Arizona State’s final three plays of the first half against Texas Tech in the National University Holiday Bowl could not have gone worse.
The Sun Devils had a long drive to the 1-yard line.
Then, quarterback Taylor Kelly had a snap go over his head for a loss of six yards. He then took a sack. And then on third down, with plenty of time remaining, Arizona State seemingly panicked and rushed its field goal unit onto the field. The result was a missed kick and lots of frustration.
After the series, coach Todd Graham was seen yelling in the direction of Kelly. Kelly stood on the sideline exasperated, hands on his knees, as the rest of the team huddled up before going to the locker room. It was a sad sight.
But it wasn’t out of character for an Arizona State team that looks totally lost against Texas Tech. The Sun Devils seemed caught off guard by Texas Tech’s up-tempo offense and played uninspired. Tech quarterback Davis Webb picked the Sun Devils apart with four first-half touchdowns.
It was a little surprising that had Arizona State scored, it would have cut the Red Raiders lead to just a touchdown.
Even Colorado School of Mines coach Bob Stitt, who specializes teaching FBS coaches in the nuances of up-tempo offenses, found the entire scene comical, referring to Graham as “Britney Spears” because of the microphone he wears during games.
Britney Spears would have clocked it on 3rd down, but she couldn't get the call in cuz "someone" took her headset.
— Bob Stitt (@CoachBobStitt) December 31, 2013
Arizona State did score on its first play out of the half, but Tech answered with a 90-yard kickoff return.
- - - - - - -