Record sitting Gonzalez performance crucial to Arizona State win

Arizona State didn't have a late field goal on Friday but its kicker was essential to the team's success on the night.

SAN ANTONIO -- Even as Zane Gonzalez continued his assault on the record books and had perhaps his best career performance, he lamented his lone missed field goal in Arizona State's 32-28 win over UTSA.

A 53-yard miss, to be more specific. 

The Sun Devils' senior kicker had yet another terrific performance on Friday. He made two 54-yard field goals in the first half when ASU bogged down inside UTSA territory. They are the two longest makes of his career. He also had a 45-yard field goal in the second half. 

"I was just trying to get points on the board for the offense," Gonzalez said. "Whatever we can to win the game. They set me up for field goals, missed one, I regret that. Other than that I tried to step up for them and do as much as I could."

A kicker regretting a 53-yard miss in a game in which his team won and he made three other attempts from 45-yards or longer, including two from 50-plus, is a sure sign of a perfectionist. It's probably a big part of what's made Gonzalez so good to this point in his career, and why he's playing his best football as a senior. 

Gonzalez broke the Pac-12 record for career points (416) in the ASU win, and now has 424, with a chance to add a lot more points to it. He's also sixth all-time in FBS in made field goals at 81, tying former Sun Devil Luis Zendejas. The FBS record is 88 in career, and Gonzalez is well within reach of that mark. 

By making two 50-plus yard field goals in a game, Gonzalez became the first Sun Devil ever to accomplish the feat, and he did so in his home state of Texas. Gonzalez is a native of Deer Park, in the Houston area. 

Gonzalez is now 3 of 4 on 50-yard field goals for the season. No other FBS player has made more than one as of Sept. 16. 

Harry continues impressive streak

With his spectacular 27-yard touchdown grab just before halftime, N'Keal Harry accomplished something only one other true freshman at ASU has before him. 

Harry now has a touchdown in each of his first three games as a Sun Devil joining former fellow local prep star D.J. Foster as the only other player to accomplish the feat. 

The touchdown throw from sophomore Manny Wilkins brought the Sun Devils' deficit from 14-6 to 14-12 with just three seconds left in the half. 

"They just just been giving me looks, giving me the outside to inside," Harry said. "So I just tried to get off the ball as fast as I can and I just try to make a play, and that's what happened." 

Harry finished the game with five catches for 78 yards, tying junior running back Kalen Ballage for the receptions lead in the game. Wilkins targeted Harry at least a few other times in which he was open but either the ball wasn't accurate or UTSA made a defensive play. 

Notes

  • UTSA had just one first down in its final five possessions. It punted four straight times before it turned the ball over on downs on its final possession. Not coincidentally, ASU senior Laiu Moeakiola moved to his old home at Spur from Bandit after it gave up its second touchdown in three possessions at the beginning of the third quarter. 
  • After a quiet start to the season in terms of generating negative plays, ASU sophomore defensive end Joseph Wicker had 1.5 sacks and nearly got UTSA quarterback Dalton Sturm behind the line of scrimmage on several other occasions. 
  • Wilkins continued to play even after getting hit extremely hard in the first half and didn't miss a play. The collision came on a scramble attempt and happened in part due to a missed Ballage block in the open field. "I'll never sit on the floor," Wilkins said. "You can ask these guys. I'm going to get up and go to the next play. I've got a fighter mentality and nothing is going to hold me back."
  • ASU was without the services of starting SAM linebacker Salamo Fiso (suspension) for the third straight game and didn't have starting WILL linebacker Christian Sam due to an ankle injury. The two players finished No. 1 and No. 2 in tackles for the Sun Devils last season.
  • The Sun Devils have now held all three opponents under 100 yards rushing this season after UTSA had 93 yards on the ground. 
  • ASU has scored on each of its 13 red zone trips this season including 11 touchdowns. 

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