ASU Upsets No. 6 Oregon
Oct 19, 2002
By Travis Breedlove, ASU Sports Information
The Arizona State Sun Devils (6-2, 3-0) were looking to keep atop the Pac-10 standings as they traveled to Eugene to take on the sixth ranked and undefeated Ducks from the University of Oregon (6-1, 2-1). ASU had not won at Autzen Stadium since 1995 and had failed to beat the Ducks in their last four games. After holding on against Oregon State 13-9 the week prior the Sun Devil offense was looking to make a statement at Oregon.
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Walter would bring the Devils back from a 21 point deficit, while having an ASU career and Pac-10 record setting night (31-of-53 for 536 yards and four touchdowns), to clinch a Sun Devil win 45-42. 'With the offense we have, there's an opportunity to (pass for 500 yards) every week. But it's not something you go to bed at night dreaming. You go to bed dreaming about getting a win at a place like this,' Walter said after the game.
The Sun Devils would start the game receiving the opening kickoff and Hakim Hill returning it 25 yards to start ASU's first possession. The offense was moving the ball down the field with a seven-yard completion to Daryl Lightfoot from Walter and then a Cornell Canidate rush for four-yards to get their first of 25 first downs in the game. Just five plays latter as Walter looked to go deep, his pass was intercepted by Oregon defender Steven Moore at the Ducks eight-yard line, to turn the ball over.
Jason Fife would complete a 21-yard pass on their first play of the game to Geo Wrighster for a Ducks first down. Oregon would continue to strike at the Devil defense, but they would hold on and force the Ducks to punt.
ASU, however, would not be able to move the ball and they too would punt it back to the Ducks.
This time the Ducks would start at their own 44-yard line. Fife would set up a six-yard touchdown pass to Samie Parker after hitting Keith Allen for a 31-yard pass putting the ball at the ASU 19-yard line. After a Jared Siegel extra point the Ducks would lead 7-0.
The offense would continue to struggle for the Sun Devils as Oregon would put up more points and build on their lead. On Oregon's next possession Onterrio Smith would run for 57 yards and another Duck score building their lead to 14-0.
The Devils would continue to try and move the ball down the filed, but a sack of quarterback Andrew Walter by Oregon defender David Moretti would put the drive to a halt and Tim Parker would punt it back to the Ducks.
Keenan Howry would take the 41-yard punt and return it 45 yards to the ASU 47-yard line giving Oregon another chance at adding to its two-touchdown lead. However, the Sun Devil defense would hold the Ducks and force a punt again going into the second quarter.
Thanks to two Duck sacks ASU would again punt the ball to the Ducks setting up their final score of the first half.
The Ducks would take only five plays to add to their lead as Jason Fife completed a 36-yard pass to Parker setting up Onterrio Smith's one-yard touchdown run. The Ducks now had a 21-0 lead in their home stadium over ASU.
The Sun Devils would take the ball as Walter would find Derek Hagan for 16-yards and later Shaun McDonald for 34-yards putting the ball on the Ducks 24-yard line. Andrew Walter would again aim for the end zone, but Oregon defender Keith Lewis would intercept the pass ending the Sun Devils drive and scoring threat.
The Devil defense would not let down holding the Ducks to minus one yard on the following series forcing Arroyo and the Ducks to punt the ball back to ASU.
Daryl Lightfoot would return the punt 13-yards to give ASU a short field starting at the Duck 39-yard line. Walter would use his arsenal of receivers to move the ball finding Mike Pinkard (seven-yard reception), McDonald (six-yard reception) and finally Justin Taplin for a 22-yard score. After a Mike Barth extra point the Devils trailed, but were on the board, 21-7.
The Sun Devil defense would again hold the Duck's offense to one yard giving the offense a chance to cut the Oregon lead with 2:22 left until halftime.
Arizona State would use a key trick play and costly pass interference on Oregon to help them cut into the Duck lead before the half. On fourth and two punter Tim Parker would fake a punt and throw a 23-yard pass to Mike Talbot for an ASU first down and keep the drive alive. On the next play Oregon would commit a pass interference play putting the ball on the Duck 20-yard line. The Devils would have to settle for a Mike Barth 32-yard field goal to bring the score to 21-10 in favor of the Ducks to end the half.
The Ducks would start the second half with the ball, driving ten plays and 78 yards, to add to their 28-10 lead with a Smith six-yard rush for another score set up by a Fife to Amundson 32-yard pass.
The Sun Devils would continue with their hot hand in the second half scoring on their next six possessions to cut at the Ducks lead. The Devils would move down the field 67 yards in ten plays, before Andrew Walter would find Derek Hagan for a 51-yard touchdown to bring the score within 11 points at 28-17.
Oregon would answer right back as Fife would lead Oregon on a 80 yard drive capped off by a Wrighster 50-yard touchdown pass, putting Oregon back on top by 18 at 35-17.
Again the Maroon and Gold would answer this time gong 65 yards in only five plays as Walter would find tight end Mike Pinkard for a 3-yard touchdown cutting the lead back to 11 points, 35-24, in favor of the Ducks.
Oregon would try to answer ASU, but the defense would hold them to zero yards and force Arroyo to punt again.
The quick scoring Devil offense would start up again as Walter would find Shaun McDonald sprinting down the middle for a 67-yard touchdown on the first play of the series bring the score to within three at 35-32. 'Its like we're playing in practice, out there just slinging the ball. I told (Andrew) at halftime, we're down so we may as well just start slinging it with confidence and that's just what we did,' responded Shaun McDonald.
Oregon would take the kickoff and return it 31 yards and then rely on running back Onterrio Smith to move them down the field and maintain their lead. Smith would have carries of 17 yards and nine yards before fumbling the ball and having it recovered by defensive tackle Brian Montesanto at the ASU 34-yard line. This was the turnover ASU needed to stay in the game.
Walter would again look deep this time to Justin Taplin for a 58-yard touchdown to put the Devils ahead for the first time in the game and allowing them to come back from a 21-point deficit. Mike Barth would add the extra point, his 33rd of the year, to give ASU a 39-35 lead. 'We just could not stop them. We tried some different things, tried some different personal,' Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said about ASU's scoring.
The Sun Devil defense would hold strong forcing the Ducks to punt again and giving the offense a chance to build on their new lead.
The offense would get to the Duck 27-yard line before Mike Barth would hit a 44-yard field goal giving the Devils a 42-35 lead with a little over nine minutes left in the game.
Oregon would push back down the field as Allan Amundson would return the kickoff 45 yards giving the Ducks great field position. On third and eight the Ducks would get a drive saving pass interference call against the Devils to put them at the ASU 38-yard line. Jason Fife would then hit Keenan Howry for a 27-yard pass giving the Ducks just 11 yards to tie the score. Fife would make good on the 11 yards hitting Parker for the tying touchdown catch.
Starting at their own 20-yard line ASU had just less than seven minutes to drive the field and win the game. ASU had just scored on their last seven possessions to tie the game and they were looking to make it eight straight to win the game. Andrew Walter would use his arsenal of receivers to get the ball to the Oregon 12-yard line before being stopped by the Oregon defense. Mike Barth would come in to attempt a game winning field goal from 29-yards with just under two minutes to play. Barth would connect on the field goal giving ASU a 45-42 lead.
Oregon would have one last shot in the game as Jason Fife would attempt to lead the Ducks back down the field with no timeouts left. After Fife found Parker for a nine-yard gain Terrell Suggs would hit Fife on second down causing the ball to be off target and intercepted by Brett Hudson to seal a Sun Devil win.
Mike Barth commented after the game on his game winning field goal. '(There was) no pressure I've kicked lots of field goals before. The team was playing so good. They were believing and it just rubbed off on me. I was believing that anything I kicked was going to go in. It was a great snap, great hold great protection. It was destiny for us to win this game.'
GAME NOTES: ASU snapped a four game losing streak to the Ducks and continue to lead the all-time series 14-9. ASU now leads the series at Autzen Stadium 7-6 with its last victory in Eugene cam on Oct. 28, 1995 when the Devils beat the eventual Pac-10 champion Ducks 35-24. ASU snapped Oregon's 11-gaem winning streak (second longest in the nation) with the win...ASU broke a 12-game loosing streak against ranked opponents with the 45-42 win over the No. 6 Ducks. ASU's last win over a ranked opponent came against No. 10 Washington State (Nov. 1, 1997)...Sophomore QB Andrew Walter set the ASU and Pac-10 single-game passing record with 536 yards on 31-of-53 passing to break the old record of 534 set by Paul Justin vs. Washington State in 1989. Walter (536), Justin (534) and Jeff Van Raaphorst (532) are now 1, 2, and 3 in Pac-10 single-game passing yards. With four TD vs. the Ducks, Walter now has 17 TD passes this year, already the sixth most in a single-season. Walter also now has three 400+ yard passing games this year, with 414 vs. Stanford and a previous career high 474 vs. North Carolina. Andrew Walter will crack the top five in single-season passing with 391 more passing yards to move past Todd Horns who had 2, 394 in 1983...In addition to Walter's career day, Tim Parker's 23-yard pass on the fake punt late in the first half gave the Devils 559 total passing yards to break the ASU single-game and Autzen Stadium record...Junior Wide receiver Shaun McDonald continued his great play this year with 12 receptions (tied for second most in ASU single-game history) for 204 yards. The TD reception from Walter to McDonald was his ninth this year (6th place in ASU single-season history) and the 20th of his career (also sixth in ASU career record books)...Senior Justin Taplin had his first career two TD game hauling in receptions for 22-yards and 58-yards in the game...Redshirt freshman wide receiver Matt Mill and true freshman receiver Derek Hagan both had a career days against the Ducks. Miller caught two passes for 68 yards, while Hagan had five passes for 95 yards