For the third straight week, the Arizona State Sun Devils started fast, scoring a touchdown in the game's early minutes.
For the third straight week, the Arizona State Sun Devils could not keep up the momentum, and the team ultimately lost.
Saturday's game against No. 11 Oregon State was filled with questionable playcalling, major defensive lapses and a severe regression by quarterback Taylor Kelly dropped the Sun Devils to another loss, and now their Pac-12 South title hopes are on life support.
The action got off to a fast and furious start. Cody Vaz, who took over the starting quarterback job earlier in the week, dropped the ball on the opening drive, and Junior Onyeali picked it up for the easy touchdown. Oregon State answered back with a field goal, but the Sun Devils extended their lead on a short Cameron Marshall touchdown run.
Later in the quarter, Vaz found Markus Wheaton over the middle, and a bad angle by Keelan Johnson allowed the dangerous wideout to turn on the jets for a 50-yard touchdown. The Sun Devil special teams then decided to help the cause. With OSU backed up against their own goal line, Kevin Ayers blocked a punt that flew out of the end zone for the safety and a 16-10 lead.
A 31-yard field goal by Jon Mora early in the second quarter padded the lead to 19-10. Given the pace of the game to that point, it seemed a shootout would be forthcoming. However, one team didn't keep up it's end of the bargain.
The quick strike Beaver offense then struck to trim the lead. Terron Ward took a hand off and speed off right guard, and Johnson missed the tackle (he was slowed by an official in the way), which resulted in a 53-yard touchdown. However, the extra point was missed.
Late in the second quarter, ASU appeared to have the Beavers stopped on a third down, but a terrible roughing the passer penalty on Onyeali kept the drive alive. Oregon State made ASU pay, as Trevor Romaine his a 45-yard field goal as time expired to tie the game.
ASU's demise began with the first two drives in the second half.
After an ineffective opening drive by ASU, Oregon State picked on Deveron Carr twice, including the 17-yard touchdown pass that Wheaton caught against the Sun Devil senior. The lead went to 10 after a 33-yard field goal, which could have been worse had a touchdown run by Oregon State not been called back due to a holding penalty.
Ultimately, it simply delayed the touchdown. The Sun Devil secondary blew the coverage, and Brandin Cooks was wide open and he waltzed into the endzone for a 49-yard touchdown to ice the game.
In the game's final minute, with Oregon State playing prevent, Kelly did manage to hit Marion Grice for a touchdown. So there was that.
Kelly, who entered the game as the Pac-12's highest rated passer, had a dreadful night. He completed just 22 of his 41 passes for 153 yards and one interception. The Sun Devil offense was only able to get 303 yards of total offense, but much of that was in garbage time when the game's result was already decided.
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