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Arizona State Victory Recap: Card hammer Sun Devils in a tale of two halves

It was a blowout in earnest, but this victory did leave something to be desired

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

At halftime of the 2013 BCS National Championship Game, Alabama was leading Notre Dame 28-0. The game was obviously well in hand for the Crimson Tide.

But as Alabama center Barrett Jones bounded into the locker room, he shouted, "They signed up for 60!"

He was delighted that they still had another half left to beat up on the Irish.

After letting Arizona State sneak back into Saturday's game against the Cardinal - which Stanford absolutely dominated for three quarters - it might be a good time for the Cardinal to write that down: they signed up for 60. So you might as well give them a beating for all 60.

On to this week's awards...

Most impressive: Ty and Tyler. 95 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, 62 yards and two touchdowns through the air. When the Cardinal wants to score in 2013, it looks to Gaffney and Montgomery. They are grown men, and they're playing like it.

Biggest surprise: The special teams. The Cardinal blocked two punts (one was a quick kick, but still) and turned those mistakes into points, and Ty Montgomery added 81 return yards on kickoffs. Flipping the field to your advantage with special teams is a great way to win games, and it looks like the Cardinal's special teams are coming on strong.

Most consistent: The offensive line. A week after an uneven performance against Army, the offensive line was as tough as a leather boot. Kevin Hogan was sacked once (in the fourth quarter, I might add), and 2012 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Will Sutton only had six tackles - and not a single one for a loss. This unit stepped it up in its biggest test thus far.

Most pleasantly surprising: Josh Mauro. We knew this Cardinal defense was good, but pitching a first-half shutout against a team that can move quickly and score a lot of points at times was pretty spiffy - especially with a "new" defender on the field in place of Henry Anderson. Mauro's interception teed off an excellent first half of defense, and if the D can keep up that intensity all year long, the Cardinal are going to be very difficult to beat.

Most frustrating performance: David Shaw. While I'm not a fan of unnecessary blowouts, there was no reason to ease off the gas so early this week. This was a top 25 in-conference opponent, and it's okay to give them a beating. This wasn't Savannah State. A little dose of Jim Harbaugh's pathological competitiveness would have helped ease many minds this week.

Uh, where'd you go? Award: Ed Reynolds. He wins this award not because of his performance during the game, but because his dumb targeting penalty will keep him out of the first half of the Washington State game this week. There's simply no need to hit the quarterback with your head lowered, especially when it earns you a suspension.

Beast Mode Award: Ty Montgomery. It's about time he earned this prestigious award. Last year, Ty tallied 213 yards and zero touchdowns. This year, he's already gained 273 yards and has 4 touchdowns. Also, his contributions on special teams give him the 3rd-most all-purpose yards a game in the Pac-12 right now (165.7 per game). You earned it, Ty.

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