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Sun Devils defeat Wildcats in overtime, 30-29

December 03, 2010

ASU blocks 2 late extra points to seal victory

Arizona State blocked extra point attempts at the end of regulation and the second overtime securing an improbable 30-29 win over rival Arizona on Thursday night.

Arizona State (6-6, 4-5 Pac-10) rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and broke through for a blocked extra point with 27 seconds left in regulation to keep the score tied at 20-all.

Cameron Marshall scored on a 2-yard run in the second overtime and David Douglas of Arizona (7-5, 4-5) answered with a 9-yard touchdown run, but James Brooks through to block Alex Zendejas' extra point to send Arizona to its fourth straight defeat.

Thomas Weber kicked five field goals for Arizona State.

Arizona had BCS hopes after opening the season 7-1. A blowout loss to Stanford ended that goal and two more losses left the Wildcats reeling and on course for a smaller bowl.

ASU went into the game after a series of just-miss losses and a win over an FCS team that didn't count toward a bowl, hoping to beat their rivals and get a waiver from the NCAA to get into a bowl. Despite the win, the NCAA denied the waiver leaving ASU out of a bowl game.

“It was a powerful way to end the season last night in Tucson. We are disappointed in the outcome that we are not going to a bowl game, but everyone involved worked very hard to make that happen.  We are excited by the fact that we ended the year by winning three of our last five games and it is a tremendous springboard into the very promising 2011 campaign,” said Lisa Love, ASU vice president for athletics.

Both teams' fate came down to a rivalry game, which can have a funny affect on teams, leading to fluke plays and plenty of emotions.

Last year's game had both.

Arizona State's Kyle Williams made a spectacular tying TD catch, muffed a punt about a minute later and Arizona won the defensive battle 20-17 on Zendejas' 32-yard field goal. The teams celebrated their dislike afterward with a mini melee at midfield.

The 84th version of the Duel in the Desert was more a Dud in the Desert early on.

The Pac-10's top two passing teams, with quarterbacks who threw for a combined 828 yards last week, seemed like they were playing underwater, trading go-nowhere runs, dropped interceptions and badly overthrown passes throughout an ugly first half.

Weber provided the only points, hitting from 52 and 36 yards to put the Sun Devils up 6-0.

Arizona, after 88 yards and eight punts in the first half, finally came to life in the second.

Back in rhythm after a 49-yard first half, Nick Foles hit Terrence Miller on a pump-faking 38-yard pass down the middle, then hooked up with Juron Criner on the next play, pinpointing a pass in the corner of the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown.

Criner made it 14-6 late in the third quarter, giving Arizona State cornerback LeQuan Lewis a slight bump on an up-for-grabs ball to score a 52-yard touchdown.

The Sun Devils decided to fight back after that.

Weber hit a 38-yard field goal to open the fourth quarter, then Brock Osweiler led Arizona State back down the field for a 3-yard touchdown pass to Mike Willie, adding a 2-point conversion that put the Sun Devils up 17-14.

Arizona State's defense held on a fourth down near Arizona's 30 on the next drive and Weber nailed a 40-yard field goal to make it 20-14 with 3 minutes left.

Foles answered by hitting Douglas on 5-yard touchdown pass, but Arizona State blocked the PAT, adding another wild chapter to a rivalry already filled with them.