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Football commits costly mistakes, falls to Oregon

EUGENE, Ore -- In reality, the last Sun Devil offensive play of the game didn’t mean all that much.

But it was a successful microcosm of the ASU football team’s disheartening night.

Trailing by 14 points with under a minute to play in regulation, junior quarterback Brock Osweiler threw to a wide open Jamal Miles in the endzone.

The ball hit the junior wide receiver squarely in the hands, but deflected away and into the opportunistic arms of Oregon senior cornerback Anthony Gildon.

Deflated by several mental lapses Saturday, the No. 18 Sun Devils (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) fell 41-27 to the No. 9 Ducks (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12).

“You can’t make the mistakes we did and expect to beat a football team like that on the road,” ASU coach Dennis Erickson said. “We did a number of things that hurt us and you can go on and on. We didn’t play disciplined.”

The Sun Devils committed eight penalties for 95 yards including four personal fouls, all of which resulted in UO points.

“A few tempers were flaring out there,” ASU senior linebacker Shelly Lyons said. “Those hurt. You make big plays to stop them but then you get called for something.”

The Ducks were without their starting running back, junior LaMichael James, for the entire game and lost their starting quarterback, junior Darron Thomas, on the second play of the third quarter.

UO redshirt freshman quarterback Bryan Bennett took over and rushed for 65 yards while completing just two passes.

The Ducks outscored ASU 20-10 with their backup in.

“He stepped in and ran the Oregon offense,” Lyons said. “He didn’t do anything special, he just ran the offense. You have to be great tacklers and disciplined in your gaps when you play them.”

ASU senior wide receiver Gerell Robsinson led the team with 120 yards receiving and a score.

Osweiler finished Saturday 29-of-46 for 291 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

“There was no quit with us,” Osweiler said. “This football team battled but we left points on the board. We’re all hoping for another shot at these guys.”

The game started on a high note for ASU.

Osweiler hit Robinson in the endzone four minutes into the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

The Ducks answered on its next drive with a freshman running back De’Anthony Thomas 16 yard touchdown run.

After the Sun Devils scored again on a 25 yard Osweiler pass to senior wide receiver Mike Willie, UO tied the game at 14 with a senior wide receiver Lavasier Tuninei 28 yard touchdown reception.

The Ducks’ drive was helped along by a roughing the passer penalty on ASU senior defensive tackle Bo Moos in the UO endzone on a third down.

The Sun Devils regained the lead on a 37 yard field goal from redshirt freshman kicker Alex Garoutte after Lyons intercepted a pass and returned it deep into UO terrority.

With the ball past midfield and time running out in the first half, ASU was poised to extend its lead heading into the break.

But after a Robinson personal foul penalty, UO junior cornerback Cliff Harris picked off Osweiler in the endzone and took it back 50 yards.

“That was Very disheartening. It was an option route. I thought he was going to go vertical but he took the post. Those plays are going to happen. That’s something we have to learn from.

Three plays later, UO junior quarterback Darron Thomas hit senior tight end David Paulson for a 12 yard touchdown.

The Ducks took a 21-17 lead into halftime.

The ASU defense forced a UO three and out on the first possession of the third quarter and knocked Darron Thomas out of the game in the process.

The Ducks’ starting quarterback left with a lower leg injury.

On the ensuing Sun Devils’ drive, Miles broke a 51 yard run on a swing pass to set up a junior running back Cameron Marshall four yard touchdown run.

Down by three and without their starting signal-caller, the Ducks promptly marched down the field to regain the lead on a De’Anthony Thomas three yard scoring run.

UO backup quarterback Bryan Bennett led the drive with key scrambles.

Leading 28-24, the Ducks got the ball back after an ASU three and out and proceeded to drive the ball down the field again.

Scrambling for a chunk of yards, it appeared Bennett fumbled when heading to the ground, but upon instant replay, the referees ruled the whistle already blew the play dead.

Two plays later UO junior running back Kenjon Barner scored on a five yard run to give the Ducks a 35-24 advantage.

UO added a field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter to go up 38-27 before ASU got the points back on its following drive on a 30 yard kick from Garoutte.

After another Ducks field goal, the Sun Devils couldn’t move the ball until it was too late and UO had the game safely in hand.

Injury notes

ASU senior safety Clint Floyd and senior wide receiver George Bell left the game with injuries but Erickson said he expects them to be okay.

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