Devils Clip Cougars, Earn Rare Win in Pullman

It was a chilly afternoon on the campus of Washington State, but Arizona State made sure that the heat was on the home team in the early going. An explosive first half, negated the offensive drought in the game's last thirty minutes, as the Sun Devils hung on to overcome the Cougars 27-24. The victory in Martin Stadium was the team's first since the 2000 season.

Arizona State (5-4, 3-3) went to bag of tricks in its first possession. The half back pass from Rudy Burgess found Derek Hagan in the end zone for a 43-yard score. In the maroon and gold's second possession, Rudy Carpenter was intercepted in the end zone after failing to punch it in from two yards out. Washington State (3-6, 0-6) came back later in the first quarter, and with nearly three minutes left in the period Jerome Harrison scampers for 61 yards to tie the game at 7-7. Just when it seemed that the home team had gained some momentum, the Devils answer quickly in the ensuing possession when Rudy Carpenter found Terry Richardson ten yards for the score.

ASU was stuffed at the goal line in the opening minutes of the second quarter, and had to settle for a Jesse Ainsworth filed goal form 19 yards out. Two roughing the passer penalties on Washington State helped the visitors march down the field in its next drive, and Bill Doba's squad paid dearly as Zach Miller hauls in a Carpenter pass for a five yard score and comfortable 24-7 lead. The Cougars managed just one field goal the rest of the half, and was intercepted in the end zone themselves with just under 40 seconds left in the half.

The second half began with the Sun Devils scoring their last points on the afternoon – a 33-yard field goal by Ainsworth which gave his team a 27-10 edge. The Cougs scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter, but luckily the visitors the point production halted from that point on. Washington State missed a 50-yard attempt, and recovered a Carpenter fumble. However, they failed to convert on that turnover. ASU was offside during a good field goal attempt. Coach Doba rolled the dice, and took the penalty which put his team on a 4th and 1 situation. Dale Robinson tackled Harrison for a loss, which ultimately sealed the game's faith. The Cougars missed another filed goal, this time form 52 yards, and another costly 15-yard penalty helped ASU run out the clock and grab the win.

Once again Carpenter turned in a great performance completing 28-43 passes for 381 yards, two TD's and one interception. Keegan Herring rushed for 88 yards on 12 carries. Four out of the five ASU receivers that caught passes had over 80 yards each, led by Hagan who had 139 yards on six catches. Dale Robinson paced his comrades with ten tackles, and added one sack. The Devils possession time was outstanding at nearly 34 minutes, but once again committed many penalties which all tallied up to 134 yards.

UCLA's humiliation by Arizona, has made an already though match-up with the Bruins, that much more of a challenge. ASU's win in Pullman was one that defied a few odds, and a win in the Rose Bowl this coming Saturday will have the same kind of feel. Victories may not be coming easy to the maroon and gold these days, but they still fall in the much desired "W" column.

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