Sun Devils Falter Against Texas A&M


The No. 15 ranked Arizona State Sun Devils may see themselves without a ranking next to their name when they take the field next Saturday after faltering in the final 10 minutes of a relatively close football game resulting in a 38-17 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies.

Texas A&M dominated from the get-go with a 9-yard touchdown pass from QB Kyle Allen to RB Tra Carson to open up a 7-0 lead. The Aggies doubled their lead to 14-0 when WR Christian Kirk, who played at Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, returned a punt 79 yards as he showed off stellar moves and incredible speed.

Following another rough offensive drive, the Sun Devils forced a fumble on Allen that was recovered by DT Demetrius Cherry who returned the ball to the Texas A&M 4-yard line. QB Mike Bercovici hit TE Kody Kohl in the end zone for the Sun Devils first touchdown of the season and cut the Aggies lead to 14-7. The teams didn’t score again for the remainder of the first half.

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After exchanging the ball due to an Allen interception by Sun Devils S Jordan Simone and then a fumble by RB Demario Richard set the Aggies up at the Sun Devil 4-yard line. The Sun Devils defense stood tall however and forced Texas A&M to settle for a 19-yard field goal to move the score to 17-7 with 5:19 left in the third quarter.

Arizona State got a little help from the Aggies on their next drive when S Justin Dunning hit a Sun Devil in late on a play and picked up a personal foul. Bercovici hooked up with WR Devin Lucien on a 22-yard completion over the middle to move the Sun Devils into Aggies’ territory. Five plays later, Bercovici used a terrific pump fake to get a Texas A&M defender in the air and ran by him and the rest of the defense for a 19-yard touchdown scamper to cut the lead to 17-14 with 2:37 left in the third quarter.

The three-point deficit would be the smallest Arizona State cut the lead however with the Aggies turning up the pressure over the remaining 17 minutes.

Allen ran for a 12-yard touchdown of his own to regain a double-digit lead at 24-14 with 8:32 left in the fourth quarter. Arizona State bounced back quickly again with a field goal by K Zane Gonzalez to cut the lead back to 24-17, but Texas A&M would have none of it.

31 seconds after the Gonzalez field goal, Kirk found himself in the end zone yet again following a screen pass that he took 66-yards to the house to put the game away at 31-17.

After the Sun Devils’ turnover on downs at their own 15-yard line, Texas A&M scored yet again on a 10-yard run by Carson with 1:38 left in the game and closed the score line at 38-17.

Bercovici finished the day 25-of-41 with 199 passing yards. He did have one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown, while throwing zero interceptions, but he did lose a fumble on a play right after a CB Kweishi Brown interception.

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  • Richard led the Sun Devils in rushing with 73 yards on 16 carries. Foster also added 13 yards on the ground on three carries. Foster also was tied for the team-high in catches with six for 48 yards.

    WR Ellis Jefferson led Arizona State in receiving yards with 69 on just four catches. Jefferson caught a beautifully thrown pass by Bercovici on the sideline for 33-yards for the Sun Devils’ longest play of the night.

    S Armand Perry led Arizona State in tackles with 11, while LB Christian Sam finished with a career high 10 tackles.

    Allen finished 15-of-26 for 198 yards, two touchdowns, and a lone interception. Carson ran 29 times for 96 yards and a touchdown. Kirk finished off his stellar performance with six catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns.

    DE Myles Garrett, who was a 1st-Team Freshman All-American and 2nd-Team All-SEC last season, finished with eight tackles and two sacks. Garrett had just two of his team’s nine sacks on the evening.

    Only one of Arizona State’s 17 offensive drives lasted longer than three minutes. This drive occurred when Gonzalez hit a 23-yard field goal to cut the Aggies lead to 24-17.

    Final Statistics:

    Yards: Texas A&M- 425; Arizona State- 291

    Turnovers: Texas A&M- 3; Arizona State- 2

    Arizona State will return home to Tempe and play Cal Poly next Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. MST.

    We will have more coverage of this game over the next couple of days.