After Arizona State defeated Colorado 41-30 the week before, the Sun Devils looked to stampede into the Rose Bowl to defeat beat in hopes of earning high bowl presence.
The game flopped in opposite thinking of the Sun Devils, as the Bruins pulled away with a 44-37 win.
ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins had an impressive passing game in the loss ,throwing for 290 yards. Wide receiver N’Keal Harry corralled 95 of those yards, along with a touchdown, but one reception widened the eyes of all who watched.
Facing a fourth down at midfield with almost two minutes left in regulation, Wilkins threw a lofting pass into double coverage.
Harry snagged it.
With a leap and an arm extension, Harry wrapped in the ball for a 39-yard reception.
The reception then set up a 23-yard field goal for ASU to cut the deficit to seven, but it wouldn’t be enough for a Sun Devil victory.
The catch may not have been made in the end zone, but showed fans what Harry is capable of and why he was the top receiver in his recruiting class.
When asked about the catch a few days after the loss, Harry emphasized that it was from the trust between him and Wilkins.
“I was telling Manny and coach to just trust me,” Harry said. “I had seen the safety kind of roaming back there the whole game and I told them ‘just throw the ball and regardless if there’s a safety or not, double-coverage or not, I’ll come down with it.’”
It wasn’t the first time Harry had made an eye-catching reception, but this one stood out among the rest. It showed the raw strength that Harry carries on his 216-pound frame.
The grab was more than just another reception. It was a statement.
After getting up from the tackle, he glared at one of the Bruin defenders, as if to send a silent message that no defender could outmatch him.
Many defenders had the same result against Harry as he wrangled in exactly 1,000 receiving yards in the regular season.