The 23rd ranked Arizona State Sun Devils traveled to San Diego for their first road game of the Herm Edwards tenure. It didn’t end well, exciting? Yes. But the Sun Devils (2-1) will leave San Diego with a loss after falling to the Aztecs (2-1) 28-21.
After trading punts back-and-forth in the first quarter, Arizona State finally got on the board with 41 seconds left in the quarter. Quarterback Manny Wilkins found wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk on a curl route inside the red zone. Aiyuk broke off the tackle of cornerback Ron Smith and rolled into the end zone for his first Sun Devil touchdown.
San Diego State wasted no time answering back however. Quarterback Ryan Agnew and running back Juwan Washington led the way for the Aztecs 5:13 touchdown drive. Washington had 48 yards on the drive including his 13-yard scamper into the end zone to tie the game up at seven.
The Sun Devils threw a punch right back. On the second play of the drive, Wilkins found wide receiver Frank Darby for a 10-yard gain. Three plays later the quarterback found Darby again, but this time for a 51-yard gain to the Aztec’s nine-yard line. After an eight-yard carry by running back Eno Benjamin, Wilkins punched the ball in himself to go up 14-7 with 8:06 left in the half.
After forcing a punt from SDSU on the next drive, ASU started on their own six-yard line. They’d get all the way down to SDSU’s 20-yard line on a quick drive that included big gains by wide receiver N’Keal Harry for 21 yards and Darby for 43. But they were faced with a choice on fourth-and-1 on SDSU’s 11-yard line.
Instead of giving kicker Brandon Ruiz an opportunity to get the Sun Devils up 10, Wilkins and company marched back out on the field. The initial read of a swing pass was covered and Wilkins ended up being sacked, forcing a turnover on downs.
In under two minutes, Agnew put together his best drive in his collegiate career so far. He completed five pass of 12, 14, 12, 15, and 15 yards to get down to ASU’s nine-yard line. Agnew then found wide receiver Tim Wilson Jr. in the back corner of the end zone with six seconds left in the half to head into halftime tied at 14.
The Sun Devils went three-and-out on the first drive of the second half after getting the ball. SDSU started off strong once again on offense quickly getting to ASU’s 36-yard line. Although, the defense finally made a stop and forced a field goal attempt from the Aztecs. John Baron nailed the 54-yard field goal to give SDSU their first lead of the night; 17-14.
No other points were scored in the third quarter, but the Aztecs had full control out gaining the Sun Devils 78-13. ASU went three-and-out on all three of their drives in the quarter.
The Aztecs continued a drive into the fourth quarter. This time on the Aztecs were faced with the decision on a fourth-and-1 on ASU’s 39-yard line. Washington got four yards and the first down. The drive did end up stalling at the 19-yard line. Baron then made the game 20-14 with a 36-yard field goal.
Another three-and-out from the ASU offense, got SDSU started from their own 40-yard. This time it wasn’t Washington leading the way, but rather running back Chase Jasmin. Jasmin had x carries for x yards on the drive. Jasmin punched in the score from three yards out. Agnew then found tight end Kahale Warring for the two-point conversation to put the Aztecs up 28-14 with 4:14 left in the game.
The Sun Devils finally found life after that touchdown drive from SDSU. They marched down the field that ended up with a seven-yard jump ball touchdown pass from Wilkins to Harry to cut the lead to 28-21. The two connected four times for 47 yards on the drive.
With 1:40 left in the game and two timeouts the Sun Devils decided to onside kick it. Ruiz’s kick went straight to the SDSU player for an easy recovery. Jasmin then got the handoff on a third down that would seal the win. He got the first down, but tried for more, linebacker Jay Jay Wilson knocked the ball out and ASU got it back.
With 43 seconds and a timeout, ASU started from their own 23-yard line. A Wilkins scramble and a pass to Darby got them to the 50. Three straight incompletions led to fourth-and-10. Wilkins gave it his best shot sending one to Darby, who caught the ball and down at the four-yard line with six seconds left. But after Darby got hit a targeting call came. And after review the player was ejected. The review also determined Darby didn’t complete the catch.
Frank Darby goes and gets the ball. Then gets crushed. ASU still has hope down 7. pic.twitter.com/5zyAleDoLc— Brady (@BradyVernon) September 16, 2018
Wilkins gave it one last heave, and the pass was knocked down as time expired.
Wilkins finished the night going 31-for-46 with 341 yards and three touchdowns (one rushing). His leading receiver was Harry, who caught nine balls for 86 yards. Wilkins’ counterpart in Agnew had 129 yards and a touchdown on 12-for-24 throwing. Washington finished the night with 138 rushing yards and a touchdown.
On defense, the leading tackle was safety Jalen Harvey with 13 tackles. Defensive end Jermayne Lole had the only ASU sack of the night.
The Sun Devils will head to Seattle for a battle with the Washington Huskies next Saturday.