The ASU football team was defeated 34-17 by the No. 11 Oklahoma State University Cowboys Saturday during a rainy afternoon game at the Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
ASU kept the game somewhat close for three quarters, only trailing by three early in the fourth quarter. However, the fourth quarter was all Cowboys. The Sun Devils couldn't keep up, especially with 10 penalties on the night.
The Sun Devils' defense came out of the gate with sheer force, forcing the Cowboys to punt on their first drive. They followed with a 42-yard run from graduate student running back Xazavian Valladay on the first offensive play. ASU ended with a field goal to take an early 3-0 lead on OSU.
The rest of the quarter couldn't have been better for ASU's defense, holding Oklahoma State to zero points in the first quarter with an interception by co-captain redshirt fifth year linebacker Kyle Soelle to end the quarter in style.
The Sun Devils seemed to be in control at the start of the second quarter, running the ball well and playing good defense. However, when Valladay fumbled the ball four minutes into the half, all momentum turned toward the Cowboys.
It only took the Cowboys seven minutes to take an 11-point lead over the Sun Devils with two rushing touchdowns from junior running back Dominic Richardson and redshirt senior quarterback Spencer Sanders.
The rest of the first half was all Oklahoma State. The team allowed 51 total yards from ASU in the second quarter, courtesy of ASU's inability to convert the ball on third down going zero in four. Oklahoma State would extend its lead to 14 with a 43-yard field goal just before the end of the half, making the score 17-3.
When the second half came around, it was expected Oklahoma State would keep up its rapid-tempo offense, as well as its suffocating pass-rush to put away ASU easily. Nevertheless, redshirt junior quarterback Emory Jones and the Sun Devil offense weren't going down easy.
Jones hurled a 73-yard pass to senior wide receiver Giovanni Sanders on the second play of the half. Valladay complemented Jones two plays later with a one-yard rushing touchdown to put the score at 17-10.
With the Sun Devils starting to regain momentum, the Cowboys had to make plays — doing so six minutes later with a 24-yard field goal to go up 20-10.
The game went into a stalemate until the fourth quarter, both teams going three and out, playing quietly to end the third quarter.
The fourth started off with a bang with a 21-yard dart from Jones to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Elijhah Badger to bring the Sun Devils back within three.
The Cowboys only took three plays on their next drive thanks to a trick play that ended up in the hands of sophomore wide receiver Bryson Green for a 31-yard touchdown to give them a 27-17 lead.
From there, Sanders and the Cowboys started to show their superiority over the Sun Devils, linking up with true freshman Ollie Gordon on a 14-yard touchdown to put the game out of reach with a score of 34-17.
Jones finished the night with 223 passing yards and one touchdown, while Valladay had a nice night with 118 rushing yards and a touchdown of his own.
The Sun Devils look to bounce back next Saturday at 8 p.m. MST against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at home.
Edited by Kathryn Field, Piper Hansen and Greta Forslund.
Vincent Deangelis is a full-time reporter for the sports department at The State Press. He has previously worked for Arizona PBS and AZPreps365.com.