The year is 2007, and young Cory Williams is a junior at Arizona State University in Tempe. After two years of mediocrity, the Sun Devils football team has achieved an absurd level of success: an undefeated 7-0, a sterling #7 overall ranking in the Coaches' Poll, and a tidal wave of momentum entering the home stretch of the Pac-10 schedule.
Enter the California Golden Bears. No team fell from grace quite like Cal: the Bears jumped out to a 5-0 record, defeating ranked squads Tennessee and Oregon on the way to a #2 overall ranking on the Coaches' Poll. Cal began to fall apart, losing a home game to unranked Oregon State and a tough road game against UCLA.
Now 5-2, California was ranked #20 and faced a stiff test in the Rudy Carpenter-led ASU team.
Things didn't progress smoothly for ASU, and at the half the Sun Devils trailed the Bears 20-14. In the second half, the defense clamped down and held California scoreless, while Rudy and the offense put up 17 points.
But the Devils were a plucky bunch in 2007, known for big comebacks. This game was no exception.
Dimitri Nance was the big star for ASU, scoring three touchdowns while picking up 85 yards on the ground. Keegan Herring added 97 rushing yards. Nance and Herring were quite the combination of thunder and lightning.
While not impressive statistically, Carpenter was efficient, completing 17 of 29 passes for 219 yards and zero interceptions. Justin Tryon and Robert James both grabbed interceptions on passes thrown by Nate Longshore.
No video of the actual game, but it was a momentous occasion for the Sun Devils. By defeating the Bears 31-20, ASU was 8-0 and well on their way to being in the discussion for a BCS bid. While that didn't happen, lets revel in the glory of an undefeated record and a group of jubilant students that rushed the field to celebrate. Yes, I was on the field. Yes, it was amazing.
See all the previous entries on House of Sparky's 100 day football countdown here.
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