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ASU vs. Oregon State: Sun Devil defense clinches win over Beavers

The Sun Devil defense stepped up and helped lead the team to victory against Oregon State.

Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sport

The Sun Devils' stifling defense forced four turnovers en-route to a 30-17 victory over Oregon State.

Coming into the game Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion led the country in total passing yards, and was second in passing touchdowns. The Sun Devils, however, were able to stop the quarterback in his tracks as they picked him off four times, including a pick-six by Robert Nelson late in the fourth quarter that helped seal the win.

The Sun Devils went into half time with a comfortable 20-3 lead, but it was clear that quarterback Taylor Kelly was struggling. Kelly went 14-25 for 122 yards and threw two interceptions in the first half.

Oregon State took advantage of the sluggish Sun Devil offense in the third by coming out and scoring. The Beavers marched down the field and capped off a 12-play, 96-yard drive with a Mannion touchdown pass to tight end Caleb Smith. Oregon State dominated the third quarter by out gaining the Sun Devils 134-34, and momentum was starting to swing in their favor.

Early in fourth Oregon State put together another solid drive and it looked as if they were going to score once again. On third down and one on the Arizona State 11-yard line, the Beavers handed the ball off, but the run was cut off in the back field by safety Damarious Randall. After the play, the Beavers were called for an unnecessary roughness penalty which moved them back 15 yards.

This left the Beavers with a 48-yard field goal attempt. Defensive end Davon Coleman was able to burst past the line and block the kick to get a big stop for the Sun Devils.

On the ensuing drive, the Sun Devils marched 69 yards down the field but were unable to punch it in on the one- yard line. Zane Gonzalez kicked the 18-yard field goal to make it a 23-10 game with 4:52 left to play.

The Beavers' hopes of making a comeback were dashed in the next drive, as Nelson picked off Mannion's pass and took it back to the house. It was Nelson's fifth interception in his last five games, and his first ever pick-six. After the extra point, Arizona State led 30-10 and  the game was out of reach for Oregon State.

The Beavers were able to get a late touchdown, but it was too little too late.