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Sun Devils Fall Behind Early in 34-21 Loss to Washington State

Oct 30, 2021

Arizona State was unable to overcome three turnovers on its first three possessions and a 28-7 halftime deficit as it fell to the Washington State Cougars, 34-21, on Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium.

The Sun Devils drop to 5-3 on the season and 3-2 in Pac-12 play and will host USC on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Jayden Daniels threw for 228 yards on 23-of-35 with one touchdown but had two interceptions, while Ricky Pearsall had 83 yards on nine catches and Andre Johnson had five receptions -- his highest of the season -- for 51 yards and a touchdown. But the offense struggled to get anything going, committing five turnovers in the game, its most since 2010.

The Sun Devils committed their first of five turnovers with a fumble by DeaMonte Trayanum on the second play. The Cougars recovered at the ASU 39-yard line. The defense stepped up with a fourth-down stop to get the ball back. On the very next play the Sun Devil offense fumbled again to give the ball right back to the Cougars on the ASU 20-yard line. It took Washington State six plays to find the end zone and go up by seven with 9:44 left in the frame. The next drive looked promising for the Sun Devils as they marched down the field and converted a fourth-and-five to get to the WSU 36-yard line. But an interception by Daniels ended the drive with a third consecutive turnover. The Cougars capitalized the ASU turnover for another score at the 1:15 mark to go up by 14.

After driving to the WSU 16-yard line, ASU was unable to convert on a fourth-and-one to open the second quarter. The Sun Devils got the ball back just four plays later after Merlin Robertson returned an interception to the WSU 12-yard line. They were unable to capitalize on the turnover after two incomplete passes, a three-yard rush and false start led to a fourth down and 32-yard field goal attempt that was missed. The Cougars scored again after going 80 yards on 13 plays and taking 5:44 off the clock to lead 21-0. Another fumble by the Sun Devils the following drive put the ball back in the Cougars hands on the ASU 49-yard line. WSU was able to convert the turnover into points once again to take the 28-0 lead. The Sun Devils found the end zone at the end of the second quarter with an 11-play, 78-yard drive that saw five passes for 50 yards to make the score 28-7 to end the half. 

The two teams traded two punts each back and forth to start the second half. The ASU defense was able to force a third consecutive punt by WSU to get the ball at the ASU 17-yard line. The Sun Devils offense then committed their fifth turnover with an interception by Daniels with 2:16 left in the quarter. 

The Cougars opened the quarter with a 40-yard field goal to take a 31-7 lead. The Sun Devils then went three and out to give the ball back to the Cougars on the WSU 43-yard line with 13:13 left. WSU took 6:23 off the clock on a 42-yard drive that ended in a 32-yard field goal. A 60-yard kick-off return by D.J. Taylor put the Sun Devils at the WSU 40-yard line. ASU marched down to the one yard line before DeaMonte Trayanum punched it in for the touchdown. A successful extra point made the score 34-14. WSU put together another timely drive to run the clock to 1:37 before attempting a 44-yard field goal that was no good. The Sun Devils then went on their best drive of the night going 73 yards on six plays in just 1:11 to score on a 11-yard pass from Trenton Bourguet to Andre Johnson.

The Sun Devils are back at home next Saturday against USC with the kick-off time TBD.