Three might just be the magic number for the Arizona State Sun Devils.
With three sacks and three scores, Arizona State (2-3, 1-1 Pac-12 held the No. 5 Washington Huskies (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) to just two first downs and no points in the first half to take a 13-0 lead.
In its last performance, ASU didn’t attain a single sack against Stanford. The Sun Devils’ three against Washington in the first half marked the absolute difference maker.
Beginning with an abrupt Washington 3-and-out, the Sun Devils stormed 63 yards down the field, eating up roughly eight minutes of clock to take a 7-0 lead. But not without gutsy play calling.
On 4th-and-1 from the Washington 5-yard line, Kalen Ballage lined up behind Manny Wilkins, but Wilkins stood up, pivoted and darted a line drive into the Hands of N’Keal Harry who converted the first down. A Washington penalty later, Ballage rumbled into the end zone with five and a half minutes left in the first quarter.
Washington’s next drive was sparked by a 20-yard rush from Lavon Coleman that put the Huskies near midfield, but the Huskies were then forced to punt after Jake Browning was nearly intercepted by Christian Sam and dished just a 4-yard pass to Aaron Fuller on a 3rd-and-8. Through two drives, Browning was 2-for-4 with three yards.
Arizona State punted on its next drive, but held Washington to a near disastrous three-and-out a drive later. Alani Latu and Renell Wren combined for a 16-yard sack that caused Browning to fumble, but it was recovered by Huskies offensive lineman Kaleb McGary.
Shortly after, it got even uglier for the Huskies.
Washington punter Joel Whitford’s punt was blocked by Curtis Hodges, setting up ASU at the Huskies’ 34-yard line just after the start of the second quarter.
On the drive, ASU was unable to produce any yardage, but brought life to the scoreboard, as Brandon Ruiz nailed a 52-yard field goal, tying his career-long in field goals one minute into the second quarter.
Browning and the Huskies then took over, but fell short again. This time by 15 yards. Tashon Smallwood and Alani Latu sacked Browning for nine yards to the Washington 19-yard line.
At the time, ASU had sustained six first downs. The Huskies? Just one.
Arizona State then added to its offensive production, adding three more points to its total on three more first downs, 13-0.
Starting on their own 34-yard line with just under 12 minutes left in the half, Wilkins led the ASU offense 59 yards down the field on 12 plays to set up a 25-yard field goal by Ruiz. The Sun Devils ended the drive with just 5:44 left in the second quarter.
Down 13-0, Washington made to midfield, but imploded, again.
On 3rd-and-5 from the ASU 47-yard line, DJ Calhoun managed a 4-yard sack on Browning.
The Sun Devils then failed to score on their next drive, as they handed Washington the ball and the Huskies let the clock run out.