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"Stun" Devils Taser Dawgs
Skinny speaks louder than second guessing
Malamute, 18 October 2009

With the game apparently headed for overtime, Arizona State quarterback Danny Sullivan connected with Chris McGaha on a 50-yard touchdown pass with 5 seconds left to give the Sun Devils a 24-17 victory over the Washington Huskies in the desert.

Although the Huskies' defense kept the ASU offense in check for much of the game, the final minute or so was decided by what turned out to be the skinny on the two teams, the game being build as a matchup between ASU's dominating defense and UW's feckless one, with the offenses being fairly even.

With the score tied at 17 and with 1:17 left on the clock, the Sun Devils held the Huskies to a 3-and-out and, getting the ball back at midfield with one timeout and just 13 ticks left, scored with the pass play to McGaha on blown coverage.

"We just messed up pretty much," cornerback Desmond Trufant said.

"We jumped a route, a crossing route, and left the middle of the field wide open," Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian told reporters.

Early in the game ASU's defense played with a ferocity seldom seen in this conference in past years, unless it's a USC defense. There were eight personal-foul penalties, including three by ASU freshman middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who played like he was wearing a Trojans' jersey with the number 55 on its back, e. g., Junior Seau.

The Sun Devils' defense, the best in the Pac-10, pretty much throttled the Huskies' running game, while putting loads of pressure on quarterback Jake Locker, who, at times, did an imitation of Fran Tarkington and, at other times, threw off his back foot. (It's amazing Jake can get so much velocity on the ball when he's in an awkward situation and not throwing on rhythm.)

As in the Arizona game the previous week, the Dawgs' defense bent but didn't break. Although it gave up 464 total yards, it held four ASU possessions inside their 23 to just three points.

The Huskies also came away empty a couple of times.

On the penultimate play of the first half, Washington kicker Erik Folk missed a 48-yard field goal after first making it; ASU called a timeout just before Folk attempted the kick, followed by another one, so the successful kick went for naught. (It was nice to see two of Erik's kickoffs go for touchbacks in the dry, desert heat).

Down 14-7 in the second quarter, the Huskies' offense -- a 2009 Sarkmobile with an Elway transmission -- motored from its own 10-yard line down to the Devils' 10, from where Locker was intercepted on the goal line by Ryan McFoy, and blew a gasket.

On the previous play Burfict intercepted Locker, but the play was nullified by a face-mask penalty, which took the ball to the 10. (If you subtract the Hail Mary on the last play of the game from Locker's passing stats, he ends up with an efficiency rating of 126.31 compared to the 117.73 he actually posted.)

Although Sark second-guessed himself for not running the ball instead of calling a 3rd-down pass play that resulted in an incompletion and stopped the clock, this on the Huskies' possession that preceded McGaha's touchdown, the bottom line of the game, when it was on the line, boiled down to the Sun Devils' stout defense and the Huskies' blown coverage. In the last minute, ASU stopped UW with a 3-and-out and took advantage of the Huskies' poor pass defense.

Nothing, however, including this notion, makes losing more tolerable.  

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
UW 7 0 7 3 17
ASU 7 7 3 7 24


Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
12:28 UW TD Jake Locker 49-yard pass to Devin Aguilar; Erik Folk kick. UW, 7-0
9:22 ASU TD Danny Sullivan 1-yard run; Thomas Weber kick. T, 7-7
2nd qtr
14:51 ASU TD Kyle Williams 32-yard pass to T. J. Simpson; Weber kick. ASU, 14-7
3rd qtr
4:45 ASU FG Weber 24-yard boot. ASU, 17-7
1:18 UW TD Chris Polk 23-yard run; Folk kick. ASU, 17-14
4th qtr
3:50 UW FG Folk 23 yarder. T, 17-17
0:05 ASU TD Sullivan 50-yard pass to Chris McGaha; Weber kick. ASU, 24-17

 

Statistic UW ASU
Total First Downs 20 24
  Rushing 5 7
  Passing 10 12
  Penalty 5 5
Total Net Yards 378 464
Net Yards Passing 279 295
Net Yards Rushing 99 169
Completions-att-int 22-38-2 22-36-0
Punts, yards, average 5-213, 42.6 4-175, 43.8
Sacks by (number, yards) 3-15 3-10
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 5-53-0 2-34-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 2-11-0 2-10-0
Kickoff Yards 4-271 5-304
Net Yards per kickoff 49.2 46.2
Average yards per kickoff 67.8 60.8
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 2 1
Third-down conversions 6-15 5-12
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 0-0-0 2-6-0
Penalties, no., Yards 12-124 9-99
Fumbles; number/lost 1-1 2-1
Time of Possession  30:35 29:25

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Arizona          
Danny Sullivan (132.55) 21 35 263 1 0
Kyle Williams (698.8) 1 1 32 1 0
           
Washington          
Jake Locker (117.73) 22 38 279 1 2
           
Arizona State Rushing No. Yds TDs Long  
Cameron Marshall 4 76 0 75  
Demitri Nance 13 70 0 24  
T. J. Simpson 1 30 0 30  
Jamal Miles 1 0 0 0  
TEAM 1 -1 0 0  
Danny Sullivan 7 -6 1 5  
           
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Jake Locker 8 24 0 18  
Chris Polk 12 51 1 23  
Johri Fogerson 5 16 0 6  
Devin Aguilar 1 6 0 6  
Paul Homer 1 2 0 2  
           
'Devs Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Dimitri Nance 6 41 0 16
Gerell Robinson 5 68 0 21  
Kerry Taylor 4 41 0 14  
Kyle Williams 3 29 0 9  
Jamal Miles 2 34 0 17  
Chris McGaha 1 50 1 50  
T. J. Simpson 1 32 1 32  
           
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
James Johnson 6 29 0 10  
Devin Aguilar 7 154 1 49  
Jermaine Kearse 5 70 0 343  
Chris Polk 1 6 0 6  
Johri Fogerson 3 20 0 11  
           
Punting punts yds long Avg
Trevor Hankins 4 175 55 43.8
           
Washington          
   
Will Mahan 5 213 59 42.6  
Attendance: 53,219          

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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