From an impartial point of view, this game was wildly entertaining.
For a Duck fan, it was wildly frustrating. I may need some percoset after this. Oregon gave up more yards than I believe anyone in the history of ever has done - 741. College basketball envied the final score.
But Oregon got the win.
Oregon started with the ball and wasted no time in showing Vernon Adams Jr.'s skills with a long completion to Darren Carrington. It was a beautiful pass that showed the need for Carrington's return. Sadly, Oregon stalled in the red zone as has been an issue all season, and Oregon only went up 3-0.
Oregon's defense made a rare stop on the ensuing possession as ASU started out throwing heavily. Bercovici was off target and had a set of drops, and Oregon was right back in it. Except...they weren't. This went on for another set of possessions, with neither offense generating anything. This wouldn't last.
Oregon's third possession started simply, and then Royce Freeman broke a great run. 64 yards to the house, his longest run so far this year. It was 10-0, and we were really optimistic.
ASU came back with an 11-play 60+ yard drive, but a 26 yard field goal was wide left. This wasn't a great sign, though.
Oregon and ASU traded possessions to end the quarter, with ASU's short field long field goal missing wide again.
Oregon once again had a drive go no where, as short passes and runs with nothing going on plagued Oregon. Royce Freeman got a nice run of 17 yards, but that's where it ended. ASU finally capitalized on Oregon's lack of doing anything and drove 80 yards in 8 plays, largely on the ground - ending with a great TD pass beating coverage. 10-7, Oregon.
Oregon responded nicely on the next drive, thanks again to a big play. On 4th and 1, Vernon Adams hit a wide open Carrington thanks to a corner blitz and some confusion for 39 yards and a TD. 17-7, Oregon.
ASU, however, started to get their stride against the weak Oregon defense. In just 6 plays, thanks to a huge pass play and a failure by Tyree to cover, ASU scored quickly. 17-14, just like that.
Oregon got yet another 3 and out, largely on failed passes. ASU had a short drive at the end of the half that ended in a long - and failed - FG. Despite Oregon leading 17-14, the feeling was pretty dire; ASU had missed three field goals and had had good drives, and Oregon's offense had largely stalled aside from 3 huge plays.
The third quarter was one of the wildest I've ever seen. It was great and horrible all at once.
ASU started with the ball and wasted no time in learning from their mistakes. Instead of relying on passing, they went to the ground again and again with DJ Foster and Demario Richards in big chunks. This stalled in the red zone, thankfully (largely due to drops and bad passes), and ASU kicked their first successful field goal to tie the game up, 17-17.
Then disaster struck.
Vernon Adams on the ensuing first play threw a high pass to Evan Bayliss which was bobbled - and intercepted in a great play by what I can assume was Pat Tillman. (it was Kareem Orr). ASU wasted no time in running it down Oregon's throat, a 22 yard TD by Demario Richards, and it was ASU's first lead of the game. 24-17.
Oregon somewhat answered with a nice mix of reverses and runs, but Oregon's redzone issues reared their ugly head again. After a offensive pass interference call put Oregon back at the 20, they settled for another field goal. 24-20.
Arizona State looked to put the game away at this point. A Kalen Ballage 34-yard run gave them great field position and they capitalized happily, throwing an easy 1 yard TD after yet another long 3rd down conversion. They were up 31-20, and looked to have all the momentum in the world.
And then Charles Nelson changed things.
Charles Nelson had a brilliant kick return. It was so brilliant that ESPN doesn't even have a highlight, so you're going to have to trust me on this - it was incredible. All of a sudden Oregon is right back in it, and it's 31-27.
Oregon's defense actually kinda sorta rose to the task on the next drive, thanks to some timely ASU drops. They did get a 33 yard run from Kalen Ballage, but then were sacked on 3rd and 5 and the drive stalled.
Then Oregon struck again. Despite it somewhat working, Oregon had avoided the run most of the game. This changed as Kani Benoit had a great set of runs and capped it with an explosion of 62 yards and a TD. And just like that, Oregon was ahead - 34-31.
ASU started another hot drive doing pretty much whatever they wanted, but again stalled late in the drive. After three consecutive plays that gained nothing, they had to kick a field goal and tie the game, 34-34. This drive had what looked like an interception, but it was reviewed and ruled to be incomplete on yet another bad PAC12Ref call.
Oregon's next drive immediately stalled thanks to one of the 5 sacks on Vernon Adams, and they couldn't recover. A quick three and out ensued.
ASU went to the air on the next drive and did pretty much whatever they wanted. It looked as they got to the red zone that they might stall again, but a beautiful bootleg and throw to the opposite side gave them the TD on third and goal. 41-34 ASU.
Oregon had a chance on the next drive. Adams got sacked, but on a long 3rd down used incredible mobility to get away and get a long throw down the field. Darren Carrington was wide, wide open, but dropped a simple pass. Oregon had to punt.
Arizona State was driving on their next possession but under pressure, Mike Bercovici threw a bad interception by Tyree Robinson, who almost fumbled it away on the turnover. Oregon had one shot left.
And I'm not sure how I can sum this up.
- Oregon runs for 1.
- Adams is sacked for 7.
- Then on 3rd and 16, Adams hits Royce Freeman on a wheel route for 21. First down.
- 7 yard pass to Darren Carrington
- 1 yard pass to Bralon Addison.
- A huge defensive holding penalty on a reverse trick pass by Bralon Addison. First down.
- On 1st and 10 at the ASU 20, incomplete pass thrown away.
- Royce Freeman with a 9 yard completion.
- 3rd and 1, no run on another idiotic wildcat run.
- 4th and 1. Royce Freeman runs for the first.
- 1st and goal at the 8 - incomplete pass (throw away under major pressure)
- 2nd and goal - incomplete to Dwayne Stanford on my most hated play other than the wildcat - the quick fade. Stanford saved what would have been an interception.
- 3rd and goal - another attempt at a Bralon Addison pass almost is blown up, and is instead incomplete.
- 4th and goal from the 8. And...this. Wow. An 8 yard TD to Dwayne Stanford in one of the most insane hail Marys I've ever seen.
After a short kick which Oregon almost recovered, the regular game was over.
Oregon lost the toss and received first. And for one of the first times all night, the Sun Devils chose not to blitz. Vernon Adams threw a nice comeback route to Dwayne Stanford and he took it the rest of the way. One play, and Oregon was on top - 48-41.
- The new 1st and goal was an incomplete after having plenty of time.
- Second and goal was a quick slant over the middle on play action to the 2.
- Third and goal from the 2, ASU goes jumbo. They throw out of the backfield on a quick flat route, and just manages to get it over the pylon. Touchdown ASU. Zane Gonzales makes the extra point, and we're on to a second OT.
ASU started with the ball, and immediately had Bercovici with a QB IZR play go for 8. It would be nice to stop that at some point, Oregon. Second down had a IZR run for no gain, leaving a short 3rd and 3.
And then...ugh. Bercovici simply runs right up the middle on a QB draw, and Oregon does nothing and can't tackle for a damn. 55-48, ASU. The Oregon defense at this point has given up 743 yards.
Oregon's turn. Royce Freeman gets a great outside run for a gain of 11 on some nice downfield blocking, and it's 1st and 10 from the 14. Freeman gets another first down carry and gets 6, setting up a nice 2nd and 4. Freeman runs a third time and only gets a yard. 3rd and 3. And then Adams manages to scramble like he's not scrambled all season. It's called a TD on the field, but Adams was down at the 1 foot line and the play is overturned. Still, first and goal from the 1 foot line.
And absurdly easily, Royce Freeman walks into the end zone. Schneider narrowly makes the kick, and we're tied again.
Oregon starts with the ball. And immediately gets a false start for their troubles.
1st and 15 has traditionally been a problem for Oregon, as it was against WSU in the overtime. Not this time. Vernon Adams somehow avoids about a billion attempts to tackle him and runs to the 20. Second and 5. Vernon Adams throws a beauty rainbow pass to Bralon Addison, and it's ruled a TD on the field. The replay was...uh...really close. Like crazy close. It was ruled to stand, and it's a TD. 61-55 Oregon.
In the third and later overtimes you must go for two. And they go wildcat with Addison lined up, and ASU immediately calls a timeout. I guess...that's good? Maybe? Have I mentioned how much I hate Oregon doing the wildcat? I really hate it. After the timeout, Oregon goes back to the wildcat, and Addison...drops the snap. Seriously.
Drops the snap.
If anyone wants to call for Addison to be the QB, please line up. Against the wall.
Bercovici starts with a wide open pass along the side for a gain of 22 to Tim White.
- 1st and goal, Oregon gets a hand on a slant pass and almost intercepts it. Almost.
- 2nd and goal, Oregon gets pressure right up the middle. Bercovici throws it over the middle to a wide open...Arrion Springs. If you didn't know, that player plays for Oregon.