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Arizona State Disappoints Yet Again in MAACO Bowl Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22:  Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Arizona State Sun Devils recovers the ball after it was fumbled on the snap as Tyrone Crawford #40 of the Boise State Broncos defends during the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Alan BlackAnalyst IIIDecember 23, 2011

The Arizona State Sun Devils had a disappointing regular season, going 0-4 after starting out 6-2.  Dreams of appearing in the Rose Bowl were replaced with the harsh realities of needing a victory in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas in order to finish above .500 for the season.

In the Vegas Bowl, the Sun Devils faced the Boise State Broncos, who also had a disappointing end to their regular season. Hopes of a national championship were dashed by a missed field goal against TCU, and BCS hopes were dashed by BCS snobs who decided to ignore facts and select Virginia Tech and Michigan over the more deserving Broncos.

At the end of the bowl game, it was the Arizona State fans who were once again disappointed. 

The Sun Devils were absolutely dominated by the Broncos en route to an embarrassing 56-24 defeat.  Even that was not indicative of how pathetic Arizona State's effort was, as 14 of those points came late in the game after the outcome was already well out of reach.

The first half that the Sun Devils put together was an absolute disgrace to the university and an affront to college football as a whole. The only points Arizona State managed to put on the board before halftime came from an Alex Garoutte field goal. The Arizona State defense, meanwhile, pretty much just rolled over and played dead en route to letting the Broncos score an easy 28 points before the half.

Before the game started, the players were quite impassioned and vowed to send coach Dennis Erickson out as a winner. Once play began, however, it sure didn't seem like it. The Sun Devils were unfocused, sloppy and completely lacking discipline.

There was a small period of time at the start of the second half when it seemed like Arizona State had finally gotten its collective head in the game and would determinedly fight to try to salvage a victory. That ended when QB Brock Osweiler threw a pick-six after failing to notice Erickson's pleas for a timeout.

The MAACO Bowl Las Vegas was a fitting end to Arizona State's season, as it almost perfectly mirrored their play during the regular season: flashes of hope and brilliance completely obscured by mental errors, countless mistakes and a severe lack of focus and determination.

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