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Victory at last for ASU football as the Sun Devils defeat Washington State

After weeks of close losses, the Sun Devils found a way to generate enough offense to pull off a win in Tempe


ASU graduate student linebacker Tre Brown (82) yells in celebration after beating Washington State at Mountain America Stadium in Tempe on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2023. ASU won 38-27.

The Sun Devils secured a 38-27 victory over Washington State at home as ASU's offense came to life after weeks of being in a rut.

The game marks the highest-scoring matchup for the Sun Devils so far this season. The Cougars rallied with two field goals to tighten the scoreboard gap in the second half, but the Sun Devils managed to hold them off with its first conference victory of the season.

The Sun Devils earned a season-high 509 total yards on offense against the Cougars. ASU engaged in a back-and-forth with the Cougars all game, often answering Wazzu's touchdowns by scoring their own in the subsequent drive. However, redshirt junior running back DeCarlos Brooks's third touchdown of the night was the final nail in the Cougar's coffin.

Along with three rushing touchdowns, Brooks tallied 67 rushing yards and 12 receiving yards. Despite being not starting, junior running back Cam Skattebo finished the game with 121 rushing yards, a career high at ASU, including a 66-yard run. 

In pursuit of improving ASU's offense, coach Kenny Dillingham adjusted his scheme, which included adding a few defensive players to a first-half offensive drive. 

"We were just trying to be creative to find an identity to how to run the ball," Dillingham said. "And if that meant get under center and run speed sweeps from cut splits and run toss sweeps, a lot of teams do that and have a lot of success." 

ASU played a well-rounded offensive game with multiple players contributing to the win. Redshirt junior wide receiver Elijhah Badger had a striking performance on offense, rushing for a touchdown with 18 rushing yards and 60 receiving yards. 

Redshirt junior tight end Jalin Conyers led the Sun Devils in individual receiving yards with 90 yards, and younger players on the team, such as freshman wide receiver Kaleb Black and sophomore running back Tevin White, also contributed to the offense. 

Redshirt junior quarterback Trenton Bourguet threw for 274 yards and completed 19 of his 26 passes. Bourguet expressed pride in the offense's performance and newfound ability to execute consistently. 

"It hasn't been easy these last three weeks, really this whole season, but we are right there and finally to play a game in all three phases," Bourguet said. "It's just awesome to see everything work together, and it's the start of something special."

ASU's field goal unit also improved. Graduate kicker Dario Longhetto capitalized on a field goal attempt in the second quarter to give ASU a crucial boost going into the second half. 

The Cougars challenged ASU's defense with quarterback Cameron Ward throwing for 315 yards and scoring two rushing touchdowns, showcasing his mobility. Junior defensive lineman B.J. Green and redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Clayton Smith both tallied 1.5 sacks for the Sun Devil defense. Graduate linebacker Tre Brown had four solo tackles against his former team. 

Brown said Saturday's victory was especially meaningful. 

"Coming from that school, I had a lot of revenge that I wanted to get, but I learned that revenge is not mine to take, but His," Brown said. "We came out with this victory today, so it meant a lot." 

The student section was a gloomy sight on Saturday, with an underwhelming amount of fans present for the matchup. The turnout was weak compared to the last couple of home game sellouts, and Wazzu fans spotted the stadium with red amid the crowd.

Sun Devil fans will have a chance to support their team at home again after a couple of games on the road. The Sun Devils travel to Salt Lake City this week to face No. 18 Utah in an away game matchup. 

Edited by Alfred Smith III, Sadie Buggle and Shane Brennan

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