Oregon's comeback bid falls short in Arizona State upset victory
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Freshman Brandon Ruiz kicked a 41-yard field goal with 2:33 to play and Arizona State held on to upset No. 24 Oregon 37-35 on Saturday night in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.
The win ended the Sun Devils’ 10-game losing streak to the Ducks.
Manny Wilkins completed 24 of 39 passes for 347 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores as Arizona State beat the Ducks for the first time since 2004. K’Neal Harry caught seven passes for a career-best 170 yards and a score.
The Ducks’ Justin Herbert completed 19 of 35 for 281 yards and three scores.
Oregon (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12), a 13-point favorite going into the game, trailed throughout by as many as 17 points until Herbert threw 51 yards to Jacob Breeland and scored on a 5-yard quarterback draw to put the Ducks up 35-34 with 6:41 to play.
But the Sun Devils responded.
Arizona State (2-2, 1-0) converted a crucial third-and-6 play on a 10-yard pass from Wilkins to Jalen Harvey to get Arizona State into range for the winning field goal.
The Ducks drove past midfield but, on fourth down, Herbert’s scramble fell just shy of enough for the first down.
Oregon had one more chance after forcing Arizona State to punt with 50 seconds to play but never got out of its own territory.
Herbert threw touchdown passes of 20 yards to Johnny Johnson III and 22 to Tony Brooks-James to cut the Arizona State lead to 31-28 with 4:33 still left in the third quarter.
The Sun Devils scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and had a comfortable 17-7 lead nearing the end of the first half.
But with 37 seconds to play, Ryan Newsome muffed an Oregon punt and the Ducks’ La’Mar Winston jumped on the ball at the Arizona State 12-yard line. Royce Freeman swept around left end for a touchdown, his school-record 54th, on the next play and the Ducks were down just 17-14 at halftime.
The teams traded touchdowns to start before the Sun Devils grinded out 75 yards in 15 plays to go up 14-7 on Wilkins’ 3-yard touchdown pass to Harry.
Arizona State surprised the Ducks with an onside kick and drove downfield for Ruiz’s 29-yard field goal that boosted the Sun Devils’ lead to 17-7.
Arizona State scored touchdowns on its first two possessions of the second half.
Oregon was 1 for 11 on third downs.
Oregon: The Ducks were on their way back under first-year coach Willie Taggart but suffered a setback in the desert and it will be interesting to see how they respond.
Arizona State: A big win over a ranked team will ease the pressure on coach Todd Graham, who’s been on the hot seat after a sub-par season.
Oregon: The Ducks play their conference home opener next Saturday night against California.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils hit the road for their first Pac-12 game away from home Saturday at Stanford.