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ASU fails to convert on late go-ahead 2-point try in loss to Oregon State

Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin (3) fumbles the ball near the goal line after being hit by Oregon State defensive back David Morris, right, during the second half of an NCAA college football game in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

It was an absolute fireworks show in Corvallis on Saturday night as the Arizona State Sun Devils (5-5; 2-5 Pac-12) took on the Oregon State Beavers (5-5; 4-3 Pac-12).

With a win, ASU would officially become bowl eligible for the second consecutive year with head coach Herm Edwards at the helm.

Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, they just couldn’t seem to stay out of their own way in the 35-34 loss.

With 1:40 remaining in the game, Edwards elected to go for a two-point conversion following a Brandon Aiyuk 12-yard touchdown reception on 4th-and-8.

But the play never had a chance, as Eno Benjamin was swarmed on a pitch play that the running back actually ended up throwing out of desperation for an interception.

ASU almost got the ball back, but a pass interference penalty on third down clinched the victory for OSU.

Mistakes plagued Arizona State throughout the entirety of the game.

The Sun Devils lost the turnover battle 2-1, losing two fumbles on the night, but it was the second giveaway that proved to be the turning point in the contest.

With 10 minutes remaining in the game and ASU trailing 35-28, Benjamin had the ball punched out at the Beavers’ 2-yard line on what surely would’ve been a game-tying touchdown.

And if it wasn’t for a 63-yard punt return touchdown by Aiyuk to tie the game at 21-21 just four minutes before halftime, things could have gotten out of hand early.

That’s because the Beavers would respond with an eight-play, 72-yard drive that ended in a Jermar Jefferson 4-yard touchdown run with 30 seconds left in the half to give Oregon State a 28-21 lead at the break.

The Beavers dominated the first half, bettering the Sun Devils in total yards (295-148), first downs (17-8) and total plays (44-23). OSU’s offense also won the time of possession battle, keeping ASU’s defense on the field for 35 of the 60 minutes.

But the Sun Devils weren’t quite done making things harder for themselves.

After a first half that didn’t see a single three-and-out, both sides began the second frame with two three-and-outs apiece.

That’s when freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels fumbled on ASU’s third possession of the second half that Oregon State would turn into a touchdown on the ensuing drive to give the Beavers a 35-21 lead with four minutes to go in the third quarter. OSU’s Noah Togiai added a little flash to his 12-yard score as well.

Arizona State would respond with a 6-play, 82-yard drive that culminated in a Kyle Williams 8-yard touchdown grab.

And on the ensuing drive, Oregon State would cough up the ball for the first time all season, the only school in the country that hadn’t fumbled all season.

But that’s when the mistakes continued.

After recovering the ball on the Beavers’ 36-yard line, the Sun Devils’ next three plays would go for gains of -1, -5 and -13 to bring them out of field goal range and force a punt.

Daniels and Aiyuk had a day in the air, though, as the freshman quarterback went 24-for-36 (67%) for 334 yards and three touchdowns.

One of those scores was to Aiyuk, one of his 10 receptions for 173 yards on the night.

Arizona State now sits at .500 after losing its fourth consecutive game.

And with just two games remaining in 2019, the Sun Devils will look to become bowl eligible next week as they host the No. 6 Oregon Ducks.

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