The ASU Sun Devils started Saturday's contest against the Oregon State Beavers by surrendering the game's first 13 points, leaving many Sun Devil fans somewhat dazed and confused. Thankfully, the team regrouped after the first quarter and proceeded to give up only seven points the rest of the way en route to a 35-20 victory. With the win, ASU moves to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in the Pac-12, placing them at least a full game ahead of every other team in the Pac-12 South.
The first quarter was a messy affair for the Devils as quarterback Brock Osweiler tossed two interceptions and gave up a fumble. The Beavers capitalized on the mistakes, securing a 13-0 lead just 20 seconds into the second quarter to make ASU fans wonder whether this would turn into a let-down game.
ASU answered that question with an emphatic no in the second quarter, roaring back with three touchdowns in the period. Osweiler found A.J. Pickens for a 17-yard score and Gerell Robinson for a 24-yard touchdown before Jamal Miles pitched in a 78-yard punt return touchdown. The play by Miles marked ASU's first punt return touchdown since 2005.
The second half turned into the Cameron Marshall Show, with the junior running back posting two touchdowns and the bulk of his 80 rushing yards after halftime. Marshall's first touchdown came on a 37-yard barreling attempt that saw him break four tackles on his way to the end zone. The second attempt, though less extravagant, was just as important as Marshall broke off an eight-yard run in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to give the Sun Devils a comfortable 35-20 lead. That lead held up the rest of the game as ASU secured its fourth win of the season.
Osweiler finished with 258 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions on 24-of-37 completions. Marshall rebounded from a poor first half to finish with 80 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the night, while Gerell Robinson led the Sun Devil receivers with 68 receiving yards and one touchdown on just two receptions.
The Sun Devils move to 4-1 on the year and face tough road challenges in Utah and Oregon over the coming weeks. ASU lost to Illinois on the road earlier this season and the team has been plagued by inconsistent play away from home over the past few years. The Sun Devils will have to address this issue and play smart football over the next few weeks if they wish to to maintain their position atop the Pac-12 South leaderboard.