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Football tops Missouri in overtime thriller

REACHING FOR IT: ASU junior wide reciever Jamal Miles stretches across the goal line for the game-winning touchdown in overtime against Mizzou. (Photo by Beth Easterbrook)
REACHING FOR IT: ASU junior wide reciever Jamal Miles stretches across the goal line for the game-winning touchdown in overtime against Mizzou. (Photo by Beth Easterbrook)

Check out a slideshow from the Sun Devils exciting overtime win over the Tigers!

Everything seemed so similar.

A key turnover and costly penalties helped the ASU football team blow a 14-point fourth quarter lead Friday night.

Moments later, the beleaguered Sun Devils were 48 yards away from another meltdown on a big stage.

Missouri senior kicker Grant Ressel lined up for a long attempt in a tie game with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Coming into the nationally televised game, the Lou Groza Award semifinalist connected on 44-of-47 career kicks.

It seemed ASU would fall yet again and leave the stadium thinking “what if?”

Then the rain came.

Aided by a near max capacity Sun Devil Stadium crowd and a swirling wet wind, Ressel hooked the last second kick and sent the game into overtime where the No. 22 Sun Devils (2-0) finished off the Tigers (1-1), 37-30.

“Thank God he missed that kick,” ASU coach Dennis Erickson said. “I was in that locker room when we lost those close ones last year and we were able to find a way to do it (tonight), which I think is a springboard.”

The Sun Devils were on offense first in overtime.

They quickly faced a third down but ASU junior quarterback Brock Osweiler hit senior wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad down the middle of the field for 13 yards and a first down.

Two plays later, ASU junior wide receiver Jamal Miles took an Osweiler dump pass and ran it 11 yards into the endzone for a touchdown.

Earlier in the fourth quarter, Miles muffed a punt that eventually led to a Missouri touchdown.

“There were a lot of emotions going on with me,” he said. “I felt like I just had to make a play after I muffed the punt. The coaches trusted in me, they put the ball in my hands and I made everything of my opportunity.”

The Sun Devil defense stopped the Tigers on their possession, culminating with a fourth-and-five incomplete pass that ended the game.

“We knew it was on us,” ASU senior linebacker Colin Parker said. “We had to go out and play and come up with a stop. That was our mindset going out there, and we got it done.”

Osweiler finished his night 24-for-32 for 353 yards, three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.

“We couldn’t make things easy; we had to make things exciting,” he said. “It’s what you work for when you wake up early. For us to win close tonight, it feels great.”

On the receiving end, Pflugrad led the team with eight catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns.

“Brock has some great throws, I didn’t really notice the defenders,” he said. “It was a great team victory though and I was happy to be a part of it.”

Miles, aside from the fumble, had his best game as a Sun Devil.

He rushed for 13 yards, had 50 receiving yards with two touchdowns and even threw a touchdown pass on a trick play to Pflugrad.

“He’s a phenomenal athlete,” Erickson said. “He does it all. He threw a great pass and he made a lot of plays.”

The majority of the blacked out crowd of 70,236 stayed until the final play.

“Our students were awesome,” Erickson said. “I went over and yelled at them for a little bit at the end of the game. They were special. I just want to thank them.”

The night got off to a promising start for the Sun Devils.

ASU got the scoring started early in the first quarter with a 77-yard drive.

Osweiler hit Miles in the endzone between two Tiger defenders for the 12-yard touchdown.

After the two teams traded field goals, Missouri sophomore quarterback James Franklin capitalized on a Osahon Irabor pass interference penalty to tie the game up at 10 with a two yard touchdown run.

On the next play from scrimmage, Osweiler hit Pflugrad down the middle of the field for a 60-yard catch and touchdown run to put ASU back on top.

Missouri blocked the extra point to leave the score at 16-10, ASU.

After halftime, two more Ressel field goals tied the game up early in the third quarter.

But then Pflugrad caught the touchdown pass from Miles and Osweiler ran 12 yards for a touchdown on the next possession and ASU held a fourth quarter, 14 point lead.

After the ASU defense forced Missouri to punt, Miles turned the ball over trying to field it and the Tigers scored two touchdowns off of passes from Franklin.

The Sun Devils had a chance to end the game in regulation with two minutes remaining but failed to advance the ball past midfield, setting up the final possession of the fourth quarter for Missouri, ending in the missed field goal.

On the downside, ASU committed 12 penalties, costing 110 yards and keeping Missouri in the game.

In all, the Sun Devils totaled 492 yards of offense while the Tigers racked up 501.

ASU is now ranked 22nd in Sunday’s new Associated Press Top 25 poll, while Missouri dropped out of the rankings.


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