Devils Notch Precious 28-13 Win at Oregon

Loudest stadium in the Pac-10? Facing a team foaming at the mouth to avenge consecutive losses? Depleted backfield amid an NCAA investigation? The reasons for the Sun Devils to fail on Saturday night in Eugene were numerous to say the least. Once again this season, Dirk Koetter's team dealt adversity a knockout punch en route to an improbable 5-0 (2-0 Pac-10) record.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Ducks drew first blood with a Jared Siegel 22-yard field goal, after the maroon and gold defenders denied a touchdown in a series that started on the ASU's 7-yard line. In the ensuing Sun Devil possession, Hakim Hill rushed for 34 yards on three carries, and on 3rd and 2 Andrew Walter connected with tight end Jamaal Lewis for a 22-yard score that put ASU ahead 7-3. The home team answered with another field goal, this one from 34 yards. However, the visitors had a successful parting shot in the first half when Terry Richardson caught a 24-yard strike from Walter and sent both teams to the locker room with ASU leading 14-6.

The Devils started the third quarter in resounding fashion. Hill's 56-yard run highlighted an eight play 76-yard drive, which culminated in Hill's one-yard rushing score and put ASU ahead 21-6. Even though Oregon immediately came back to cut the lead to 21-13, they couldn't handle the ASU defense for the rest of the contest. A late fourth quarter touchdown catch by Rudy Burgess sealed the deal, and the final score. The Sun Devils are now victorious in their last two games at Eugene, and have defeated the Ducks in their last three meetings.

ASU featured a balanced offense that was anything but the pass-happy variety that some have predicted due to the woes of the running backs group. Hill rushed for a career high of 134 yards on 25 carries. Walter completed 14-23 passes for 164 yards and three scores. In the first half he completed only three passes, but two of them were for touchdowns. On defense, linebacker Justin Burks matched his career high of 11 total tackles. Defensive end Kyle Caldwell had two sacks and two pass breakups, in what was probably his finest game in the maroon and gold.

Weeks ago many dreamed of the showdown between unbeaten ASU and USC in Los Angeles on October 16th. The Sun Devils held their end of the bargain, and will spend their bye week seeing if the Trojans can remain perfect after their much-anticipated duel with Pac-10 powerhouse Cal. Some will dismiss any chance of Koetter's squad wining that game, which is music to the Sun Devil ears. Just keep on telling the maroon and gold that they're not good enough, and they'll answer with a victory….

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