Cougars drubbed in the desert

ANOTHER FIRST-HALF MELTDOWN. Washington State coach Mike Leach changed quarterbacks from senior Jeff Tuel to sophomore Connor Halliday, but it made little difference as the Cougars went scoreless during the first half en route to a 46-7 loss Saturday at Arizona State. WSU narrowly produced its first points at Sun Devil Stadium since 2006, but saw its losing streak extended there to 11 years.

Similar to last week's loss against UCLA, the Cougars (2-9 overall, 0-8 Pac-12) put themselves in a near insurmountable position during The Opening half. ASU (6-5, 4-4) took advantage of another special-teams mistake – a fumble by punter Mike Bowlin – to take a 3-0 lead. The Sun Devils then routinely took advantage of WSU's inability to move the ball to capitalize on short field position.

ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly completed 20 of 23 passes for 246 yards. He threw four touchdown passes during the first half, including a pair to wide receiver Rashad Ross. Backup Michael Eubank also had one in the second quarter, a 29-yard pass to Chris Coyle, to extend the Sun Devils' lead to 32-0 at the intermission.

The Sun Devils extended their lead to 46-0 during the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Eubank and a 31-yard touchdown pass from Kelly to Ross.

The Cougars avoided the shutout with a 54-yard pass from Halliday to Kristoff Williams with 57 seconds left.

Play of the game: Pick any of Kelly's four first-half touchdowns that gave ASU a 32-0 lead at halftime.

Key moment: Bowlin's fumbled punt gave the Sun Devils early momentum.

Key stat: WSU produced just 241 yards of total offense vs. ASU's 562.

Cougar player of game: Junior safety Deone Bucannon with 17 total tackles, 11 unassisted.


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