ASU football thumped by Washington in fifth straight loss

The Sun Devils did not score until the end of the third quarter in a loss to the Huskies

SEATTLE — For over a decade, the ASU football team had Washington's number, winning 10 meetings in a row dating back to 2002. That is, until Washington flipped the script Saturday in a 44-18 drubbing at Husky Stadium.

The Sun Devils (5-6, 2-6 Pac-12) came out of the gates strong, keeping even with the Huskies and ending the first quarter with a three-point deficit on the strength of their normally porous defense intercepting sophomore quarterback Jake Browning and confusing him in the pocket.

Sophomore cornerback Kareem Orr intercepted Browning and ASU held the Huskies to just 56 total yards in the frame.


On the first play of the second quarter, junior linebacker Koron Crump picked off a tipped pass and returned it into the end zone, appearing to give ASU an unexpected lead. Instead, junior cornerback Maurice Chandler was flagged for an illegal block in the back inside the 5-yard line, negating the score.

With momentum on their side still, the Sun Devils looked primed to cross the goal line first. But three plays later, Wilkins was intercepted by senior cornerback Kevin King in the end zone, ending ASU's scoring chance.

"That was a big play to take seven off the board," head coach Todd Graham said. "That was a very, very costly penalty."

From then on, it was all Huskies.

Washington's second play of its next drive was a screen pass from Browning to sophomore receiver Chico McClatcher, who ran 75 yards untouched into the end zone to give the Huskies a 10-0 lead.

From there, it was all Huskies.

Over the next 11:28 of game time starting with the McClatcher score, Washington embarked on a 27-0 scoring run, out-gaining the Sun Devils 379-24 and holding ASU to just one first down.

Without senior linebacker Joe Mathis and junior linebacker Azeem Victor, the Husky offense had not been getting pressure as well as it did early in the season. Against a battered Sun Devil line, however, Washington was back to its old tricks.

Washington sacked Wilkins six times and recorded TFLs on running backs twice, keeping ASU behind the chains and off-schedule offensively.

"Their defense was very dominating," Graham said.

By the time ASU knew what hit it, Washington was up by four touchdowns and Husky Stadium was shaking with each play, making life hard on Wilkins and the offense.

The Sun Devils finally got on the board near the end of the third quarter when senior kicker Zane Gonzalez made a 50-yard field goal, extending his streak to 17 made field goals in a row, tying a school record he set as a freshman in 2013.

The fourth quarter was a mere formality, but it played out a lot more fun than that.

Twice in the quarter, Wilkins found sophomore tight end Jay Jay Wilson for touchdowns on fourth down, both in jump ball situations where Wilson came down with defenders draping him.

"I just threw it up there and basically told him to just go get it," Wilkins said. "And that's exactly what he did."

The dramatic scores were to no avail, as Washington responded with scores of their own to seal a win and keep its College Football Playoff hopes alive.

With the loss, ASU has dropped six of its last seven games and will need a win Friday in Tucson to become bowl eligible, something that just two months ago seemed like a forgone conclusion.

"This game's big for us," Graham said. "Not only because it's the Territorial Cup and it's our rival game, but because it's for a bowl game for our players, our seniors."


Reach the reporter at mtonis@asu.edu or follow @Tonis_The_Tiger on Twitter.

Like State Press Sports on Facebook and follow @statepresssport on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.