Late field goal gives Sun Devils 23-20 win over Cougs
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- College football has been a breeze for Arizona State freshman Thomas Weber.
Weber kicked a 37-yard field goal with 50 seconds left that lifted the undefeated Sun Devils to a 23-20 win at Washington State on Saturday.
"This is the sixth game of my career, and to kick the game winning field goal makes everything feel great," he said. "Everything was textbook."
Weber also handled punting duties for the first time this year, kicking six times for an average of 41.5 yards.
Washington State had a chance to tie with 12 second left, but Romeen Abdollmohammadi's 46-yard field goal missed left and Arizona State held on despite scoring its fewest points for first-year coach Dennis Erickson, who coached at Washington State from 1987-88.
Fans in the stands heaped plenty of abuse on Erickson.
"The way it sounded, not too many people here like coach Erickson," Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter said. "We love coach Erickson in Tempe."
Carpenter completed 19 of 27 passes for 217 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Arizona State (6-0, 3-0 Pac-10), which came in averaging 39 points.
"Any time you are 6-0 you are somewhat surprised," Erickson said. "We take it one step at a time."
Ryan Torain gained 116 yards on 24 carries and did most of the work on what turned out to be the game-winning drive.
"Torain took over at the end," Erickson said.
Washington State (2-4, 0-3), which came in with the worst defense in the conference, had its best defensive showing of the season -- Andy Mattingly had four of the Cougars' seven sacks -- and got a record-setting performance by quarterback Alex Brink.
There was also some grumbling from the Cougars' side about an apparent touchdown that was overturned by replay.
Brink completed 27 of 50 passes for 369 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception, and set a Washington State record for career yards passing with 8,923. Jason Gesser had the old record with 8,830.
"Personal accomplishments don't mean a lot," said Brink, a four-year starter. "This is a rough stretch for our team."
Trailing 20-17, the Cougars ate up nearly seven minutes of the fourth quarter with a 77-yard drive that began on their 2 and ended with Abdollmohammadi's 38-yard field goal that tied the score at 20 with 3:58 left in the game.
But the Sun Devils replied with the winning drive, chewing up 3:08 by going 45 yards in eight plays.
Taking over on the 20 with 50 seconds left, Brink and the Cougars drove to Arizona State's 29, but WSU's kicking struggles continued as the field goal attempt went wide left. The team is 4-for-8 on field goal attempts this season.
"We were two feet away from an overtime game with the No. 18 team in the nation, but it's not a win," coach Bill Doba said "The whole defense worked its tail off today."
After a scoreless first quarter, Washington State's Husain Abdullah picked off Carpenter and returned the ball 25 yards to the Arizona State 36. Brandon Gibson caught an apparent touchdown pass in the end zone, but on review it was ruled a drop. Abdollmohammadi kicked a 35-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.
"I felt like I caught it," Gibson said.
"I know that was a touchdown," Brink added.
Carpenter directed a 72-yard scoring drive, hitting Kyle Williams for an 11-yard touchdown pass and a 7-3 lead with 1:46 left in the half.
Brink replied with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Gibson for a 10-7 Washington State halftime lead.
The Cougars were threatening early in the second half when Arizona State's Justin Tryon picked off Brink's pass and returned it untouched 69 yards for a 14-10 ASU lead.
Brink hit Devin Frischknecht on a 13-yard touchdown pass for a 17-14 lead with 7:24 left in the third.
Arizona State replied with a 62-yard drive, ending with Carpenter's 3-yard scoring pass to Brady Conrad. Weber's extra point attempt was blocked by Xavier Hicks and it was 20-17 Sun Devils.
The Cougars marched down to the ASU 29, but instead of a potential game-tying field goal attempt they went for it on fourth-and-6. A pass completion from Brink to Jed Collins fell a yard short.