Cats Clobber Devils at Home 34-21

The cliché "third Time is a Charm" was true in today's game. After losing two in a row, the Arizona Wildcats stopped their streak and returned a favor to the Arizona State Sun Devils. In this game, the disturbing trends of slow starts, spotting the visitors several points, poor defense and untimely penalty all reared their ugly heads again for ASU. And when all this comes against your hated archrival, the hurt and disappointment is tenfold than a regular game.

When coach Koetter said that Jeff Krohn, although not starting, would play in the first half, few believed that it would be at all costs. Many fans questioned inserting Krohn, even though Walter was doing just fine. When all was said and done, Walter had the better day with 10-22 for 132 yards and one TD, compared to Krohn who was 5-13 for 52 yards with no scores and one interception. In defense of both signal callers, being sacked for a combine total of seven times made it hard to really be effective. Delvon Flowers who one was of 20 seniors who played their last game at Sun Devil Stadium, went out in style with 138 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow running back Tom Pace will probably be remembered more for his passing game. On two trick plays Pace was intercepted once and the next time he completed a pass to Daryl Lightfoot for 33 yards. Receiver Donnie O'neal had his best game since the start of the season with 68 yards on seven catches. Standout receiver Shaun McDonald may have gained more yards, with 71 on three catches, but a couple of dropped balls prevented him from perhaps turning ASU fortunes around.

The defensive scheme by ASU to blitz early and often backfired to say the least, and was one the main contributors to spotting the visitors from Tucson 20-0 in the first quarter. Once the defense went back to its base formation, it settled down and only gave up seven more points, which came on a drive that started deep in Sun Devils' territory as result of a Krohn interception. It may show up in the stats that the Devils had three sacks, but truthfully there was very little pressure on Jason Johnson. The U of A quarterback threw for two touchdowns and scored another in perhaps his best game of the season. The two game breakers for the Wildcats, Clarence Farmer and Bobby Wade, were virtually out dueling each other for game MVP honors. Farmer ran for 158 yards and one score, while Wade, who was named the MVP, caught eleven passes for 157 yards and one score. It should be noted that at the end of the first half Famer and Wade had 103 and 105 yards respectably. Nevertheless, neutralizing them in the second half did not change the game's outcome.

A good portion of the 55,831 fans in attendance went home early in the fourth quarter. Those who stayed witnessed an ugly post game midfield fight between both teams. The fight started when several U of A players were stomping on the Sparky painting on the 50-yard line, and taunting the Sun Devils players. Word is that coach Koetter spent most of his post-game locker room speech scolding his players for their actions after the game. One wonders if the Arizona coach did the same.

Fortunately or not, ASU play one more game in the 2001 season, when they visit UCLA on Saturday. It could be redemption time for the Sun Devils squad who had a season that was below even the most pessimistic expectations. Hard to say if a win against an emotionally battered UCLA team is even a worthy accomplishment these days. Nevertheless, it's all that ASU can hope for in these trying times.

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