Arizona State defense steps up to shut down Huskies
Arizona State held UW to 2 of 14 on third-down conversions and also picked up five sacks in the 24-10 victory.
Seattle Times staff reporter
The wind and rain swirled in the bowl of Husky Stadium on Saturday and Jordan Simone’s eyes lit up.
“It was awesome,” said the Arizona State junior defensive back who starred at Skyline High. “I’ve been playing in this weather since I was 8-years-old – just pouring rain and crazy wind. I played 90 percent of my high school games in that kind of weather. It just felt good to be home.”
The liquid energy helped Simone boost the ASU defense through a grinding game against Washington that resulted in a 24-10 win for the No. 14 Sun Devils.
Despite Arizona State being undefeated on the road coming in, there were still constant questions about its defense. Saturday’s performance dampened that talk.
The Sun Devils limited the Huskies to 2 of 14 third-down conversions and collected five sacks. The exclamation point was freshman defensive back Armand Perry’s 61 yard interception return for a touchdown with 52 seconds left in the game.
“He probably should have took a knee, but hey, it’s looks good in the stats,” Simone said with a laugh. He had nine solo tackles in the game.
“Our defense just keeps stepping up,” Simone continued. “All the three-and-outs we had, all of the turnovers were huge. We just kept fighting.”
Arizona State coach Todd Graham was equally pleased with the unit.
“I directly work with them and there’s so much scrutiny,” Graham said of the team’s critics. “They’ve had to listen to it all year long about how we’re inexperienced and how great everybody else is and how crappy we are. I’m really, really excited for them that they’ve put three really good defensive performances together. And tonight was a defensive struggle.”