It's not often that the second play of the game was the best and the worst for a team.
Such was the case for Arizona State on Thursday night when they hosted the second-ranked Oregon Ducks in a Pac-12 showdown.
But...Sutton injured his knee on the play, an injury that knocked him out of the game and onto crutches. More importantly, his status for the rest of the season is unknown. Boo!
Less than a minute into the game, and ASU led 7-0. That would also mark the last positive development of the night.
After Sutton went down, Junior Onyeali left with a shoulder injury, and the Ducks took advantage of ASU's depleted line, gashing them for big play after play, amassing 199 yards on the ground in the first quarter.
On the second play, Kenjon Barner ran 71 yards for a touchdown, and the Ducks converted a two-point conversion for an 8-7 lead. Oregon added two more scores in the quarter, including an incredible play by the Ducks' backup quarterback Bryan Bennett, who managed a two-yard scoring toss to Mariota while being draped by multiple defenders.
There was no relief in the second quarter. Kelly struggled badly, throwing two poor interceptions that set up one-yard touchdown runs by Barner. Those flanked an 86-yard scoring run by Mariota, and with 11:33 left to go in the first half, Oregon had a 43-7 lead, and had Sparky's soul trampled beneath their cleats.
The Sun Devils also had right guard and captain Andrew Sampson injure a right knee, although he was able to return for hobbled duty.
After the Ducks took that 43-7 lead into the half, the energy left the building and both teams settled into some back and forth of nothingness. The third quarter went scoreless but there were a few plays of note in the final quarter.
ASU linebacker Anthony Jones gave the crowd a brief cheer midway through the fourth quarter, when he intercepted a Bennett pass and raced 36 yards for a touchdown.
Later in the fourth, D.J. Foster, caught a screen pass in the left flat, made a few great cuts, and raced 23 yards for another Sun Devil touchdown. That was followed by a successful onside kick, but Michael Eubank, in for Kelly, threw up what amounted to an arm punt, and the interception was returned by Oregon to midfield.
The loss drops ASU to 5-2 on the year, and 3-1 in Pac-12 play. They will look to rebound from this embarrassing loss next Saturday when they host UCLA for their homecoming game, with kickoff at noon.
- Attendance: 71,004
- Oregon ended the game with 406 rushing yards, well over their 302 yards-per-game average, which was fourth in the nation.
- Kelly entered the game third in the nation in passer efficiency, but went just 10 of 18 for 93 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and a passer rating of 95.1. He had a better night as a punter, with three kicks for a 44.3 yards average, and two were pinned inside the 20.
- ASU legends Junior Ah You, Bob Breunig, J.D. Hill and Jim Jeffcoat were inducted into the Ring of Honor during a halftime ceremony.
- Oregon has now scored 30 or more points in 20 straight games.