The first words Todd Graham said to his team after last week’s win over Notre Dame was a warning about what awaited them in Corvallis. He reminded them all week that they were walking into a trap. And it didn’t work.
Oregon State rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to stun No. 6 Arizona State 35-27 to throw the Pac-12 South race into absolute chaos and rip the Sun Devils’ national championship hopes to shreds.
The loss means that Arizona, Arizona State, USC and UCLA are all tied with two losses atop the Pac-12 South. UCLA controls its destiny thanks to its 62-27 demolition of the Sun Devils back in September, but Arizona State would re-take control if USC manages to knock off UCLA on Saturday.
As for tonight, though, this is one Arizona State gave away. The Beavers broke two long runs, 78 yards by Storm Woods and 66 yards by Teron Woods, to build a 14-3 lead 10 minutes into the game, but the Sun Devils notched three unanswered touchdowns to close the half with a 24-14 lead. However, Arizona State kicker Zane Gonzalez missed a 30-yard field goal, and Taylor Kelly threw an interception. This is called foreshadowing.
Arizona State’s offense – not the Beavers’ – went into hibernation in the second half, mustering only a 29-yard field goal. Meanwhile, Sean Mannion hit Victor Bolden to pull Oregon State within 24-21 in the third quarter, and found Jordan Villamin for a 67-yard catch-and-run to give the Beavers a 28-27 lead with 10:55 to go.
Eight minutes later, Arizona State was driving for the lead instead of protecting it thanks to Gonzalez’s miss, and Kelly was intercepted by Michael Doctor, who raced it 35 yards for the exclamation point touchdown.
Arizona State held its own through the air, out-passing the Beavers 264-251, but got pummeled on the ground, 264-103. Couple that with two costly interceptions and that’s how upsets happen.
Arizona State will return home to face Washington State on Saturday before closing at Arizona on Black Friday, while Oregon State will hope to keep the magic rolling at Washington and then in the finale against No. 2 Oregon.