If the first two drives were any indication, the Arizona State Sun Devils were going to cruise to a victory over the Washington State Cougars Saturday afternoon.
The Sun Devil defense gave up too many big plays, missed too many tackles and the offense could not find any rhythm in the second half in a 38-24 defeat to Washington State.
ASU led 14-0 after its first two drives thanks to touchdown runs by Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage. The Sun Devils were averaging over 10 yards per carry and were dominating both lines of scrimmage.
Following a Kareem Orr interception, ASU had the ball inside the Washington State five-yard line, primed to go up 21-0 midway through the first quarter.
However, after Demario Richard was stuffed on third down on a run up the middle, Mike Bercovici was tackled shy of the yard to gain on fourth and short and the Sun Devils turned the ball over on downs.
After their first two scoring drives, ASU punted twice, fumbled the ball once and turned the ball over on downs in the first half. Washington State's only touchdown of the first half came with some controversy.
On fourth-and-five from inside the ASU 10-yard line. Luke Falk completed a pass to receiver Gabe Marks, who was tackled a yard shy of the yard to gain. However, officials ruled that because of an inadvertent whistle, the play had the be replayed.
Washington State scored on the next play and the Sun Devils took a 14-10 lead into halftime.
The second half was owned by the Cougars, as they scored touchdowns on their first three drives of the second half, two of the touchdown drives were over 90 yards. After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, Washington State outscored the Sun Devils 38-10.
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk continued his impressive season, tallying 497 yards and five touchdowns through the air. His five touchdown passes went to four different receivers. Dom Williams caught two touchdown passes to go along with 123 yards and Kyle Sweet led the Cougars with seven catches for 77 yards.
The sophomore duo of Richard and Ballage excellent once again in a losing effort. Richard topped 100 yards for the second straight game and Ballage gained 84 yards on 14 carries. Bercovici completed 27-of-44 passes for 229 yards, no touchdowns and one interception.
Arizona State now has to win two of its final three games to become bowl eligible. That stretch begins next Saturday when ASU hosts Washington.