No. 18 Arizona State Falls To Arizona

Nov. 26, 2004

By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Redshirt freshman Richard Kovalcheck threw threetouchdown passes - two to Mike Jefferson - and Arizona turned five takeawaysinto 24 points to stun 18th-ranked Arizona State 34-27 on Friday.

Andrew Walter, the Sun Devils' record-breaking senior quarterback, left thegame with an injury to his right shoulder with 7:30 remaining and his teamtrailing 34-20.

Mike Bell rushed for 139 yards in 21 carries for the Wildcats (3-8 overall,2-6 Pac-10), who averaged 13 points per game going into the contest, last among117 Division I-A teams.

Arizona State (8-3, 5-3) lost four fumbles to help Arizona reach aseason-high point total.

Arizona fans stormed the field after the first big victory for Wildcatsfirst-year coach Mike Stoops.

The loss probably won't affect Arizona State's chances for the Holiday Bowl,bowl representative Larry Baber said. The Sun Devils are expected to receivethe Holiday invitation if No. 1 Southern California plays in the Orange Bowland No. 4 California in the Rose Bowl.

Kovalcheck - 17-of-31 for 239 yards with one interception - had touchdownpasses of 54, 2 and 47 yards. The 47-yarder to Jefferson down the rightsidelines put the Wildcats up 34-20 with 9:32 to play.

Walter, the Pac-10 record holder with 85 career touchdown passes, was23-for-38 for 320 yards but no scores in his final regular-season game. He wasinjured when he scrambled, went into a slide and his shoulder slammed into theground at the Arizona 40.

Backup Sam Keller came on and completed five straight passes, the last one 3yards to Jamaal Lewis for a touchdown to make it 34-27 with 5:05 to go. ArizonaState got the ball back with 2{ minutes to play, and Keller threw 42 yards toMoey Mutz as the Wildcats drove to the Arizona 23.

But ASU lost a down on an intentional grounding penalty, and onfourth-and-10 from the 23 Matt Miller dropped Keller's pass to clinch thevictory for Arizona.

The Wildcats, two-touchdown underdogs, led 20-17 at the half on Kovalcheck's2-yard touchdown pass to Jefferson with 7 seconds left.

On its first possession of the third quarter, Arizona State drove to theArizona 9, but Hakim Hill fumbled into the end zone and Kirk Johnson recoveredfor a touchback. Johnson had two fumble recoveries in the game.

Arizona took over, and Bell ran 57 yards to the Arizona State 21. Threeplays later, Gilbert Harris ran 6 yards for the score and Arizona led 27-17with 9:53 left in the third.

Jesse Ainsworth's 36-yard field goal cut the lead to 27-20 with 14:11 toplay.

Nick Folk kicked field goals of 23 and 53 yards - the longest by an Arizonakicker in nine years.

Arizona State drove inside the Wildcats 5 on its first two possessions butled only 3-0 on Ainsworth's 21-yard field goal.

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