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100 Day Sun Devil Football Countdown To Kickoff, #58: The Aerial Assault Vs. Washington State In 1989

Paul Justin fires off another pass against the Cougars (Photo: ASU)
Paul Justin fires off another pass against the Cougars (Photo: ASU)

The Larry Marmie era at Arizona State was not one that any fan or media member would characterize as "remarkable". Over four seasons as head coach, the Sun Devils 22-21-1 record, an exceedingly average mark.

Yet what happened on October 22nd, 1989 was anything but ordinary.

After a rough 0-2-1 stretch, ASU had dropped to 3-3-1 and was still looking for their first victory in October. Coming into Sun Devil Stadium were the No. 23 Washington State Cougars at 6-2 and led by star running back Steve Broussard.

But the Cougars had no match that night for the tandem of Sun Devil quarterback Paul Justin and wide receiver Ron Fair.

Justin and Fair connected time after time after time, as ASU and WSU traded leads in a wild second half. Despite Fair's three touchdowns, the Sun Devils trailed 39-38 in the fourth quarter after Broussard's third touchdown came with 5:40 left.

But on that night, Arizona State could not be stopped.

Undaunted, the Sun Devils answered by marching down the field in nine plays, capped by Kelvin Fisher's go-ahead touchdown with 1:02 left in the game. A failed two-point conversion attempt gave ASU a slim 44-39 lead. and WSU wasted little time in moving into the Sun Devil red zone.

However, the Cougar comeback was thwarted by Nathan LaDuke, whose interception with 33 seconds left at the ASU 10-yard line sealed the win. The teams combined for 1,217 yards of offense in the game--651 by ASU.

In the win, both Justin and Fair had their names enter record books. Justin's 534 passing yards and Fair's 19 receptions were Pac-10 records at the time, and Fair's 277 receiving yards set the ASU record.

Now 13 years later, Justin's 534 is the second highest in Sun Devil history, after Andrew Walter narrowly edged him out with 536 yards in 2002. Both of Fair's marks--19 catches and 277 yards--remain ASU single-game records.

See the previous entries on House of Sparky's 100 day countdown here

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