Tempe, AZ — Arizona State (3-4, 1-3) had a chance to tie it at the end and send it to overtime, but came up short as time ran out during the final drive. ASU falls 20-13 to Stanford (5-2, 3-1) at Sun Devil Stadium on Thursday.
In ASU’s final attempt to tie things up, the Sun Devils received the ball at its own 15-yard line with 2:20 to play, lacking a timeout. Senior quarterback Manny Wilkins was sacked on the first down of the finally drive for a loss of two, but quickly responded with an 11-yard completion to junior wide receiver Kyle Williams.
But time just wasn’t on the Sun Devils side.
On 2nd-and-10 with seven seconds remaining, Wilkins completed a short pass to running back Eno Benjamin who was tackled inbounds at the 13 as time expired for another Sun Devils loss.
“In my head I knew not to take a sack,” Wilkins said.“I should’ve thrown it at Eno’s feet, instead I threw it at his chest and he caught it. Just poor clock management and special awareness on my part.”
ASU entered tonight’s game with only two offensive turnovers for the season, but against the Cardinal defense they racked up three crucial turnovers that dramatically shifted the momentum of the game.
Wilkins committed two of those turnovers.
On a second and down play, Wilkins ran a designed QB draw, but Cardinal linebacker Bobby Okereke forced a fumble. Stanford capitalized on the Sun Devil turnover with a 21-yard field goal by Jet Toner to tie the game.
Wilkins also had an interception, along with junior wide receiver N’Keal Harry.
“I pride myself on taking care of the football. Two turnovers on my part is completely inexcusable. I feel like I let the team down, got to be smart,” Wilkins said. Stanford controlled the ball for majority of the game, never allowing the Sun Devils the opportunity to make a comeback after taking a 6-3 lead heading into the half. The Cardinals increased that lead to 20-6 in the third with back-to-back touchdowns.
K.J. Costello connected with senior wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside for a 28-yard touchdown with 7:55 remaining in the third. On a first-and-goal, Cardinal running back Cameron Scarlett bullied his way into the end zone from a yard out to give the Cardinals its second touchdown of the game and a 20-6 lead with 2:45 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth, the Sun Devils chipped away at the Cardinals lead after Wilkins rushed for a much needed 10-yard touchdown, ASU’s first of the game. But it just wasn’t enough.
“Well, if I had the formula, I’d feed it to them, but I don’t have it right now,” Edwards said. “I like their effort, I know that. They play hard, they do.”
The Sun Devils have lost four of its last five games, but hopes to turn things around next Saturday in Los Angeles against USC.
“It’s never over for these kids,” Edwards said. “They keep fighting no matter how bad it looks.”