SAN DIEGO — It’s not the Rose Bowl, but the 16th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils (10-3) are going bowling in Southern California, taking on the Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-5) in the 2013 National University Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Sun Devils are trying to secure just their sixth 11-win season and first since their Pac-10 Championship season of 1996. The Red Raiders are trying to snap a five-game losing streak.
I’ll be chronicling all I take in from San Diego during the course of the game…so sit back and enjoy.
0:30 left in 4th Quarter
Texas Tech downs the ball and that’s the game. 37-23 is the final for the Red Raiders in their Holiday Bowl win.
1:09 left in 4th Quarter
On fourth down, Kelly nearly throws another interception. The ball is caught by a Texas Tech defender, but out of bounds.
1:56 left in 4th Quarter
Texas Tech has to punt, and ASU will start with the ball at own 47 down two touchdowns.
3:35 left in 4th Quarter
Kelly airs it out to the end zone, but it’s intercepted by Justis Nelson, who gets tackled for a touchback. That was Kelly’s first interception of the game.
4:02 left in 4th Quarter
Arizona State goes for it on 4th-and-7. Foster catches it for eight yards. Penalty called, but on Texas Tech.
5:30 left in 4th Quarter
Robert Nelson fields at 34-yard punt from Ryan Erxleben and gets pummeled as soon as he catches it. ASU gets the ball at its own 38.
13:39 left in 4th Quarter – ASU drives to the Tech 15-yard line, but Kelly missed a wide-open Kevin Ozier on third down on what would have been an easy touchdown. Instead, Gonzalez kicks a 33-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14 at 37-23.
END OF THE 3RD QUARTER – Sun Devils facing a 4th and 1 from the Texas Tech 28-yard line.
Red Raiders lead 37-20, while a lot of people have headed for the exits.
4:33 left in 3rd Quarter – Another three and out and another lackluster punt from ASU.
Taylor Kelly looks hesitant to throw the ball. He pulls it down and runs way too much. 16 runs and 12 throws to this point in the game.
5:28 left in the 3rd Quarter – Texas Tech’s Webb fumbles on 3rd and goal at the ASU 1-yard line, so they take a delay penalty and settle for a 23-yard field goal from Bustin.
A draining 14-play, 63-yard drive by the Red Raiders that took 5:27 off the clock. Tech leads 37-20.
13:02 left in the 3rd Quarter – Not so fast says Texas Tech. ASU’s special teams woes rear their ugly head again as Reginald Davis takes the kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown.
Bustin adds the extra point. Red Raiders back up 33-20.
13:13 left in 3rd Quarter – ASU strikes quickly on a 79-yard drive capped off by a 44-yard touchdown run by Kelly, who now has 114 yards rushing.
Somehow, some way, ASU is in this thing.
Texas Tech 27, Arizona State 20.
:02 left in 2nd Quarter – Nice drive for ASU…but Gonzalez shanks a 25-yard field goal as the Devils had to scramble to get their team on for the attempt. Why they were scrambling is a good question since it was third down and they could have spiked the ball to stop the clock.
Quite simply, the worst half of football ASU has played in a long, long time.
ASU trails 27-13.
7:52 left in 2nd Quarter – D.J. Foster gets loose on a 20-yard touchdown run, and the Devils still have life.
Gonzalez hits the extra point, and it’s 27-13 in favor of the Red Raiders.
8:40 left in 2nd Quarter – Another three and out for ASU, gained three yards on the possession.
Then on the punt, Alden Darby ran the wrong way with a ball he thought was muffed by Texas Tech. I’m speechless at this aimless performance by the Sun Devils.
But, the Devils get a break…it’s ruled a muff, recovered by ASU.
10:08 left in 2nd Quarter – Another third down conversion for Texas Tech…this one 3rd and 11 and it goes for a 21-yard touchdown pass from Webb to Grant.
Red Raiders now 6-for-6 on third downs. I’d say ASU is mailing this in, but it takes effort to lick a stamp and put it on an envelope.
Texas Tech leads 27-6.
12:49 left in 2nd Quarter – ASU goes three and out. Puzzling performance on offense so far. But then again it’s been a puzzling performance on defense, too, so at least there’s been some consistency.
Texas Tech takes over after a Matt Haack punt that rolled to the Red Raiders’ 19-yard line.
14:30 left in 2nd Quarter – After ASU allows Tech another 3rd-and-long conversion, Webb hits Marquez on a 23-yard touchdown pass. Safety Alden Darby released Marquez, but there was no help…Marquez was all alone.
Worst defensive performance for ASU since, well since the first four drives against Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Looks like it’s gonna be a long night.
END OF FIRST QUARTER – Texas Tech still leads 13-6 and is on the move again. Webb hit Bradley Marquez on a 43-yard pass on 3rd down, as Marquez beat Robert Nelson of ASU.
Webb with 171 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter. ASU’s defense looks confused to say the least.
Webb had three 400-yard games this season, and looks to be on the way to his fourth.
2:22 left in the 1st Quarter – ASU’s special teams make something happen — Steffon Martin recovers a fumble on the ensuing kickoff — at the Texas Tech 27-yard line.
But the drive stalls at the 14-yard line…Zane Gonzalez kicks a 22-yard field goal to make it 13-6.
The Sun Devils’ offensive line is having a lot of trouble blocking Texas Tech’s pass rush. Kelly under severe pressure.
4:26 left in 1st Quarter – Zane Gonzalez puts ASU on the board with a 44-yard field goal.
ASU’s big play on the drive — a fumble by De’Marieya Nelson that was picked up by Taylor Kelly, who ran 50 yards with it.
Red Raiders lead 13-3.
6:27 left in 1st Quarter – Jakeem Grant motors past the ASU defense on an 18-yard touchdown…Bustin adds the extra point.
Texas Tech drive: six plays, 68 yards, 1:42.
If ASU doesn’t shake out of this funk soon, they’re going to get run off the field.
7:17 left in 1st Quarter – Texas Tech is chewing right through ASU’s defense. Davis Webb 7-of-10 for 104 yards so far. All-American tight end Jace Amaro so open, it’s like he’s radioactive.
Not a good start for the Devils.
8:21 left in the 1st Quarter – ASU goes three and out on their first possession, failing to gain a yard. First down looked like a broken play on a handoff between Taylor Kelly and D.J. Foster.
9:41 left in the 1st Quarter – Texas Tech converts on 3rd and 20 from the ASU 41, with Davis Webb hitting Reginald Davis on a 38-yard pass play. Davis beat Osahon Irabor on the play.
Four plays later, Webb hit Rodney Hall on a 1-yard touchdown pass on 4th down.
Ryan Bustin misses the extra point, but Texas Tech draws first blood and leads 6-0. Texas Tech’s drive: 14 plays, 77 yards. Impressive, especially considering they were shuffling young, inexperienced quarterbacks.
1:00 before kickoff – Texas Tech wins the toss and elects to receive.
5:00 before kickoff – Brian McKnight finishes up a nice rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and we get our first ‘A-S-U’ chant of the night. Walking around San Diego before the game, it’s easy to estimate that there are way more Sun Devil fans here than Red Raiders fans.
35:00 before kickoff – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game where one team is wearing gray jerseys and the other team is wearing white — there’s not a whole lot of contrast here. This isn’t baseball.
Over/under on number of total interceptions thrown by both quarterbacks simply based on mistaken uniforms is 4.5.