from the kick-off, it was apparent that I was wrong. Throughout the entire match Texas Tech looked far better than their record would indicate and the Sun Devils looked worse than a #14 ranked team with a 10-3 record. The Red Raiders’ QB, Davis Webb, was consistently accurate with his passes, while ASU QB, Taylor Kelly, looked desperate from about the second quarter on, throwing many long passes that often missed their target. It could not have helped Sun Devil morale when Coach Todd Graham called for the field goal unit on third down with the ball on the one yard line just before halftime. Kicker Zane Gonzalez, who has done well all season, muffed the short kick.
Except for a great scoring drive to open the second half, the Sun Devils missed almost every opportunity to score. The only explanation the makes much sense is that ASU underestimated Texas Tech. It was a very disappointing evening.