Third Quarter Onslaught Nets ASU Pac-10 Opener Win

Coming into tonight's game at Oregon State, all the talk about ASU surrounded its unstoppable offense. An 28-point explosion in the third quarter will obviously not harm that reputation. Nevertheless, the Sun Devils defense played one of its best games in recent memory as they caused the Beavers to commit six turnovers, recorded eight sacks, and were just as instrumental in the 42-24 win in Corvallis on Saturday night.

Arizona State (3-1, 1-0 Pac-10) wasted no time to fire up its scoring machine. On their third play of the game, Sam Keller found Rudy Burgess down the middle for a 50-yard touchdown score. In the beginning of the second quarter Oregon State (2-2, 0-1) drove into the visitor's red zone, but a sack by Dewayne Hollyfield, who had a career-high three on Saturday, forced the Beavers to kick a long 47-yard field goal, which Alexis Serna proceeded to miss. The Sun Devils didn't capitalize a blocked punt by their special teams, but the defense did their job in stopping the home team time and time again.

With over six minutes left in the half Jamar Williams, who was back from a one-game suspension, started to display his dominance. In two consecutive plays, he sacked OSU's signal caller Matt Moore and intercepted him. ASU engineered another quick scoring drive in the ensuing possession. Keller's 39-yard pass to Derek Hagan puts the ball on the lip of the end zone, and Rudy Burgess muscles in for a score, and survives the instant replay booth which ruled the sophomore's fumble occurred only after the ball crossed into the end zone. Oregon State put its first points on the board with Serna 22-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the first half that put the score at 14-3.

The Beavers' first drive in the third quarter starts with another turnover, this time a fumble by Dan Haines. And just like with the previous turnover, Keller makes the opponent quickly pay. A 41-yard pass to Brent Miller, sets up Hagan's first touchdown. OSU quickly answered with a Yvenson Bernard touchdown run that kept his team within striking distance 21-10. Alas, that was one of the only positive offensive plays by the Beavers in this quarter, as they turned the ball over three more times in this period – two of them resulting in a Sun Devil scores. ASU scored on two Keller touchdown passes to Hagan and Matt miller, and added a 29-yard touchdown run by Keegan Herring which capped the maroon and gold's output at 42 points. Oregon State scored 14 points in the last quarter, which were clearly too little too late.

Sam Keller continued with his trend of passing for four touchdowns each game this season. The junior was 19-36 for 365 yards. Keegan Herring paced his team with 58 net rushing yards on only 15 carries. It was a career night for Derek Hagan who set a personal best in receiving yards in game (193) and tied his game-high in receptions (11). Jamar Williams had a career night of his own with an all-time game high of 13 tackles. He added a sack, an interception and a forced fumble. The Sun Devils' 42 points are even more impressive considering the fact that they had the ball for only 24 plus minutes during the game. Their penalties however continue to be an area of concern as they committed nine of them for 91 yards. For Oregon State, Matt Moore passed for 311 yards completing 24 of 43 passes. Yvenson Bernard rushed for 134 yards on 28 caries, while Mile Hass hauled in 11 passes for 174 yards.

The Sun Devils now gear up to their biggest game of the season – a showdown against national champion and Pac-10 foe USC at home. The buzz over this big conference road win, will only magnify tenfold as the team prepares for next Saturday's contest. ASU may need a perfect game on offense to even entertain any thoughts concerning an upset. However, more importantly, and this has already been proven tonight, an opportunistic defense forcing turnovers will also be a key ingredient in victory.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories