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Late drive burns ASU in Homecoming loss

This time, the ASU football team was on the wrong side of last-second theatrics at Sun Devil Stadium.

After battling back from a 14-0 deficit, the Sun Devils rallied and took a 21-20 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

But the ASU defense, which had been stellar following the first quarter letdown, allowed Cal to go on an 11-play, 74-yard drive that ended with a 24-yard field goal from kicker Giorgio Tavecchio that gave the Bears a 23-21 lead with just 21 seconds remaining. ASU couldn’t get off a Hail Mary attempt in the waning seconds, giving Cal the win.

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Cal quarterback Kevin Riley, who finished 27 of 44 passing for 351 yards and two touchdowns, completed a crucial 26-yard pass play on the final drive on a 2nd and 25 from his on 40 that propelled the Bears (6-2, 3-2) to the victory.

ASU (4-4, 2-3) must win two of its final four games to become bowl eligibility with No. 5 USC and No. 10 Oregon coming up in the next two weeks.

Trailing 14-0 early in the second quarter ASU freshman linebacker Vontaze Burfict recovered a fumble at the Cal 3-yard line.

One play later, sophomore quarterback Samson Szakacsy threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Jovon Williams.

It was Szakacsy’s first career touchdown pass on his first career attempt. It was also the first touchdown reception of Williams’ career, cutting the lead to 14-7.

On the first play of ASU’s next drive, senior quarterback Danny Sullivan found a wide-open Kyle Williams for an 80-yard touchdown pass that knotted the score.

It was the longest play for the Sun Devils since a 79-yard pass from Andrew Walter to Derek Hagan on Oct. 23, 2004 against UCLA.

The ASU defense bottled up Cal running back Jahvid Best, the Pac-10’s leading rusher at the start of the day, holding the junior to 63 yards on 18 carries.

ASU freshman running back Cameron Marshall had the most productive day of his young career, rushing 16 times for 71 yards, including a six-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that gave ASU a one-point lead.

Sullivan finished 16 of 29 for 244 yards with one touchdowns and two interceptions.

Senior wide receiver Chris McGaha caught four passes for 76 yards, eclipsing both the 150-catch and 2,000-yard career milestones in the process.

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