ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Too little too late from shorthanded Sun Devils in road loss to Washington State

Nov 12, 2022, 5:15 PM | Updated: 8:01 pm
Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college footb...

Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

(AP Photo/Young Kwak)

The Arizona State Sun Devils failed to show up in a 28-18 loss to the Washington State Cougars on Saturday.

The subfreezing temperature and fog at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash., on what was supposed to be a sunny, 37-degree day didn’t help either.

And as a result, ASU’s hopes of bowl eligibility and postseason football are officially over.

“We didn’t execute up front and I’ll take the blame for that because we didn’t put ourselves in the right situations,” interim head coach Shaun Aguano told reporters postgame. “And then our defense had to be on the field too much.

“It was just (a) lack of execution on my part and lack of execution on third downs (3-for-14). We knew they were going to bring pressure. We had to win those one-on-one battles and convert and we didn’t. So we put ourselves in situations we shouldn’t be in.”

However, the Sun Devils were extremely shorthanded, with the likes of starting senior linebacker Kyle Soelle, who leads the Pac-12 Conference in tackles, ruled out pregame due to an upper extremity injury.

Starting cornerback Ro Torrence, who leads the team in pass breakups, and backup CB Isaiah Johnson were also both unavailable with illness.

“We’re playing on [empty] right now with our personnel, but they don’t quit and they’re going to play hard,” Aguano said.

“We are really banged up, but those guys who came in I thought did really, really well, and they had fun playing. They worked all this five, six months practicing, and now, they have a chance to play and I thought they did well.”

A bug has been going around the football program that saw starting defensive linemen Nesta Jade Silvera and Omarr Norman-Lott have to exit the loss to UCLA in the first half.

Arizona State was already without starting left guard LaDarius Henderson, who missed his fourth straight game due to a finger injury that he sustained against Washington. The offensive lineman will be participating in the 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl in February.

Then once the game kicked off, ASU long snapper John Ferlmann was ejected for targeting and starting quarterback Trenton Bourguet exited in the second quarter due to a leg injury.

QB Emory Jones took over signal calling duties in the second quarter and led the team to its first points of the day on a 47-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jalin Conyers, his fourth of the season.

“We tried to simplify it a little bit, especially when we were dropping back passing and then I thought they did a good job containing that front line,” Aguano said. “With Trenton out, Emory came in and he did what he needed to do.

“We went down and didn’t score that one time in the red zone so we would have had a chance to score four touchdowns. Playing from behind was too much and we didn’t have any time left to catch up.”

Jones completed the contest with 186 yards and two touchdown passes on 65% passing (15-for-23) in just over a half of play. Bourguet was only in the game long enough to go 3-for-10 for 26 yards and one interception.

The Sun Devils managed to score two more touchdowns thanks to a 1-yard run by Xazavian Valladay and a 9-yard catch by Elijhah Badger, but it was too little too late from Aguano and Co.

“The first half wasn’t our brand of football at all,” Valladay told reporters postgame. “I feel like we came with no energy. We know we’ve got to play a better half.

“All we could do was just stick together, ask more of our teammates to put their best foot forward. Come out and just have fun. I didn’t think we played a good first half. It came back and bit us and we just had the put that behind us and finish out the second.”

Badger finished with 48 yards on five receptions (10 targets) with the lone TD.

Valladay was the game’s leading rusher with 134 ground yards on 21 touches (6.4 per carry) for the one score.

“He’s the guy that is our vocal leader,” Aguano said. “He had a compliment at the end of the third quarter before the fourth quarter, the referee came up to me and said that No. 1, not only is he positive in our group (but) he’s positive to those other guys in making sure that the game is clean and everybody’s playing hard.

“He’ll have a nice career after this college football season is done,” he added.

EXTRA POINTS

The interim head coach elected to not attempt any extra points and instead went 0-for-3 on two-point conversions

Arizona State also went 0-for-2 on onside kick attempts, both of which failed to go 10 yards.

UP NEXT

ASU hosts Oregon State next Saturday at 12:15 p.m. on Arizona Sports 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.

Penguin Air
Washington State head coach Jake Dickert, center, walks on the field during a break in play in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State defensive back Ed Woods (10) deflects a pass intended for Washington State wide receiver Tsion Nunnally during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Washington State wide receiver De'Zhaun Stribling (88) catches a pass while defended by Arizona State defensive back D.J. Taylor (3) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Washington State defensive back Jaden Hicks (25) celebrates a pass deflection by defensive back Derrick Langford Jr. (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State interim head coach Shaun Aguano watches the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State running back Daniyel Ngata (4) tries to get past Washington State defensive back Sam Lockett III (0) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State defensive linemen Omarr Norman-Lott (55) and Nesta Jade Silvera (4) sack Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward (1) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) 
              Arizona State running back Xazavian Valladay carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
            
              Washington State running back Nakia Watson (25) leaps and is tripped up by Arizona State defensive back Chris Edmonds (5) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
            
              Arizona State quarterback Trenton Bourguet throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
            
              Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
            Washington State running back Nakia Watson (25) carries the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones throws a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State wide receiver Elijhah Badger (2) secures a pass for a touchdown while defended by Washington State defensive back Jaden Hicks (25) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Washington State defensive end Ron Stone Jr., left, and defensive tackle Antonio Pule III, right, tackle Arizona State running back Xazavian Valladay during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State running back Xazavian Valladay (1) carries the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Washington State defensive back Armani Marsh (8) tackles Arizona State wide receiver Cam Johnson (7) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State linebacker Will Shaffer, right, tackles Washington State running back Jaylen Jenkins during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Washington State defensive end Quinn Roff (20) sacks Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones (5) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State tight end Jalin Conyers (12) runs toward the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Washington State offensive lineman Ma'ake Fifita (66) gestures as he is carted off the field after an injury during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State interim head coach Shaun Aguano, center left, and Washington State head coach Jake Dickert greet each other after an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State wide receiver Andre Johnson (82) catches a pass while defended by Washington State defensive back Derrick Langford Jr. (5) during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Washington State quarterback Cameron Ward (1) looks for a receiver during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Arizona State quarterback Emory Jones, left, prepares to hand the ball to running back Xazavian Valladay during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) Washington State running back Nakia Watson (25) is tackled by Arizona State linebacker James Djonkam during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Pullman, Wash. Washington State won 28-18. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)

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