Cougars crash and burn in the desert

WSU defense unable to take the heat of the Sun Devil offense

Washington State sophomore runningback Max Borghi scores a touchdown during a game against the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday afternoon in Tempe, Arizona.


Washington State sophomore runningback Max Borghi scores a touchdown during a game against the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday afternoon in Tempe, Arizona.

SAM GRANT, Evergreen reporter

WSU football traveled to Tempe, Arizona for their second-straight away game to challenge No. 20 Arizona State University on Saturday.

The Cougars (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) came to Arizona State after a bye week, followed by a road loss to Utah the week before that.

The Sun Devils (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) rolled into the game after defeating then-ranked No. 15 Cal.

WSU received the ball first, driving downfield for a touchdown, courtesy of redshirt senior quarterback Anthony Gordon and redshirt sophomore receiver Travell Harris.

The offensive duo connected for a 35-yard touchdown to put the Cougars above the Sun Devils 7-0 early in the first quarter.

ASU would be up on offense next, with all eyes on the Cougar defense, as former defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys resigned the week before.

WSU’s defense exceeded expectations, forcing the Sun Devils to a three-play drive followed by a punt on the very first drive.

After getting the ball back, the Cougars made another offensive push, this time being held to three points. Redshirt sophomore kicker Blake Mazza extended the lead to 10 in the first quarter.

The Sun Devils came into the second quarter rolling on offense, as they put up six with a 40-yard touchdown pass, making it 10-7 Cougars after the extra point.

The Cougars answered in the following drive with two 29-yard passes that surged the offense to the endzone, with a two-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Dezmon Patmon, making the score 17-7.

ASU’s offense made a strong push in the end of the second quarter, scoring a touchdown off a two-play drive, followed by a field goal try to tie the game at 17 points each before the half.

On top of the momentum that ASU had going into the half, they received the ball coming out of it. They ended up capitalizing on this and scored on a 32-yard rushing touchdown. This put the Sun Devils up for the first time in the game 24-17.

WSU’s high-powered second half offense shone in the first offensive drive for the Cougars when redshirt senior receiver Easop Winston Jr. caught a pass to tie it up at 24-24.

The Cougars continued the offensive push as they took back the ball and drove it for another touchdown as sophomore running back Max Borghi pushed in for a two-yard rush. This put WSU back up 31-24 at the end of the third quarter.

ASU responded with a long drive to open the fourth quarter that ended with a 33-yard touchdown to tie the game for the third time at 31-31.

Mazza returned to give WSU the lead. As the kick was sent off, the ball missed the uprights of the goal posts, only for the referees to stop the game, saying that WSU had taken a timeout prior to the snap. Mazza’s next try would be good, putting the Cougars up 34-31 with 2:57.

The Sun Devils put on a short drive to the endzone, as ASU’s quarterback ran the ball into the endzone for a touchdown, giving ASU the lead late 38-34.

ASU ran away with this one, moving up to a 5-1 record on the year, putting the Cougars down to 3-3.

The Cougars return for the homecoming against the University of Colorado-Boulder at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Martin Stadium.