2018 Sun Devil Bowl Guide

10 H Y U N D A I S U N B O W L | D E C . 2 9 , 2 0 1 7 A R I Z O N A S T A T E F O O T B A L L 2 0 1 7 B O W L G U I D E GAME 4 | 9.23.17 SUN DEVIL STADIUM • TEMPE, ARIZ. OREGON 35 ARIZONA STATE 37 Conference play arrived in Tempe on Saturday night and Arizona State started things off in style, using multiple big plays and instant-highlight touchdowns en route to a 37-35 victory over No. 24 Oregon. No moment was bigger, however, than a 41-yard Brandon Ruiz field goal that reclaimed a decisive two-point lead with two and a half minutes remaining. Quarterback Manny Wilkins continued his impressive play to start the season, rushing for two touchdowns and throwing for another to lead a potent Arizona State attack. The junior ended the night with 382 total yards of offense. The first of those touchdown scampers came on the team’s first possession of the night. After quickly marching down the field, Wilkins took the fifth snap of the drive and called his own number, evading multiple defenders before crossing the goal-line for an eight-yard run. The Sun Devils kept making plays on their next drive, promptly answering a Duck touchdown that had tied the game at 7-7. A methodical 15-play, 75- yard possession eventually ended in a house call for N’Keal Harry, who found himself wide open for a three-yard touchdown after Wilkins rolled out and brought nearly all of the opposing defense with him. That score was just the start of a huge night for Harry, who finished with seven receptions for 170 yards. It was the freshman Ruiz who provided a sign of things to come late in the first quarter, ending another trip to the red zone with a 29-yard field goal. The kick capped a 17-point first quarter for Arizona State, a number that would ultimately stand up to the tune of a 17-14 lead at the halftime break. A crazy third stanza helped set the scene for an intense final quarter, as both Wilkins and running back Demario Richard found the end zone just five minutes into the second half. Those two touchdowns gave the home team a 31-14 lead, but that advantage would be trimmed to just three points by the start of the fourth quarter. That last quarter belonged to Ruiz, who hit a 24-yarder at the start of the fourth and the winning 41-yard bomb with 2:33 to play. At that point it was the defense’s time to shut the door and turn off the lights. Phil Bennett’s bunch stopped two separate Oregon drives in the final two and a half minutes, sealing the deal with a pair of determined fourth down stops to give Arizona State a 37-35 victory.

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