TEMPE, AZ – Oregon State entered tonight’s game ranked 127th in run defense and it showed as they were exploited by the Sun Devil offense. Arizona State executed on five of its six first half drives, making their first conference win look easy as they defeated the Beavers 52-24 on Saturday.
“I told our offense in the beginning of the week that we need to score on almost every possession, and we almost did,” Edwards said. “Eno obviously broke all kinds of records, his ability to break tackles and to just stay with it.”
Oregon State had no answer for ASU running back Eno Benjamin, who finished the game with 312 rushing yards on 30 carries, becoming the first player in Sun Devil history to have 300 yards in a game. Benjamin had three rushing touchdowns, two of which were for 40 plus rushing yards and he also collected a receiving score.
It didn’t take long for Benjamin’s incredible night to begin, he set the ASU record for rushing yards in a half with 179 yards on 13 carries, which was formerly 171 yards by Woody Green against Wyoming in 1973.
“We knew we’d be able to run the ball on them, and we executed,” said Benjamin. “I had a blueprint from my senior year of high school when I sat down with coach (John) Simon and we had goals, and I knew what I had to do to reach those goals.”
“To have a back run for 300 yards any time…I mean, it just doesn’t happen often,” Wilkins said. “I’m really proud of him because I know how hard he works in practice, I know the beating his body takes, it’s not easy to get 30 carries a game. Not a lot of people can do that, so I got a ton of respect for him.”
OSU trailed 10-0 to start the second quarter and that lead was increased by seven more points after another Benjamin touchdown. Just seven seconds into the second quarter, ASU senior quarterback Manny Wilkins completed a 8-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin, giving the Sun Devils a 17-0 lead.
Oregon State responded quickly with a 36-yard field goal. OSU started to gain momentum as freshman running back Jermar Jefferson scored two touchdowns at the end of the second quarter. Jefferson finished the game with 254 rushing yards on 31 carries. But ASU put an end to Oregon State’s growing momentum as Wilkins completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Williams with 14 seconds remaining in the half giving the Sun Devils a 31-17 lead.
In the second quarter, OSU improved offensively, rushing for over 150 yards in the half. But defensively they just couldn’t stop Arizona State. ASU junior wide receiver N’Keal Harry, started the second half run with a 6-yard rushing touchdown making the score 38-17. With just 3:28 remaining in the game Wilkins completed a 41-yard bomb to Harry, sealing the deal on the Arizona State 52-24 victory.
Next up for the Sun Devils are the undefeated Colorado Buffaloes on Oct. 6.
Arizona State is seeking its first away win of the season.
“We haven’t been very good on the road, along with Pac-12 wins we’ve only averaged four in the last three years,” said Edwards. “I used to love going on the road, there’s nothing like winning on the road and fans leaving in the fourth quarter quiet.”