Sun Devils defeat Washington State 46-7


November 19, 2012

Playing in their final home game, Arizona State's senior class came up big as the Sun Devils snapped their four-game losing streak and defeated the Washington State Cougars, 46-7, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. on Saturday.

It was Senior Day for Arizona State and with emotions running high, the seniors came out strong and gave fans one final reminder of everything they had accomplished during their ASU careers. Thanks to offensive contributions from wide receiver Rashad Ross and running back Cameron Marshall, as well as defensive gems from safety Keelan Johnsonand linebacker Brandon Magee, ASU put the game out of reach early. Download Full Image

ASU spread the ball around on offense all game as quarterbacks Taylor Kelly, who went 20-for-23 for 246 yards and four touchdowns, and Michael Eubank found nine different receivers in all.

The Cougars elected to receive to start the game and the Sun Devils defense wasted no time in forcing a three-and-out. On the ensuing punt, ASU took advantage of a WSU fumble and recovered at the Cougar 6-yard line. ASU couldn't find the end zone, however, and settled for a 21-yard field goal by Jon Mora. ASU has now scored first in 10 of the team's 11 games.

After forcing another three-and-out, Kelly connected with Ross for a 15-yard touchdown. Marshall carried the ball for a successful two-point conversion to put Arizona State up, 11-0.

Not to be outdone by the seniors, the Sun Devil's younger players proved that ASU would be in good hands in 2013. After rushes by Marshall, Ross and wide receiver Richard Smith, tight end Chris Coyle continued his strong season and took the ball 18 yards into the end zone. On the first play of WSU's next drive, Cougars' quarterback Jeff Tuel tried to throw the ball long, but Johnson was waiting down field and intercepted the ball to put the Sun Devils back on offense. Despite two receptions of more than 20 yards by wide receivers Kevin Ozier and Jamal Miles, ASU failed to score and went into the second quarter leading, 18-0.

Magee sacked Tuel on WSU's first drive of the second quarter, and although ASU couldn't capitalize after Miles broke numerous tackles on the punt return, the Sun Devils scored after a 17-yard reception by Marion Grice on the very next drive. Johnson followed the touchdown with his second interception of the game off of Washington State's new quarterback, Connor Halliday. His 35-yard return set the stage for a 29-yard touchdown pass from Eubank to Coyle that put Arizona State ahead, 32-0.

WSU threatened to score with the clock winding down in the second quarter, but Halliday failed to convert on a fourth-and-four from the six-yard line and the Devils headed to the locker room with a first-half shutout.

ASU continued their dominance on offense to open the second half. After five consecutive first downs from four different players, Eubank carried the ball one yard into the end zone. After rushes by running back D.J. Foster and Grice, Kelly once again connected with Ross for a 31-yard touchdown that increased ASU's lead, 46-0.

ASU failed to score again, though they came close at the beginning of the fourth quarter. After a drive in which Marshall carried the ball 30 yards, Mora failed to convert on a 31-yard field goal attempt. With a commanding lead, ASU rested some of its starters and gave some of their seniors one last chance to play in front of the home crowd. Running backJames Morrison ended up carrying the ball 48 yards in the fourth quarter alone. Offensive lineman Kyle Johnson and wide receiver AJ Pickens were among the other seniors who saw significant playing time in the fourth quarter.

The Sun Devils defense had one of its best performances of the season despite allowing WSU scored in the last two minutes of the game to break up the shutout. They forced seven sacks and a fumble in addition to Johnson's two interceptions. They brought pressure throughout the game on the Cougars' quarterbacks, especially Halliday, who ended up completing just 13 of his 33 passes. Tuel was only 8-for-16 for 67 yards before being removed from the game. Washington State's leading rusher, Teondray Caldwell, was held to only 13 rushing yards.

The offense saw contributions from nearly every starter on the roster. Ross had 79 receiving yards and two touchdowns, while Miles, Ozier and Coyle (also with two touchdowns) all finished above 50 receiving yards. Marshall led the team with 75 rushing yards, while Foster has a 50-yard rushing performance. Besides his rushing touchdown, Eubank was 7-for-9 for 55 yards in passing and added 33 rushing yards.

ASU will close out the regular season with the Territorial Cup match against Arizona on Friday, Nov. 23, in Tucson. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN. 

Juno Schaser

Event coordinator, Biodesign Institute

480-965-0014

Sun Devil Family Charities steps up to help ASU families


November 19, 2012

One day in June 2009, a routine doctor’s visit for an earache brought a shocking diagnosis for three-year-old Taylor Souza: acute myelogenous leukemia. Her mother had noticed bruises on her legs and stomach, but she never dreamed her vibrant daughter, a twin, would soon be fighting for her life.

Taylor’s treatment required being at the hospital for up to 50 days at a time, leaving her mother Kristen unable to work. Though the Souzas had health insurance, the loss of a salary was devastating. Scott Holland Download Full Image

As graduates of ASU, Kristen and her husband Sean were able to apply for financial assistance from Sun Devil Family Charities, a four-year-old organization that has already helped more than 50 families. It was formed to help ASU-related families who are experiencing financial hardship because of a medical condition.

The Souzas’ application was approved, and as Taylor spent eight months in the hospital, Sun Devil Family Charities (SDFC) was able to bring them some relief from financial burdens.

“Knowing we had their support allowed us to put all of our energy into Taylor’s recovery, not worrying about the medical bills,” said Kristen.

This year they celebrated two years of Taylor being completely free of leukemia and out of treatment.

Scott Holland, an ASU alum and current president of SDFC, said he was especially affected by Taylor’s diagnosis, having a three-year-old daughter himself at the time.

“I couldn’t help but personalize it, with my daughter in mind,” said Holland. “Meeting with Taylor’s father after she went into remission was a very emotional event, as I felt especially connected to the miracle of her recovery.

“We all get so wrapped up in our daily jobs, and our career, that we tend to forget what other people go through, and how truly fortunate we are. We all should be giving back. All the friends I made at ASU, the Sun Devil family, are a huge part of my life, and I’m glad to be a part of this.”

The nonprofit public charity grew out of the SAVEJOE Foundation started by ASU offensive guard Joe Cajic, who had leukemia and wanted to increase the number of donors in the bone marrow registry. Cajic’s life was eventually saved by a bone marrow transplant, and the group continued to help others in similar situations.

When another ASU alum became ill and needed a double lung transplant, Cajic and foundation volunteers decided to branch out to raise funds for all those connected to ASU who are experiencing a medical hardship. Sun Devil Family Charities, formed as a 501c3 in 2009, now provides temporary assistance to students, alumni, faculty and staff, and their family members.

A committee of health care professionals screens applicants, with SDFC most often helping fill the gap between insurance and a family’s ability to pay. This year they have provided more than $40,000 to fund 16 families. Their funds come from selling food and beverages at tailgates before home games, shared fundraisers and an annual golf tournament.

Ebony Kelly, an ASU alum with a successful career at American Express, was one of the first recipients when she became gravely ill with polymyositis, a chronic inflammatory disease. SDFC volunteers swung into action with a billiards tournament and a car wash to help pay her costs for a double lung transplant. They helped drive her to appointments and fill out the mountain of paperwork.

ASU graduates Christine Topping and Sarah Hess, both young mothers who were diagnosed with breast cancer, have received support from the foundation in the past two years. Recipients this year include a 36-year-old employee with a brain tumor, an alum’s sister with breast cancer, and a graduate’s 8-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy. 

The Foundation welcomes donations of time, money, in-kind services or items for auction or raffle at fundraising events. Individuals with an ASU connection who have financial need because of medical costs are encouraged to apply for aid.

For more information, visit www.sundevilfamily.org.