Walter Rallies Sun Devils To Victory
SAN DIEGO - Andrew Walter came off the bench to throw four touchdown passes to Shaun McDonald and Arizona State erased a 22-point deficit to beat San Diego State 39-28 Saturday night.
McDonald had catches of 72, 33, 29 and 16 yards to match the school record for touchdown receptions in a game that he shares with John Allen. McDonald's first two TD catches came just 27 seconds apart in the second quarter - on Walter's first two passes - to start the Sun Devils' comeback.
McDonald finished with eight catches for 175 yards, and Walter completed 10 of 19 passes for 175 yards. The Sun Devils (3-1) won on the road for the first time in two seasons.
San Diego State (0-3) lost in coach Tom Craft's home debut, and for the 12th straight time to a Pac-10 school.
ASU's rally spoiled brilliant performances by Aztec receiver J.R. Tolver and quarterback Adam Hall.
Tolver had 12 catches for 296 yards, 13th all-time on the NCAA single-game list and second on the school list. Hall was 32-of-60 for 516 yards, fifth on the school's all-time list, and three touchdowns, one to Tolver.
Walter replaced ineffective starter Chad Christensen late in the second quarter with the Sun Devils trailing 22-0. His first pass went 72 yards over the middle to McDonald. Khoa Nguyen recovered James Truvillion's fumble on the first play of SDSU's next drive, and Walter then hit McDonald for 33 yards.
Walter had been chosen as the starter during the week, but he injured a knee in practice, so Christensen started.
Matt Miller recovered a blocked punt in the end zone in the third quarter to cap a run of 25 straight points for the Sun Devils.
After Tommy Kirovski tied the game with a 30-yard field goal, McDonald caught a 29-yard pass and tumbled backward into the end zone for a 32-25 ASU lead with 32 seconds left in the third quarter.
Walter found McDonald in the back of the end zone for his fourth TD catch, from 16 yards, with 8:45 left to play. It was set up when Jamar Williams recovered a fumble on a punt return.
Williams also blocked Brian Simnjanovski's punt that Miller recovered in the end zone. After Walter's conversion pass to Mike Karney, the Sun Devils led 25-22.
Hall, coming off a 359-yard performance in a loss at Colorado, threw TD passes of 5 yards to Ronnie Davenport, 6 yards to Kassim Osgood and 17 to Tolver in the first half.
By BERNIE WILSON
AP Sports Writer