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Through nine games, the Arizona State defense has compiled 38 sacks, 12 interceptions and two defensive touchdowns. As a result, the Sun Devils' defense has overcome their tendency to allow big numbers as they create scoring opportunities for their offense.
As for why this has happened, look no further than the Sun Devils' stout front seven.
Will Sutton, Carl Bradford, Brandon Magee and Junior Onyeali have combined for 27.5 sacks. Magee on his own has five sacks, two interceptions and one defensive touchdown.
Collectively, the Sun Devils have the type of pass rush that can fluster Matt Barkley.
A prime example of this was when they got to poised freshman Cody Vaz, forcing the Oregon State Beavers QB to have the worst game of his young career. After completing at least 61.5 percent of his passes in every game prior, the Sun Devils' D-Line hit Vaz often and forced him into a 42.4 completion percentage.
They also roughed Vaz into throwing his first interception of the season.
Although Barkley is no freshman, he has thrown six interceptions in the Trojans' three losses. This has come by virtue of Arizona, Oregon and Stanford utilizing disruptive pass rushes to knock him out of rhythm.
If the Trojans are looking to escape their battle with Arizona State and remain in contention for the Pac-12 South, they must prevent the Sun Devils' vaunted pass rush from getting to Barkley.
Should they fail in said endeavor, a third consecutive loss could be on the horizon.