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First-half recap: Washington State leads Sun Devils 24-21

It wasn't the first half either team was expecting, but after 30 minutes the Cougars led by three.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Two offensive teams did not start their game the way either one planned, but got there eventually.

The Sun Devils went three-and-out on both of their first four drives, totaling -23 yards. Washington State, while able to move the ball forward, was unable to get on the board until late in the first quarter.

The first excitement in the game came in giving the ball back to Washington State after the opening, which was an adventure, to say the least.

It was a low snap and punter Jordan Dascalo had a tough time corralling it. Arizona State did not send a rusher, dropping all 11 back into punt return coverage. Descale scooped it up and instead of kicking it away, tried to run for it. He came up short, officially a turnover on downs.

With just over 10 minutes gone in the first quarter, Washington State converted a 4th-and-7 in Arizona State territory, and went on to cap the drive with a quarterback keeper by Luke Falk for a 1-yard touchdown run with 2:45 left in the quarter.

After another three-and-out, the boo birds started raining on the team and it looked to get ugly. Then Damarious Randall with what may end up being the play of the game with an acrobatic interception, his third in as many games, to give the Sun Devils the ball back.

Taylor Kelly connected for 42 yards with D.J. Foster as the first quarter mercifully ended, a frame in which Kelly was sacked four times. Washington State led 7-0 after the first 15 minutes.

The second quarter provided the shot of adrenaline Arizona State needed. Foster took a handoff on the quarter's first play and ran 17 yards into the end zone to tie the game.

On the next drive, Arizona State appeared to stop Washington State at the 31-yard line, but an offsides call gave the Cougars a second chance. They made good on their opportunity, completing a 1-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Galvin.

It ended up being an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to but Washington State back up by a touchdown, 14-7.

The next Washington State drive was brutal to watch for Arizona State fans. The Sun Devils took four offsides penalties, one of which was declined after a 34-yard catch by Vince Mayle. A few plays later, Falk found Isiah Myers for 20 yards and another touchdown. With 4:52 left in the half, Washington State led 21-7.

Whatever problems the Sun Devils are having can't be put on Foster. Just like the first scoring drive, Foster seemed to spark something inside the team. After a 15-yard run, Kelly went deep, hitting Cam Smith for a 42-yard touchdown to bring Arizona State right back within a score. It needed only 1:33 to get into the end zone.

Foster finished the half with 85 yards and a touchdown on five carries and two receptions.

Then Marcus Hardison intercepted Falk on the first play of the ensuing drive, waking up Sun Devil Stadium. Tw plays later Kelly hit Fred Gammage for a touchdown, the first of his career, and just like that the score was tied at 21. The two touchdowns came 41 seconds apart.

For the Cougars, the passing attack was as-advertised. Falk completed 10 passing yards of more than 15 yards, and 329 yards overall. Washington State added a field goal as time expired in the half.