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ASU football comes close, but falls at Oregon 31-29

Utah clinched the Pac-12 South with Saturday night's loss

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ASU senior quarterback Manny Wilkins Jr. (5) passes to sophomore running back Eno Benjamin (3) during the first half of the Sun Devils' 29-31 loss to Oregon in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018.

With a chance to keep its Pac-12 South hopes alive, the ASU football team fell just short at Oregon 31-29, thus sealing the division for No. 19 Utah after the Utes picked up a 30-7 win earlier in the afternoon.

In the first half, Oregon junior quarterback Justin Herbert threw for two touchdowns. Herbert continued to take advantage of the ASU defense, and at the half, the Sun Devils only had 13 points courtesy of two field goals from sophomore kicker Brandon Ruiz and a 22-yard touchdown strike to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frank Darby

In the second half, the ASU defense would turn things around, holding Herbert to under 100 yards passing. Additionally, the defense was able to force turnovers. The Ducks turned the ball over four times in the game, and ASU was able to nearly erase a 12-point deficit as they were entering the fourth quarter. 

ASU redshirt senior quarterback Manny Wilkins had a one-yard touchdown rush that was set up by a big screen pass to junior wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The touchdown put the game at a score of 31-29 with under five minutes remaining, and the game would come down to a big two-point conversion. 

Going for two, Wilkins scanned the field for a receiver, and he was able to find Darby in the back of the end zone. Darby came down with the pass, but unfortunately for the Sun Devils, he was ruled out of bounds. 

Thus, the game held at 31-29, and the ASU defense would be put to the test. The Ducks were just able to edge out the rest of the game, and ASU's Pac-12 south hopes would slowly dwindle away in the remaining minutes. 

ASU junior wide receiver N'Keal Harry had 105 yards receiving, and sophomore running back Eno Benjamin would finish with 149 yards rushing, but it would be lost in the aftermath of the Sun Devil defeat. 

ASU has one more rivalry game left in the regular season at Arizona next Saturday. 

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