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Sun Devils Downed by No. 11 Cowboys

Sep 10, 2022

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Sun Devil football team (1-1, 0-0) didn't have an answer to No. 11 Oklahoma State's (2-0, 0-0) fourth quarter surge, in which the Cowboys used a pair of touchdowns on back-to-back drives to sink ASU, 34-17, on Saturday night at Boone Pickens Stadium.

Despite an early lead and five empty OSU possessions that featured four punts to begin the contest, the Sun Devils were unable to stack momentum, surrendering 17 second-quarter points and entering the half down two scores. After a Sun Devil touchdown early in the fourth quarter chipped the Cowboys' lead to just three, OSU found the end zone on back-to-back drives for its largest lead of the night.

Emory Jones and Xazavian Valladay had the Sun Devil offense humming early, allowing ASU to get on the board first via a Carter Brown field goal. Jones finished the night having connected on 12 of 24 passes for 223 yards and one touchdown. Valladay, whose first quarter 43-yard scamper nudged him past 4,000 career all-purpose yards, ran for 118 yards on 21 carries. Jones found Elijhah Badger for a game-high nine catches for 91 yards and a score.

Captain Kyle Soelle, who's been a ball-hawk in the early going this season, added a game-high 16 total tackles and an interception. His second interception in as many games this season means the Sun Devils have now forced 62 offensive turnovers since 2019, the 17th most among all FBS teams.

Penalties and the inability to extend drives ultimately plagued the Sun Devils in Stillwater. The offense converted on just two of 13 third downs and the team was flagged 10 times for 95 yards.

"We'll learn from this. That's what I told the team," ASU head coach Herm Edwards said. "We have a chance to learn from this game as a team and there's a lot of football left. So, hopefully, we can continue to learn from this situation and grow as a team together."

UP NEXT
 
The Sun Devils will return to Tempe for a two-game homestand, beginning with Eastern Michigan on Saturday, September 17, with kickoff slated for 8 p.m. MST. CLICK HERE for ticket information.

QUARTER-BY-QUARTER RECAP

FIRST QUARTER

  • ASU got on the board first via Carter Brown's 27-yard field goal, capping off an eight-play, 78-yard drive. On the Sun Devils' first play from scrimmage, Xazavian Valladay scampered for a 42-yard run, nudging him past 4,000 career all-purpose yards. ASU 3, No. 11 OSU 0
  • In the closing seconds of the first quarter, Kyle Soelle intercepted Spencer Sanders, giving the Sun Devils the ball at their own 22-yard line. It's Soelle's second consecutive game with an interception.
  • Donnie Henderson's Sun Devil defense was masterful in the opening 15 minutes, holding the Cowboys to three punts and one turnover in their first four drives.
  • Valladay was elusive in Stillwater early on, totaling 63 yards on the ground in his first six attempts.

SECOND QUARTER

  • Another three-and-out for the Cowboys in their first drive of the second quarter, already their fourth punt of the evening and second three-and-out.
  • Valladay fumbled and the Cowboys recovered at the Sun Devils' 37-yard line. The Cowboys needed just five plays to capitalize, capped by Dominic Richardson punching it in from three-yards for their first score and lead of the night. No. 11 OSU 7, ASU 3
  • The Cowboys struck again late in the second quarter, when quarterback Spencer Sanders held on to a read-option and followed blockers into the end zone from six yards out. OSU traveled 96 yards in just over three minutes to extend their lead to 14-3. No. 11 OSU 14, ASU 3
  • OSU's Tanner Brown knocked in a 43-yard field goal in the final minute of the half. No. 11 OSU 17, ASU 3
  • The Sun Devils were plagued by penalties in the first half, as they were flagged four times for 50 yards.

THIRD QUARTER

  • The Sun Devils pounced early in the third, when Emory Jones connected with Giovanni Sanders for 73 yards to put ASU at the Cowboys' two-yard line. Valladay punched it in from a yard out three plays later. No. 11 OSU 17, ASU 10
  • The Cowboys' first drive of the second half lasted just four plays, as they were forced to punt for the fifth time. With momentum building and an opportunity to continue chipping at OSU's lead, the Sun Devils came up short on their next drive, leading to Carter Brown's missed 48-yard field goal.
  • The Sun Devil defense bent but didn't break minutes later, when the Cowboys marched deep into ASU territory. After they ran seven plays inside the Sun Devils' 15-yard line, all they could settle for was a Tanner Brown 24-yard field goal. No. 11 OSU 20, ASU 10
  • Another OSU three-and-out for their sixth punt of the night, opening the door for the Sun Devils in the final minutes of the third quarter. After a 20-yard pitch-and-catch from Jones to Badger on third-and-18, the Sun Devils were on the doorstep of OSU territory to end the quarter.

FOURTH QUARTER

  • Two plays into the fourth and the Sun Devils were back in business: Valladay picked up a quick 38 yards on the ground, giving way to Jones finding Badger for a 21-yard score through the air. With a near full 15 minutes to play, the Sun Devils were down just three. No. 11 OSU 20, ASU 17
  • The Cowboys needed just three plays and 54 seconds to find the end zone once more. Sanders and wideout Bryson Green met for a 31-yard score that widened their lead back to double-digits. No. 11 OSU 27, ASU 17
  • With just under eight minutes remaining, Sanders and the Cowboys' offense orchestrated a 13-play, 80-yard drive to give OSU its largest lead of the night. No. 11 OSU 34, ASU 17