A two-point conversion to walk away bowl eligible didn’t go the Sun Devils (5-5, 2-5) way, as they lost to the Oregon State Beavers (5-5, 4-3), by a score of 35-34.
The Beavers received the ball first and scored on their opening drive. Senior quarterback Jake Luton threw the ball all over the field. Luton went a perfect 5-for-5 on his pass attempts (70 yards) as he found freshman wide receiver Jesiah Irish in the corner of the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown to start the game.
Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels returned to the starting lineup for the Sun Devils after missing the USC game with a left knee injury. He was able to move around the pocket and keep plays alive early on. However, the Sun Devil offense stalled around midfield as senior wide receiver Kyle Williams dropped a third down pass.
After a three and out, ASU was able to tie the game after an eight-play drive. The Sun Devils had a balanced play call as Daniels went 2-4 and junior running back Eno Benjamin touched the ball four times for 18 yards. Benjamin would punch in the score from two yards out.
Though, Oregon State would respond on its next drive to take a 14-7 lead. A nine-play, 74-yard drive saw Luton connect with senior wide receiver Trevon Bradford for a five-yard score. Luton lobbed the ball into the left side of the end zone as Bradford created separation with junior cornerback Jack Jones.
ASU’s offense wasn’t ready to be down after one quarter of play. It took them four plays, 56 yards as Daniels threw a deep ball to junior wide receiver Frank Darby for another 24-yard score. The offense ran three consecutive run plays using Benjamin and Williams as the ball carriers on its next drive.
The first quarter ended with the score tied at 14. Both offenses were able to put up 100 yards and record at least five first downs.
The Beavers offense continued to show their improvement that has developed this season. They marched down the field and scored off of a 10-play, 74-yard drive. Luton went 4-4 on the drive for 43 yards and found junior wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins for the five-yard score.
After a 41-yard punt by Michael Turk, pinning Oregon State inside their own 10, the Beavers offense was unable to do anything.
They were forced to a three and out, but tight end Curtis Hodges was flagged for a personal foul as he attempted to leap over the blockers.
That didn't matter for ASU’s defense as they shut down Oregon State’s offense yet again. ASU not only walked out of the drive with two sacks, but senior wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk returned the ensuing punt for 63 yards and the score.
With under four minutes to go in the first half, Oregon State marched down the field and scored on a four-yard score by sophomore running back Jermar Jefferson. Their scoring drive was eight plays, for 72 yards. They would take a 28-21 lead into halftime after ASU’s last drive fo the first half ended as Daniels was sacked.
The third quarter saw four straight three and outs as both defenses were able to halt any offense to get going. On ASU’s third possession of the third quarter, Daniels was sacked on third down and ultimately fumbled the ball as the Beavers pounced on the ball.
Oregon State had the ball on ASU’s 28 and thy were able to capitalize on the turnover as Luton connected with senior tight end Noah Togiai who hurdled Jack Jones before getting into the end zone for the 12 yard score. Oregon State extended their lead to 35-21 off of the 5 play, 28 yard drive.
Daniels put the team on his back on fourth drive of the quarter as he went 3-4 for 67 yards and connected with Aiyuk for 56 yards on a deep ball. Benjamin would rush for 15 yards on two carries and put the team inside the ten yard line. Daniels found a wide open Williams on the left side of the field as the wideout ran it in for the eight yard score. This was Williams second straight game with a touchdown. ASU’s scoring drive was six plays, 82 yards and put the within one score, 35-28.
ASU’s defense was able to do something that no opposing team had done to Oregon State, recover a fumble. Late in the third quarter, the Sun Devil defense did just that and that gave the offense a chance to tie the game as the fourth quarter loomed in the distance. ASU’s offense wasn’t able to put any points on the board off of the Beaver turnover.
The Sun Devils looked to have a touchdown to tie the game but Benjamin fumbled on the goal line. Oregon State recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback and gave themselves to extend their lead.
Oregon State’s offense couldn’t do anything offensively and had to rely on their defense to shut down the magic of Daniels.
ASU had the ball with 6:19 left in the game and were able to march down the field. On a 3rd and 8 from their own 12 yard line, Daniels was hit as he threw and found Aiyuk on a deep ball for 44 yards.
Eight plays later and on fourth down, Daniels found Aiyuk again for a score as he twisted his way into the end zone.
The Sun Devils decided to stay on the field and attempt to take the lead. Daniels pitched the ball to Benjamin towards the left side of the field, and the Beavers quickly read the play and ultimately forced Benjamin to throw a wild heave into the end zone to see what he could be.
The Sun Devils failed two-point attempt left them down one with under two minutes to go and two minutes to use.
Oregon State wasn’t able to get a first down, and it looked like ASU would have one final chance. Instead, the Beavers decided to go for it on 4th and 2.
Luton dropped back to throw and JJones committed pass interference on Trevon Bradford. That penalty sealed the deal, and ASU now has lost four straight games.