Devils win a thriller in Tucson

The 2010 campaign has largely been a season of close losses for Arizona State. On Thursday night in Tucson the tables have turned for once for the maroon and gold. Alex Zendejas' missed extra point try (his second of the game) in the second overtime netted the maroon and gold a sweet 30-29 win over Arizona. The victory prevented a third consecutive losing season for ASU and a shot at a bowl game.

Our guys have fought all season and we've had a lot of close games," said ASU head coach Dennis Erickson. "It's nice to get the football gods on our side, well, at least the extra-point gods. What a football game. If you weren't coaching that game, it had to be a lot of fun to watch."

The first half was a defensive standoff between Arizona State (6-6, 4-5 Pac-10) and Arizona (7-5, 4-5) that was won by the Sun Devils thanks to the leg of Thomas Weber. The senior was good from 52 and 36 yards in that period giving the maroon and gold a 6-0 edge.

"It was amazing for our team and for me to finally be accountable to them after the whole season," Weber stated, "I finally held up my end of the bargain. It feels great to come out here and get a win, beat U of A, in Tucson, there's not a better feeling than that."

The momentum in the third quarter however shifted towards the wildcats in a major way, as Nick Foles threw two touchdowns to Juron Criner to take a 14-6 lead going into the fourth quarter.

In the last period Weber came up huge again converting twice from 38 and 40 yards out, and with a touchdown pass from Brock Osweiler, who was awarded the Ben Goo trophy for being the game's MVP, to Mike Willie sandwiched in between ASU had 20-14 advantage with just under three minutes to go in the contest.

Osweiler completed 22 of 49 passes for 267 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 56 yards on 109 carries.

With the hosts driving down the field and scoring on a David Douglas 5-yard touchdown catch with 27 second left in the game the Sun Devils were just a Zendejas extra point away from heartbreak. The Wildcat kicker missed his first of two extra point sending the contest into overtime.

In the first overtime both schools traded field goals. In the second extra frame ASU scored on a two-yard dash from Cameron Marshall which was answered by Douglas' second score. Zendejas' second mishap began the celebrations in the Sun Devil camp which are undoubtedly still going on as we speak.

"I definitely know how he's feeling right now, it's horrible," Weber said of Zendejas misfortunes. "I would never wish that upon anybody. There's nothing more I could really say but keep your head up. It kind of gets annoying but it's the truth, you just have to keep moving on and keep working."

And moving on is something the maroon and gold could just be doing as they submitted a waiver to the NCAA to participate in a bowl game despite two wins over FCS opponents.

Nonetheless, even if ASU is ultimately kept out of the post-season, you would be hard pressed to wipe the smiles off the Sun Devils' faces. Especially from senior Thomas Weber who by and large had a forgettable 2010 season.

"Thomas hasn't had the best year," Erickson commented, "but he certainly was at his best tonight."

"It feels great," Weber admitted. "I don't think there are words to describe it. You can't change the past but it definitely helped me grow all season and it definitely helped me prepare for this moment.

"It was great to be able to give back to them and kind of repay them in some and be accountable, like I said. I couldn't ask for any better teammates or coaches."

And the Sun Devils couldn't have asked for a better ending for the regular season.


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