Devils escape with overtime win

It's never easy when it comes to the Sun Devil football team, is it? If it's not a heartbreaking loss, and ASU has had its fair share of those in 2010, it's a thrilling win. Luckily for Dennis Erickson's squad the roller coaster ride ended with the later, as a blackout of an evening ultimately shines bright on Arizona State who managed a 37-30 overtime victory over 19th-ranked Missouri.

"I was patting my heart for a reason, believe me," said Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson. "That was a football game that we won at the end. It went back and forth; there were ups and downs in that football game."

Talk about a gross understatement.

Arizona State (2-0) held a 30-16 lead over Missouri (1-1) and forced the Tigers following a sack by Vontaze Burfict to punt the ball with just under 13 minutes left in the contest. ASU's Jamal Miles muffed the visitors' punt which led to a Missouri touchdown, a 25-yard strike from James Franklin to L'D Washington, and all the momentum appeared to be on the Tigers' side.

Appearances, fortunately for the Sun Devils can be deceiving.

True, ASU failed to score again in regulation, while Missouri scored again on a 3-yard reception by Michael Egnew with 2:50 left. And with 1:27 left, the Tigers' began what looked like to be their game-winning drive, yet Grant Ressell much to relief of the blacked-out Sun Devil faithful missed his 48-yard field goal attempt wide left with 12 seconds left.

While you expect the opposing coach to call timeout to ‘freeze' the kicker, it was actually Missouri skipper Gary Pinkel who called two timeouts prior to Ressell's failed attempt.

"We tried to get five more yards, Pinkel explained. "They (ASU) were jumping over and blowing our guard up and timing it and going every time and we thought just maybe we can get him to jump offsides and we would have gotten the first down on it, to get five yards.

"It is a lot different when you are on the 25 or 30 yard-line. The wind was kind of gusty down there a little bit. We have got one of the best field goal kickers, if not the best field goal kicker in the country. Just very difficult…That was the reasoning behind it though. We called the ball and froze it, it didn't work, so he went back out and kicked it and didn't make it."

A chance at a comeback win by the Tigers was missed and with the door opened once again for an ASU victory, the Sun Devils made sure that this opportunity was going to be capitalized on.

Miles goes from goat to hero and scores on ASU's first overtime possession, an 11-yard touchdown reception from Brock Osweiler. The Sun Devils defense who gave up 20 points and nearly 300 yards of offense after halftime, held the Tigers scoreless in their only extra frame possession.

In some ways it was an ominous start for the Sun Devils, who in their first possession failed to score after Alex Garoutte missed a 42-yard field goal. The redshirt freshman later in the half made good on a 47-yard field goal which was sandwiched between two receiving touchdowns by Miles and Aaron Pflugrad. Nonetheless, Garoutte's extra point following the later score was blocked and ASU led just 16-10 at halftime.

"In a game like that you can think of a million plays," Erickson stated, "we get an extra point blocked, they missed a field goal, but our guys fought and I thought our offense played pretty well the whole game and then defensively at the end when we had to make a play in overtime we made the play. It was a good win; they're a good football team."

Osweiler was 24 of 32 for 353 yards and three touchdowns. The signal caller also had a 12-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter. Pflugrad had a career night with eight catches for 180 yards and two scores. Cameron Marshall paced the Sun Devils with four carries for 61 yards. Linebacker Colin Parker led ASU with 11 total tackles.

The game officials certainly had their hands full in this contest, as they flagged ASU for 12 penalties for 110 yards, while Missouri was flagged 11 times for 114 yards. The Tigers actually edged the Sun devils 501-492 total yards, but ASU had the upper hand in time of possession 42:17 to 32:43.

A ruckus 70,236 in attendance, mostly donned in black attire certainly did their part on a rare Friday night game and created a home field atmosphere that hasn't been seen at Sun Devil stadium in the last three years.

"This is a tough stadium," Pinkel said. "I do not think I am going to come back here."


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