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ASU Vs. Washington State: Cougars Thrash Devil Defense for 37-27 Win

Well, those "same ol' Devils" are back.

With UCLA's earlier loss at the hands of Utah, the door was wide open for the Sun Devils to return to the top of the Pac-12 South. Now, instead of winning the South, the Devils just need to find a way to win another game.

It's never a good sign when the opening kickoff is the high point, but that was the case. Jamal Miles took the opening kickoff 95-yards for a touchdown. On the Devils' final play, he fumbled a kickoff after Washington State has scored to take a 10-point lead with 1:50 left.

In between, the ASU defense surrendered 494 yards passing to third-string quarterback Connor Halliday (the most by a Pac-12 quarterback this season) and gave up key third down after key third down in a loss that very well could be the low point in Dennis Erickson's tenure.

The first half featured some sloppy offensive play that was punctuated by big plays, notably those from Halliday as he continually found gaping holes in the ASU secondary. Yet, a late drive engineered by Brock Osweiler was capped by Cameron Marshall's two-yard touchdown to give the Devils a 20-16 lead at the break.

Thus ushered in a back and forth half that may have ended ASU's run at the South division.

The third quarter began with each team trading punts before the Cougars managed to break through.

Halliday continued his stellar outing, completing all four of his attempts for 78 yards, and none was bigger than his final throw, a towering rainbow that fell into the hands of Wilson for a 19-yard score, their third connection of the game.

As they had done all year long, the Devils responded with their own scoring drive. Thanks to another short kickoff and a Cougar penalty, ASU began at the Washington State 40-yard line. A few plays into the drive, Osweiler found Robinson on a corner pattern for a 16-yard score to retake the lead for Arizona State.

The defense finally managed a three-and-out, and the ensuing ASU drive marched down the field, helped by a huge 20-yard reception by Mike Willie on third down. Later in the drive, Osweiler wasn't able to sneak for a first down on third and inches and the Cougar 10-yard line, and ASU ran Marshall on fourth down, but he was tripped up for a loss.

The next Cougar drive was equal parts well executed and a defensive disaster. The first play was an intentional grounding call, backing the Cougars up to their four. They then converted a third and 16 and Halliday then had completions of 38 and 20 yards before throwing his fourth touchdown of the night, a 17-yard dart to Isiah Barton.

Osweiler rallied the Devils back. He found Robinson on the first two plays for 42 yards, and later made his third catch down to the Cougar five yard line. On a crucial third down, Osweiler found a wide open George Bell, but the pass went right through his hands, forcing ASU to settle for a chip shot 21-yard field goal. Or so they thought. The kick went wide left, and the Devils remained on the short end of a 30-27 margin. 

Halliday wasted no time in moving the Cougars down the field, finding Wilson on a key third and nine reception for 25 yards. They were able to run the clock down before facing another long third down, but Halliday connected with Wilson yet again for 29-yards to take it down to the Sun Devil one yard line. On the next play, Carl Winston pounded it in for the clincher.

To seal the indignity, Jamal Miles fumbled the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by Washington State.

For those wondering what rock bottom feels like, it's here now.