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Oregon State holds off Sun Devils

November 01, 2008

Despite a valiant effort and a late fourth-quarter touchdown drive, Arizona State lost 27-25 to Oregon State on Saturday at Reser Stadium. The Sun Devils fall to 2-6, 1-4 in the Pac-10, with the loss.

Tight end Andrew Pettes caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Rudy Carpenter with 21 seconds left in the game, but Carpenter's throw on the two-point conversion attempt was intercepted by Oregon State's Victor Butler.

ASU had taken over at its own 28 with just 1:55 left in the game down 27-19, but Carpenter marched the team down the field, going 6-for-7 for 75 yards on the drive and leading the Sun Devils to their first offensive touchdown of the night. However, the Beavers sealed the game by stopping the two-point conversion attempt and then recovering an onside kick, which allowed them to run out the clock.

Carpenter was 15-of-27 for 217 yards and a touchdown on the night. It was his 75th career touchdown pass, which puts him just 10 behind Andrew Walter for the most in school history.

Junior Shaun DeWitty, in just the second start of his career, ran for 110 yards on 16 carries. That was the first 100-yard rushing game by a Sun Devil this season, and DeWitty's 54-yard run in the fourth quarter was ASU's longest play from scrimmage so far in 2008.

Four different receivers caught balls for ASU, led by sophomore Kerry Taylor's six catches for 81 yards. Chris McGaha had a season-high 76 yards on three receptions, while Pettes and Michael Jones each finished with three catches for 30 yards.

The Sun Devils moved the ball well, getting into the red zone on five of their 10 offensive possessions in the game. However, they had to settle for Thomas Weber field goals on their first four red zone trips before finally scoring a touchdown on their last possession.

Mike Nixon had 12 tackles and Morris Wooten added 11 to lead the Sun Devil defense, and safety Troy Nolan returned an interception for a touchdown in the third quarter. It was ASU's first defensive touchdown this season and Nolan's third career return for a score.

The Beavers scored first, as quarterback Lyle Moevao found Shane Morales for an 11-yard touchdown on their opening possession.

However, the ASU defense would keep Oregon State off the scoreboard for the rest of the first half. Weber made two field goals to bring the Devils within a point, but he missed a 44-yard attempt with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter, so ASU trailed at halftime for the fifth consecutive game.

Nolan picked off Oregon State backup quarterback Sean Canfield, who came in for an injured Moevao in the second quarter, on the Beavers' first possession of the third quarter and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown. That gave the Sun Devils their first lead since they led 20-13 in the fourth quarter against UNLV.

Oregon State responded on the ensuing possession, as Canfield threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Morales to put the Beavers back in front.

The teams traded field goals on their next drives, and Canfield then connected with Sammie Stroughter for an 11-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put his team ahead by eight.

Weber's fourth field goal of the night cut ASU's deficit to five, but Oregon State's Justin Kahut responded with a field goal of his own to restore the lead to eight with less than five minutes to play.

However, Kahut missed a 45-yard field goal attempt on the Beavers' next drive, giving ASU a chance with under two minutes left. Carpenter led the Sun Devils to a touchdown on an 11-play drive, but the failed two-point conversion ended ASU's hopes of victory.

The Sun Devils take to the road again this week, as they will travel to Seattle to face Washington on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. Arizona time.