The Arizona State Sun Devils (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) outlasted the Oregon State Beavers (1-4, 0-2) in an offensive shootout on Saturday.
In head coach Herm Edwards’ first Pac-12 win, the two offenses combined for 76 points and 964 yards. The Sun Devils came out on top 52-24.
Arizona State got out to a 17-0 lead much in part to the performance of sophomore running back Eno Benjamin. Benjamin scored twice in the game’s first 16 minutes. His first being a 44-yard rush where he broke away from multiple tacklers. His second came from an easy rollout pass from redshirt senior quarterback Manny Wilkins eight yards out.
The Beavers got on the board with 9:17 left in the half from redshirt junior kicker Jordan Choukair 36-yard field goal. ASU quickly answered back with a quick drive of their own. Capped off by Benjamin’s third touchdown run from 47 yards out.
Oregon State freshman running back Jermar Jefferson didn’t want Benjamin to be the only back with a good night. He scored twice in the second quarter, the first with 6:22 left in the half from 11 yards out. Jefferson went almost untouched on his 27-yard run right before the end of the half to make the game 24-17.
The Sun Devils, needing to get some momentum back tried to score before halftime. And they got it. Wilkins took the lead in orchestrating a seven-play, 75 yard drive that took 48 seconds. Wilkins found redshirt junior wide receiver Kyle Williams for the touchdown. Williams on that catch went over 1,000 career yards.
After Oregon State went three-and-out on their first drive of the second half it was junior wide receiver N’Keal Harry’s time to get into the end zone. Harry caught a 21-yard pass on the drive before scoring two plays later. However, he did not catch the touchdown. Harry took the snap in the Sparky formation and scored on a six-yard run.
Now down 38-17, Oregon State put together a drive to stay in the game. Jefferson’s 45-yard run on the drive help set up the Beavers for a score. OSU head coach Jonathan Smith decided to go for it on fourth-and-2 on ASU’s four-yard line. Redshirt sophomore quarterback Conor Blount evaded a sack and found redshirt junior tight end Noah Togiai in the end zone to make the game 38-24 with 7:38 left in the third quarter.
With 16 seconds left in the third quarter, the Beavers once again attempted a fourth down try inside ASU’s 10-yard line. This time however, when Blount scrambled his pass to senior wide receiver Timmy Hernandez was broken up by redshirt sophomore cornerback Chase Lucas. And the Sun Devils headed into the fourth quarter up two touchdowns.
Benjamin with 9:48 set the game away with his fourth score of the night. After ASU continued the drive after converting on fourth down, Benjamin got the outside handoff and found a gap to fall in for the 10-yard score.
Wilkins then gave Harry a chance to score through the air. Harry fought through contact to make an easy grab and score for the 41-yard touchdown. That put ASU up 52-24 for good.
Neither team scored the rest of the way, as for the most part the Beavers struggled to throw the ball and ASU rushed out the clock.
In the rushing matchup, Benjamin finished wth 312 yards on 30 carries and four total touchdowns. Jefferson on 31 rushes had 254 yards and two scores. Wilkins went 14-for-25 for 162 yards and three touchdowns. His counterpart, Blount had 145 yards on 14-for-23 throwing with a touchdown.
On defense, ASU’s leading tackler was redshirt sophomore cornerback Terin Adams with eight total tackles. The Sun Devils had a total of five sacks, redshirt linebacker Malik Lawal led the way with two. Freshman linebacker Darien Butler had one, redshirt freshman Kyle Soelle had one, freshman linebacker Merlin Robertson and redshirt junior defensive end Jalen Bates split one.