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Second Half Thread: Ducks Struggle in the Desert

Oh boy, here we go again.

NCAA Football: Oregon at Arizona State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Halftime Score: Sun Devils 10 - Ducks 7

1ST QUARTER: Mykael Wright took the opening kickoff to the Duck 17-yard line. Justin Herbert rolled out of the pocket and hit Juwan Johnson for a big gain after the receiver pushed past a couple defenders for 25 yards. The Sun Devils’ Jermayne Lole and Roe Wilkins combined for a one yard sack on the next play, and after a short completion to Brian Addison, Johnson was unable to pull in the throw on 3rd-and-6 and Oregon was forced to punt from midfield.

Arizona State started at their own 20 and picked up eight yards on back-to-back carries, but an illegal motion called on a Sun Devil fullback led to a 3rd-and-long that they weren’t able to convert.

After Jevon Holland’s fair catch on the Oregon 20, Herbert hit CJ Verdell on the swing pass for a four-yard gain. Verdell received four straight carries after that and earned two first downs. Herbert missed out on an open Spencer Webb on second, but connected with Johnny Johnson III for a 28-yard gain to the ASU 5. Once in the red zone, an incomplete pass to Addison was followed by a Cyrus Habibi-Likio five-yard score.

Ducks 7 - Sun Devils 0

Daniels threw a dart to Brandon Aiyuk on the outside for a nine-yard gain, then Benjamin erupted forward for the Sun Devils’ first first down of the game. Troy Dye was able to get some pressure on Daniels who lost a yard while scrambling, but the freshman QB found Frank Darby on a deep route that resulted in a 57-yard touchdown.

Sun Devils 7 - Ducks 7

After the touchback, Oregon was called for a delay of game, but quickly earned back their yardage with a 16-yard run by Travis Dye. Webb picked up 11 yards after a review confirmed he stepped out of bounds at the Oregon 47, and a pair of Dye runs gained 14 more yards. A 24-yard tunnel screen to Johnson III got the Ducks into the red zone, but Oregon turned it over on downs after going for it on 4th-and-1 at the ASU 6.

The Sun Devils ended the first quarter with two consecutive carries by Benjamin that went for three total yards.

2ND QUARTER: On 3rd-and-7 at their own 9, Aiyuk helped the Sun Devils drastically improve their field position by catching a ball at the ASU 43. A one-yard Benjamin carry was proceeded by a false start, and after the back picked up seven more yards an unsportsmanlike conduct called on Jack Jones of the Sun Devils from the sideline put them even further behind the sticks. Benjamin reclaimed 13 yards but ASU was forced to punt.

Verdell continued his success by breaking off a 13-yard run, but some backfield trickeration resulted in a loss of nine on the next play. Johnson was well defended and unable to haul in the pass, then a screen to Dye fell well short of the first down marker meaning Oregon was three-and-out.

Starting at their 24, the Sun Devils carried the ball four straight times to reach midfield: Benjamin for 12-yards, Daniels on a rollout for six, then Benjamin again for three and the first down. After a six-yard loss on a first down carry, Aiyuk came up big yet again with a 17-yard catch. Herm then took a timeout with 6:53 left in the first half after being called for a false start.

Darby had another momentous catch that he took 33 yards to the Oregon 13. Bryson Young stopped a run up the gut, then ASU was called for their fourth false start. In the red zone, the Ducks’ defense were able to hold the Sun Devils to a field goal.

Sun Devils 10 - Ducks 7

Oregon had a quick three-and-out that consisted of two Verdell runs for a total of seven yards and then a batted down screen pass on third down. Daniels led his team down the field on an 11-play, 27-yard drive (in which he threw his first two incompletions of the night) to finish up the first half. Daniels was sacked by Austin Fauliu with four seconds left to set up the final play, a hail mary that flew over the end zone.


Oregon v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images