Although the lead feels like it should be much greater, Arizona State is only down 17-7 to Missouri despite going 0-5 on third downs and turning the ball over twice in the first half.
Corbin Berkstresser (11-of-19, 72 yards, one interception) has filled in admirably for James Franklin, taking some big hits behind a makeshift offensive line yet still consistently moving the ball. On the other end, Taylor Kelly has struggled in his first road start, completing only 5 of his 12 passes for 62 yards while also throwing his first interception of the season.
Andrew Baggett sank a 46-yard field goal on the opening drive of the game to put the Tigers on the board first. A 21-yard rush from Kelly on the Devils opening play had fans thinking they might be in for a high-scoring affair but the drive stalled quick following that long run.
The Devils defense would hold tight on Missouri's next drive but Jamal Miles would fumble the punt return to setup a six-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper from Berkstresser.
Things seemed like they might get out of control when the same man who forced the fumble, CB Kip Edwards, picked off Kelly on the second drive of the next possession. But Baggett would miss the field goal from 45 yards to give ASU a much-needed break.
Both teams would exchange multiple punts before Missouri broke through with a big 24-yard return from Marcus Murphy that would set the Tigers up nicely. Luckily for the Devils, that's when Berkstresser would decide to slip up for the first time of the day, throwing an interception to LB Brandon Magee on a questionable decision.
After ASU's drive went no where, Missouri would get a big boost when E.J. Gaines returned a punt 44 yards on a reverse to set the Tigers up on ASU's 18-yard line. From there, RB Kendial Lawrence would find pay dirt for the first time with a seven-yard touchdown scamper.
With time winding down in the second, Arizona State would finally come alive. Following a few intermediate passes to Miles and Kevin Ozier, RB D.J. Foster would finally get in on the action. After feeding him the ball for two carries, Kelly would get Foster the ball in space on a quick screen play. And Foster didn't waste the opportunity, following a great block from Rashad Ross to find the end zone from 33 yards out.
Missouri would get the ball back with a little more than two minutes left to play but couldn't get much going. Arizona State will now get the ball coming out of the locker room as they look to build on the spark that Foster provided.
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