ASU football falls to Oregon
The Sun Devils fell in a close game to a top ranked opponent once again on Saturday night losing to #5 ranked Oregon 42-31. Mistakes and missed opportunities plagued the Devils who gave up seven turnovers. Quarterback Steven Threet was 30-53 for 387 yards and three touchdowns but also threw four interceptions. Gerell Robinson led the Devils with 7 catches for 94 yards. Mike Willie had 5 catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
The Sun Devils racked up 597 yards on 99 plays, the most offensive yards in a Pac-10 game since Oregon put up 667 yards of offense on October 28, 2000. The Sun Devils made 31 first downs but were 3-6 in the red zone.
Oregon's success in the game relied on capitalizing on ASU's turnovers. The Ducks had 405 yards of total offense. Quarterback Darron Thomas was 19-33 and threw for 260 yards and one touchdown. Oregon was 2-2 in the red zone.
The Sun Devils moved down the field on their opening drive but stalled around the 30 yard line. The 47 yard field goal attempt was missed by Thomas Weber. The defense shut down Oregon on their opening drive forcing a three and out.
Receiving the ball on the 19 yard line after a three and out the Sun Devils capped off an impressive 7 plays 81 yards drive with a touchdown run by Deantre Lewis. Lewis broke out from the line on 4th and 1 to go 53 yards for the score.
Oregon answered with an impressive 4 play 61 yard drive over 1:04. LaMichael James scored on 40 yard run. The extra point from Rob Beard tied the game with just over six minutes left in the first quarter.
An interception with a 39 yard return and touchdown by safety John Boyett put Oregon on top. Defensive pressure forced the miss thrown ball by ASU quarterback Steven Threet.
After successfully moving down the field, the second 4th and 1 attempt by the Sun Devils on the Oregon six yard line was stopped. The Sun Devil defense stepped up to get the ball back and Threet moved the offense down the field to cap off a 12 play 85 yard drive with a touchdown. Threet patiently rolled out of the pocket on second down and threw a 10 yard pass to Kerry Taylor to tie the game at 14.
The Devils forced the punt on yet another three and out and drove down the field to finish with a 34 yard field goal by Thomas Weber.
On the first play of the following drive Omar Bolden jumped a pass by Ducks quarterback Thomas Darron. The Devils took over on the Oregon 28 yard line. Threet completed a 28 yard pass to Kerry Taylor on the first play of the drive for the touchdown putting the devils up by ten.
Oregon regained their rhythm and again answered with an impressive 8 play 80 yard drive over 1:23 to finish with a 12 yard pass to Jeff Maehl with just over two minutes left in the half.
ASU went three and out their next drive to punt it to Oregon with over a minute to play in the half. Oregon marched down the field to score. A 61 yard pass to tight end David Paulson brought the ducks down to the four yard line where quarterback Thomas Darron made a four yard run to score putting the Ducks up by four.
Oregon led 28-24 at the half.
Midway through the third quarter Thomas extended the lead to 11 points with a 54 yard pass to Josh Huff. The drive consisted of 8 plays and 80 yards.
With just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter Threet threw a pass to Kyle Middlebrooks which was dropped and picked up by Boseko Lokombo and ran 31 yards into the touchdown. The pass was thrown laterally and therefore ruled a fumble. Oregon went up 42-24.
The Sun Devils bounced back with a 68 yard drive over 8 plays. Threet threw a 15 yard pass to Mike Willie for the touchdown cutting the lead back to 11.
ASU again forced three and out. Another unusual play turned the ball over to the Ducks once again. Threet threw a pass out to Deantre Lewis who turned up field and stepped on his left leg awkwardly twisting his knee. Lewis dropped the ball and Oregon recovered. The play was called dead but after review it was determined a fumble and Oregon ball. It was the Devil's fourth turnover of the game. Lewis did return.
The Sun Devils moved the ball well in the fourth quarter setting up the possibility for a comeback but Steven Threet managed to throw three interceptions, the last with 1:31 left in the game sealing the fate for the Devils.
On the positive end, the ASU defense managed to stop the Ducks on numerous possessions forcing them to punt 11 times. Also, though mistakes and missed opportunities killed the Devils on offense they were able to amass almost six hundred yards on one of the best defenses in the country.
Unfortunately, just like their previous game at #11 Wisconsin the Sun Devils were not able to pull out a win in a game that could have been won.
The Sun Devils travel to Corvallis, Oregon to take on Oregon State on Saturday at 3:30 PM.