By Josh Green
Same story, different week. Once again, the Arizona State Sun Devils lost in heartbreaking fashion, this time to the 6th ranked Stanford Cardinal, 17-13.
The loss all but ended ASU’s (4-6, 2-5) hopes of being bowl eligible for the third straight season.
“It’s disappointing,” head coach Dennis Erickson said afterwards. “Our goal was to get there and we’re not going, so we’ve got two football games left that are very important.”
“Our goals were much higher than this,” quarterback Steven Threet said.
There is an outside possibility the Sun Devils could play in a bowl game if there are not enough eligible teams, but they would have to win their final two games and receive a waiver from the NCAA.
The Cardinal improved to 9-1 overall, 6-1 in the Pac-10, and remain in serious contention for a BCS Bowl game.
Led by their Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Andrew Luck, they overcame a late fourth quarter deficit to escape with a victory and leave ASU fans in an all too familiar state of disappointment.
The game was a defensive battle in the first half, with the teams tied at seven heading into halftime. The Sun Devils had a golden opportunity to take the lead early in the second quarter, but Threet fumbled the football in Stanford’s end zone, and the Cardinal recovered it for a touchback.
Stanford broke the tie midway through the third quarter, taking a 10-7 lead on a Nate Whitaker a 44-yard field goal.
The Sun Devils responded, however, driving 75-yards in six plays, taking a 13-10 lead thanks to an eight-yard touchdown pass from Threet to Kerry Taylor.
But some problems that have plagued ASU in previous resurfaced late in the fourth quarter, as three costly penalties helped Stanford go 85-yards in 10 plays.
The first was a holding call which negated what would have been junior safety Eddie Elder’s second interception of the game.
Five plays later, sophomore linebacker Vontaze Burfict was called for a facemask penalty, and moments later was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing the previous call.The two calls resulted in 22-yards, putting Stanford at the ASU seven-yard line. Two plays later, fullback Owen Marecic ran it in from one-yard out to give Stanford a 17-13 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
So once again, ASU will have to rebound from a heartbreaking loss. The Sun Devils have lost five games this season by a combined total of 20 points. They have a bye this week and will take on UCLA on Friday, November 26th, in what will be the final home game of the year.
-Video replay shows that Vontaze Burfict grabbed the receiver’s shoulder, not facemask.
-Usually Burfict would come out of the game after receiving a personal foul penalty, but Erickson said he kept him in due to depth issues.
-Luck failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.
-Stanford dominated time of possession, controlling the ball for 42:25 compared to ASU’s 17:35
This entry was posted on Monday, November 15th, 2010 at 12:32 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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