- This was a night the Washington Huskies controlled no part of the game, and no area of Sun Devil Stadium — not between the 20-yard lines, not inside the red zone, and definitely not between the goalposts.
In the end, they sunk in their accustomed Pac-12 burial ground.
Arizona State did the unthinkable again. Pulling off one of the biggest upsets in school history, the Sun Devils bottled up the fifth-ranked Huskies, 13-7, on Saturday night in front of 51,234 at Sun Devil Stadium.
How did they finish off a game they led the entire way? On fourth down with less than two minutes remaining from the Huskies’ 37, ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins’ intended pass to N’Keal Harry sailed a bit too high toward the sideline, but went right into the waiting arms of tight end CJ French-Love, whose 30-yard catch was his only reception of the game.
It continued UW’s bad run in this stadium — where the Huskies have not won in since 2001.
“We say it every day, anybody on our schedule can beat us,” a disgusted UW quarterback Jake Browning said after the game. “Am I shocked they came ready to play after an off week, at home, at night? No.”
If the Huskies want to start pointing fingers, it needs to start in the direction of a lifeless offense.
The UW was limited to 230 yards, converted just three of 14 third downs and did not get a first down on five of its 11 drives.
Oh yeah, when the Huskies did get in the red zone twice in the third quarter, they came away with no points. Van Soderberg missed field-goal attempts of 27 and 21 yards.
It took a grand total of 54 minutes, 28 seconds for the Huskies to make sure UW coach Chris Petersen did not suffer his first career shutout as a coach, scoring on Browning’s 1-yard touchdown run with 5:32 to go.
“We couldn’t make anything happen early on,” Petersen said. “We needed something to spark us. They did a nice job of taking away our big plays.”
Certainly, the Huskies had been held in check for periods of the first half before on the road — but not dominated like they were for a full 30 minutes.
Outside of a 20-yard run by Lavon Coleman on the Huskies’ second series, and a spin-away from pressure move by Browning that bought time to connect with Coleman on a 24-yard pass with four minutes to go, the UW offense did worse than nothing, totaling minus-2 yards on its other 18 plays.
Meanwhile, the Sun Devils were able to do what others could not — effectively attack the Huskies defense in the intermediate areas.
They did it with a lot of motion and shifting — and confusing misdirection.
On their opening series, ASU went 63 yards on 16 plays. Its longest gain on one play was 8 yards. The Sun Devils capped it with Kalen Ballage’s 1-yard touchdown run for a 7-0 lead with 5:26 remaining in the first quarter.
After the Sun Devils deflected a Joel Whitford punt on the first play of the second quarter, recovering at the Huskies’ 35, Brandon Ruiz matched his career long with a 52-yard field goal, and ASU led, 10-0.
And after quick-jabbing the UW defense for much of one-and-a-half quarters, Wilkins finally took a deep shot, connecting with tight end Jalen Harvey on a 36-yard sideline pass deep in Huskies territory.
It led to Ruiz’s second field goal of the game, a 25-yarder, and the Sun Devils had a 13-0 lead with 5:44 remaining in the first half.