Devils continue streak against Huskies

For weeks ASU coaches and players talked about how mental mistakes have held them back from getting over the hump. Saturday night in Seattle that theory was proven. A sound game by the Sun Devils on both sides of the ball propelled them to a 24-14 win at Washington, their seventh victory in a row against that program and their first conference win of the 2010 season.

Even during its three-game losing streak Arizona State (3-3, 1-2 Pac-10) was always able to get off to a quick start and on its second possession of the game drove 90 yards and scored on a 4-yard catch by Gerell Robinson. Washington (2-3, 1-1) was able to answer on its ensuing possession, a 2-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Jake Locker.

Another ASU tendency in recent weeks has been the poor defensive play in the first half, but this Sun Devil unit did a good bucking that trend not giving up another score until the beginning of the fourth quarter. The offense on the other hand continued to pour on points in the heavy rain. A quarterback sneak by Steven Threet gave his team the lead for good. With just 19 seconds left in the half the Sun Devil signal caller connected on an incredible 20-yard touchdown pass to Mike Willie in tight coverage in the corner of the end zone for a 21-7 halftime advantage. The Sun Devils offense was a perfect 3-3 in the red zone in this game.

Even with the momentum on its side, the ASU offense was able to muster just 3 more points in the second half. Yet as mentioned, the Sun Devil defense made life miserable for the hosts and prevented any efforts they had for a comeback. Locker's last throw of the night was intercepted by Omar Bolden in the end zone.

ASU's pass rush which has been anemic until this week was able to harass Locker all game sacking him three times, two of those stops coming from Jamaar Jarrett. Defensive end Junior Onyeali got his first career start with the Sun Devils, and the true freshman seemed to be in the Huskies' backfield on almost every snap. Safety Max Tabach had a personal best 12 tackles in the game.

Threet completed 21 of 34 passes for 288 yards, had two TD's and one interception. Kyle Middlebrooks led ASU on the ground with 58 yards on seven carries. Willie led all players with 96 receiving yards on five catches. The Sun Devils had a season low 31 yards on four penalties, certainly one of the bigger factors in this win.

On the other hand this victory showcased some poor special teams play. Thomas Weber was one of three on his field goal attempts missing from 47 and 40 yards. Trevor Hankins averaged just 34.3 yards a punt. On the other hand this group prevented the Huskies from converting a fake field goal.

Entering a bye week following a win is something every football team hopes for and that's where the Sun Devils find themselves today. Needless to see that this win benefits the recruiting efforts, as well as the collective psyche of the team allowing some players to recover from injuries.

Following the one-week hiatus ASU will embark on its third consecutive league road game as they meet Cal. The Golden Bears have been unpredictable for most of the season and if the Sun Devils can prove that this win is the beginning of a consistent play trend they may just have a chance at a successful season many think they are capable of.


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