Sun Devils Fall To Cardinal, 51-28
Sept 23, 2001
STANFORD, Calif. - Two weeks after new ASU head coach Dirk Koetter and his team opened the year with an impressive home victory over San Diego State, the Sun Devils (1-1, 0-1) suffered their first loss of the season, falling short to Stanford, 51-28, in front of 39,580 at Stanford Stadium.
'That's the first time we've had adversity,' Koetter said after the loss.
ASU and Stanford, along with all other NCAA teams, had postponed play a week previous due to the tragic events in New York City and Washington, D.C., but picked up action, Saturday, as each opened the Pac-10 season.
Both teams failed to reach the end zone until the final four minutes of the first quarter. The Cardinal struck first with a six-yard passing score from Randy Fasani to Ryan Wells to give Stanford an early 7-0 lead. But ASU answered a minute later, picking up right where it left off two weeks previously with its impressive passing game.
Starting from its own 32-yard line, quarterback Jeff Krohn, who threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns on the night, steered ASU quickly up field, completing passes to Donnie O'Neal and Darryl Lightfoot, before throwing a 40-yard strike to Justin Taplin to tie up the game, 7-7.
ASU's momentum was short-lived, as Stanford's Jared Newberry broke open for a 19-yard score on the Cardinal's next possession, and then as the final seconds ticked away in the first quarter, Kerry Carter gave Stanford a 20-7 lead with a three-yard run.
As the second quarter got underway, ASU's Mike Barth nailed a 47-yard field goal only to have Stanford's Mike Biselli do the same from 32 yards out, maintaining the Cardinal's 13-point advantage.
After Krohn hit Lightfoot and Taplin on short passes, he broke loose for a 14-yard scamper to set up another Barth field goal, this time a 46-yard effort, to put the Devils within 10 points.
However, Fasani connected with Nick Sebes for a 32-yard score with seconds left before the half to give the Cardinal a 30-13 edge heading into the locker room.
The second half turned out to be just as offensively impressive as the first half, yet the rest of both teams' scoring would take place only in the third quarter. On ASU's first possession of the half, tailback Delvon Flowers rushed for 10 yards on a fourth-and-one situation to get the Devils to midfield. On the very next play, Krohn completed his second touchdown pass to O'Neal, a 58-yard score to cut Stanford's lead to 30-20.
However, minutes later, Fasani delivered another passing score, this time to Brett Pierce from 25 yards out. ASU looked like it might have a chance to get back in it until Fasani fired another touchdown pass to Teyo Johnson with just under four minutes remaining in the quarter, making the score 44-20.
ASU answered as Krohn hit wide receiver Shaun McDonald from 68 yards out and then converted the two-point attempt to Ryan Dennard to get within 16 points, but the Cardinal added another touchdown on a Brian Allen 47-yard run with 50 seconds left in the third quarter. The final score remained 51-28 as both teams battled through a scoreless fourth frame.
'It was frustrating because we were moving the ball in the first half,' Krohn said. 'We had a lot of great opportunities, but you can't settle for field goals. You have to get touchdowns.'
SUN DEVIL GAME NOTES: Krohn totaled 387 yards against the Cardinal (366 passing and 21 rushing) to rank him second in the nation in total offense...His 637 combined passing yards for the first two games mark the best so far in ASU history...10 ASU players contributed to the Devils' air attack by catching passes against Stanford...Barth connected for two more field goals (46 & 47), extending his consecutive successful kicks to seven (including four from the end of last season)...The Devils' strong offensive line once again yielded no quarterback sacs, making ASU the only team in the Pac-10 still perfect in that area...Even though the Devils gave up 51 points to the Cardinal, ASU kept Stanford to a low 20.6 percent (6-of-29) third-down conversion rate...ASU junior linebacker Mason Unck led the Devils with 10 tackles against the Cardinal, including a 13-yard sack.