Call it an upset, call it a let down, call it what you will — the simple fact is, Arizona State’s hopes of participating in the first ever College Football Playoff went down the drain on a chilly Saturday night in Corvallis, Oregon.
No. 6 ASU will be in the top 10 no more after falling to the Oregon State Beavers 35-27 on Saturday night.
The Beavers came to play, getting up on the Sun Devils early. By the time ASU awoke from its early-game slumber, they were already down 14-3.
Despite the slow start and early deficit, the Sun Devils clawed their way back into the game, taking a 24-14 lead into halftime. The most troubling aspect of the night — ASU would not find the end zone again.
Even with seemingly everything going wrong from injuries to penalties to poor play, the Sun Devils found themselves with the ball with 2:52 to go with an opportunity to win the game. They threw a pick-six.
Outscored and outplayed to the tune of 21-3 in the second half, the Devils watched the Oregon State faithful storm the field when the clock hit triple zeros.
ASU falls to 8-2 on the season and 5-2 in the Pac-12, muddying the waters in the race for the South championship.
Here’s a look at Saturday’s upset by the numbers:
This was the first time that ASU has lost a game under head coach Todd Graham when leading at halftime. They were previously 23-0.
A major reason for the Beavers’ success on Saturday was their ability to control the ball on the ground. They rushed for 247 yards, the most yards ASU has allowed on the ground all season. Boosting those numbers were long touchdown runs in the first half of 78 and 66 yards.
The loss snapped ASU’s five-game winning steak this season and extended their losing streak in Corvallis to five games. The last time the Devils won at Oregon State was in 2005.
Before Saturday’s loss, the Sun Devils had won their last eight November games dating back to 2012.
3 (Part I)
Oregon State went 1-for-12 on third down. Its only third down conversion came with 10:55 remaining in the game in the form of a 67-yard touchdown pass from Sean Mannion to Jordan Villamin.
3 (Part II)
Michael Doctor’s 35-yard pick-six to seal the win for the Beavers was his third interception of the season. It put the Devils down eight points late in the fourth.
The Sun Devils’ Antonio Longino returned a 36-yard fumble for a touchdown in the second quarter to give ASU a 24-14 lead. It was the Sun Devils’ fourth defensive touchdown in the last four games.
The Beavers won the time of possession battle as well, controling the clock for 7:02 more than the Devils (33:31-26:29).
Taylor Kelly threw for 264 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He is now one of four quarterbacks in ASU history to pass for more than 8,000 yards. The others are Andrew Walter (10,617), Rudy Carpenter (10,491) and Jake Plummer (8,827).