Earlier in the day, ASU's South division title hopes died when Colorado stunned Utah. Nevertheless, the Sun Devils' season did not die with it, and they looked to send their seniors out in style in the regular season finale.
In front of a crowd that would make the Florida Marlins management cringe, the Devils set out to end their three-game slide that doomed their season.
Cal opened the game with some quick passes to Keenan Allen, and some nice jukes and poor tackling angles resulted in a big 34-yard catch and run, which set up a nice 48-yard to give the Bears the early 3-0 lead.
The Devils responded in an unusual way--on the ground. ASU marched 80 yards in 11 plays, but 10 were runs. Cameron Marshall had 37 yards on seven carries and scored from a yard out to get the lead for the Sun Devils.
The lead was short-lived. Using big plays on ground, Cal scored the go-ahead touchdown thanks to runs of 17, 25 and finally 18 yards on Isi Sofele's touchdown run.
Jamal Miles electrified the crowd with a 51-yard kick return into Cal territory, but a Kyle Middlebrooks fumble on the next play was returned by Cal to the ASU 28. A pass interference penalty on Osahon Irabor gave Cal possession at the 16. On the very next play, Zach Maynard scored from 16-yards on the keeper to extend the lead to 17-7.
With the makings of a shootout, the Devils began their drive with a nice jump ball reception by Rashad Ross for 37-yards to get into Cal territory. After an incompletion on third and 10, Dennis Erickson elected to go for it rather than take a chance at a long field goal, and the gamble worked, with Osweiler connecting for 13 yards. On the first play of the second quarter, Osweiler found Aaron Pflugrad for a 17-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 17-14.
Thanks to repeated penalties, several big plays were negated on the ensuing Cal possession, which ended in the game's first punt. ASU then returned the favor with a punt of their own, made possible by offensive pass interference by Mike Willie.
Cal looked to break the deadlock after Irabor's second pass interference penalty moved the ball into ASU territory. A 22-yard run by C.J, Anderson gave Cal a first and goal at the two and he soon pounded it in two yards later to give them a 24-14 lead.
It got no better, as Osweiler was intercepted on the first play and Cal took over at the ASU 16-yard line. The defense did it's job, however, and forced Cal to settle for a 27-yard field goal.
With the half winding down, ASU looked to get some momentum. A few quick completions got ASU to the 35 of Cal, but faced a fourth and 10. Like he did earlier, Erickson went for it, and it paid off again, as Osweiler found Rasahd Ross on a fade pattern for a 35-yard touchdown.
ASU caught a huge break on the kickoff, as Cal fumbled the return and it was recovered by Keelan Johnson at the Cal 30. A Miles rush to the eight gave ASU a key first and goal. Two plays later, Osweiler found tight end Trevor Kohl in the left flat for the go-ahead score as the half ended shortly thereafter.