Sun Devils Enjoy Banner Day

Oct. 11, 2003

The Gomez Files: Defense Sets The Tone Early

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State intercepted Oregon's first two passes, returning one of them 50 yards for a touchdown, and ASU went on to beat the Ducks 59-14 on Saturday.

Andrew Walter, who threw for a Pac-10-record 536 yards at Oregon last year, completed 18 of 28 for 316 yards with no interceptions and three second-half touchdowns as the Sun Devils snapped a three-game losing streak.

Walter was 10-for-14 for 215 yards in Arizona State's 38-point second half, when the Sun Devils scored on every possession. He didn't play in the game's final 8* minutes.

Loren Wade scored on a 56-yard run, Arizona State's longest rushing play in two years, and Hakim Hill had TD runs of six and two yards. The Sun Devils (3-3, 1-2 Pac-10) handed Oregon (4-3, 1-2) its third consecutive defeat since the Ducks' home win over Michigan.

In its Pac-10 losses to Washington State and Arizona State, Oregon has been outscored 114-30.

Jason Fife, who replaced Kellen Clemens at quarterback for Oregon after the two quick interceptions, was 7-for-19 for 101 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 66 yards in eight carries, including a one-yard TD run.

Fife's 16-yard scoring pass to Tim Day cut the lead to 24-14 with 9:33 left in the third quarter, but the Sun Devils scored touchdowns on all five of their remaining possessions.

Three came on Walter's TD passes of 2, 5 and 10 yards. Wade scored on his 56-yard run the first play of the fourth quarter, then ASU's reserves mounted the final drive, Cornell Canidate scoring on a 1-yard run with 26 seconds to play.

Thrower pressures Oregon quarterback Jason Fife during the second quarter
Linebacker Ishmael Thrower pressures Oregon quarterback Jason Fife during the second quarter.

The Sun Devils scored twice in a 39-second span in the game's first 2 minutes, 17 seconds. On the game's third play, Jamar Williams stepped in front of intended receiver Demetrius Williams and intercepted Clemens' pass at midfield. He dodged two defenders at the 10 and scored to make it 7-0 with 13:38 to play.

Three plays later, Chris McKenzie picked off Clemens' second pass and returned it 23 yards to the six to set up Hill's first TD run and it was 14-0 with 12:43 still to go in the first quarter.

Hill capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive with a two-yard run that put ASU up 21-0 with 2:38 left in the first half.

Oregon, meanwhile, finally completed its first pass of the game with 2:20 left in the half during a seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that ended with Fife's 1-yard run that made it 21-7 with 49 seconds to play.

Arizona State got its longest pass play of the season when Walter threw 49 yards to Matt Miller to set up Jesse Ainsworth's 43-yard field goal early in the third quarter.

AP Sports Writer

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