The WSU Cougars fell to 3-8 on the year after a 52-31 loss to No. 13 Sun Devils who are in the thick of the hunt for the Pac-12 championship against Oregon. Arizona State started off slowly, as the Cougs built a 21-7 lead, before figuring out the offensive issues.
After jumping to an early 21-7 lead late into the second quarter, the Cougars allowed ASU to score twice to tie the game and went into the half with a narrow lead courtesy of a last second field goal.
That was the closest the Cougars would come to threatening the upset of the day.
The Sun Devils rattled off four unanswered touchdowns and a field goal in the second half before Luke Falk connected with Dom Williams for a garbage time score. Falk provided further proof that he is an excellent fit for Mike Leach’s pass-happy schemes, though he did throw more interceptions than touchdown passes in the process of racking up over 600 yards for the day.
The Cougars totaled over twice as many passing yards as Arizona State but less than a quarter of the Sun Devils’ rushing totals as Arizona State’s D.J. Foster pounded out 96 yards on 15 carries including three rushing touchdowns.
Washington State once again demonstrated its ability to keep up with a top ranked team, at least through the first half, before rattling off several costly turnovers to let the home team build a comfortable lead in the second half. Arizona State took advantage of a porous defense that was unable to preserve a 14 point lead for long while allowing its own defense to focus on snagging Falk’s passes in the absence of any semblance of a run game.
The Cougs will look to rebound at home in next week’s Apple Cup against in-state rival, Washington. It’s a daunting task for the Cougars considering its only wins this season have come against teams with losing records and UW will travel to Pullman with a 6-5 record (pending result vs. Oregon State).
The Sun Devils will try to preserve their shot at a Pac-12 title on the road against the Arizona Wildcats in another rivalry game.