Arizona State and host Stanford enter their Saturday Pac-12 game with momentum after each experienced a troublesome start to the season.
The Sun Devils (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) had a bye last week after upsetting then-No. 21 Washington 45-38 two weeks ago in Tempe, Ariz. — a result that snapped a four-game losing streak.
Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards was fired during the skid and Shaun Aguano took over on an interim basis.
The Cardinal (2-4, 0-4) put an end to an 11-game losing streak against FBS teams dating to last season with their 16-14 win at Notre Dame last week.
“For our seniors, they’ve worked so hard and led us so well,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “They needed this victory. … Our guys got that taste in their mouth now — how to play well, how to get in a tight game in the fourth quarter and find a way to finish.”
One of the seniors is Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week Jonathan McGill, a safety who had four tackles (one for loss), a fumble recovery and the game-sealing pass breakup against Notre Dame.
Stanford’s Joshua Karty was selected the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season after going 3-for-3 on field-goal attempts vs. the Fighting Irish, two from 43 yards and the other from 45. He is 7-for-7 on field-goal tries this season and 17-for-17 on point-after attempts.
Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones returns off the bye week as the starter after backup Trenton Bourguet had a career-best game in the win over Washington when Jones exited due to a head injury.
Bourguet tossed three touchdown passes and an interception while completing 15 of 21 attempts for 182 yards.
“My philosophy is to never penalize an injured player, so it’s Emory’s job back and we’ll see how it all plays out,” Aguano said.
Jones and Bourguet will practice with the first-team unit during the week, but that’s been the norm this season with Jones getting a majority of the snaps, according to the coach.
“I’ve never been a fan of splitting quarterbacks just because of the rhythm when somebody goes in,” Aguano said. “I’m here to win football games, too. If somebody’s not getting the job done, I can make those decisions really quick.”
–Field Level Media