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FINAL: Arizona 31, ASU 27

ASU+VS.+UA++at+Sun+Devil+Stadium+on+Nov.+20%2C+2011.+The+Wildcats+defeated+the+Sun+Devils+31-27.
Janice Biancavilla
ASU VS. UA at Sun Devil Stadium on Nov. 20, 2011. The Wildcats defeated the Sun Devils 31-27.

TEMPE, Ariz. — Bryson Beirne completed a go-ahead touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter and ASU couldn’t score from the 15-yard line as time expired, and Arizona downed the Sun Devils, 31-27, Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium in the 85th playing of the Duel in the Desert.

Arizona quarterback Nick Foles had to leave the game late in the fourth quarter with an apparent side injury and Beirne hit senior receiver Juron Criner for a 23-yard score on a screen pass with just over five minutes to play to put the Wildcats on top, 31-27.

After Arizona jumped out to a 14-0 lead, the Sun Devils answered with 21 straight points and led 21-17 at halftime. ASU receiver Gerell Robinson grabbed 11 catches for a career-high 199 yards and a touchdown and Sun Devil quarterback Brock Osweiler threw for 487 yards but also tossed a pair of interceptions deep in Arizona territory.

Criner finished the game with 134 yards and a touchdown on nine catches and freshman running back Ka’Deem Carey ran for 96 yards on 13 carries.

ASU drove deep into Arizona territory as the clock ran down in the fourth quarter but couldn’t convert on either of two tries from the Wildcat 15-yard line. Arizona cornerback Trevin Wade had a crucial pass break-up on a fourth-down attempt by ASU with just over eight minutes to play.

Arizona scored the eventual game-winning touchdown on the ensuing drive.

The Wildcats continue their season next Saturday when they host Louisiana-Lafayette at 2 p.m.

Game blog

That was an unbelievable ending to the game. ASU had two shots from the 15-yard line but couldn’t score.

Arizona held on for the 31-27 win and Bryson Beirne threw the game-winning touchdown pass.

***

Arizona DB Jourdon Grandon just picked off Osweiler and returned it to the ASU 43-yard line, and this one is close to over.

Trevin Wade made the play to get the ball up in the air and Grandon made the play.

Now the ‘Cats are running the ball and milking the clock. There’s 1:24 to play and the Devils have one timeout remaining. Third and seven for Arizona.

***

Now Arizona’s on top after Juron Criner ran 23 yards on a screen pass from senior quarterback Bryson Beirne to cap off a 6-play, 61-yard scoring drive.

This is Arizona’s first lead since going up 14-0 early in the first quarter.

Needless to say, this is a huge series for the Arizona defense with 5:18 on the game clock.

***

After ASU made a questionable call to go for it on 4th-and-3, a try that failed after Trevin Wade made a pass break up on Osweiler’s attempt, Arizona is marching in Sun Devil territory.

The Wildcats have the ball at the 27-yard line but Nick Foles is down with a non-contact injury that looks like an oblique or something in his side.

Bryson Beirne will take over at quarterback with Arizona trailing by three with 6:10 left to play.

***

Gino Crump just had a great catch-and-run to go 34 yards for the Arizona score. The Wildcats now trail by three with 10:25 to play in the game.

Now would be a good time for the defense to stop giving up big plays. If Arizona can get Nick Foles the ball with a shot at the lead, I think the Wildcats would take that every time.

***

Now we’re in to the fourth quarter and the Sun Devils are hanging on to a seven-point lead.

Arizona’s offense has had plenty of chances to tie the game but hasn’t been able to put a scoring drive together. Foles has been just off for most of the second half and Arizona hasn’t had a drive long enough to get the running game going.

***

Arizona’s offense had a great chance to put points on the board — it started from its own 40-yard line — but went 3-and-out and was forced to punt back to ASU. The offense hasn’t found any sort of rhythm since its first two drives.

The defense, save for a couple big pass plays, hasn’t played bad. It’s keeping the Wildcats in the game, which is all they need the D to do.

***

Arizona’s defense held the Sun Devils after ASU returned a punt to the Wildcat 24-yard line. Shaq Richardson had a nice pass break-up in the end zone on ASU’s 3rd-down play.

Now it’s back to work for the Arizona offense, which hasn’t been too productive since racing out to a 14-0 lead.

***

Arizona got the ASU lead down to four going into halftime and forced ASU into a punt to start the second half. C.J. Parish picked up a sack after a holding call on ASU negated a long gain.

Wildcat center Kyle Quinn is back in action after leaving the game earlier. Freshman running back Ka’Deem Carey is having a big game so far, gaining 49 yards on five carries. He also has two catches for 21 yards and a score.

So it’s ASU 21, Arizona 17 with 12:16 to play in the third quarter.

***

After jumping out to a 14-0 lead, Arizona has given up 21 unanswered points, and the Sun Devils lead 21-14. Shaq Richardson was burned for a 58-yard completion to Aaron Pflugrad and Cameron Marshall scored from 22 yards out.

The Wildcats have missed two makable field goals, the most recent coming from 28 yards.

***

ASU wide receiver Gerell Robinson, who Tim Kish once recruited to Arizona as a quarterback, is killing the Wildcats right now. He’s racked up six catches for 104 yards and a score just under five minutes into the second quarter.

Robinson’s 11-yard catch tied the game at 14, and capped off an 8-play, 68-yard drive. Arizona’s defense hasn’t been as on-point as it was on the first two possessions, largely because the big play has disappeared.

But the Wildcats have still been able to move the ball against an ASU defense that’s struggled lately.

***

Arizona’s last drive proved football is a game of inches. Foles was just off on a pass attempt to Richard Morrison that might have been a touchdown, then John Bonano clanked a 49-yard field goal off the left upright.

The Wildcat defense needs to take advantage of Osweiler being off so far. Arizona leads 14-7 two minutes into the second quarter.
***

ASU came up with an answer when it needed to and marched on a 12-play, 74-yard touchdown drive to cut Arizona’s lead to seven.

The Sun Devils obviously want to attack Arizona with deep balls and it’s been moderately successful so far. Osweiler isn’t playing his best game, but he’s doing enough to move ASU down the field.

***

Arizona’s big-play offense strikes again with a 46-yard pickup on a screen to Antolin, and Foles found Ka’Deem Carey for an 11-yard scoring strike on 3rd-and-goal to go up 14-0.

The Wildcat offense came out clicking on all cylinders and the defense is giving ASU a lot of different looks. The Arizona coaching staff seems to have ASU scouted pretty well on run/pass tendencies. They’ve been switching heavy sets in and out constantly on defense.

***

ASU’s drive didn’t go well for the Sun Devils. They weren’t able to do much outside of a 27-yard catch and run by Gerell Robinson, and Brock Osweiler made a horrible throw that was picked off by Shaq Richardson and returned to the ASU 49-yard line.

For the first time in a while, Arizona has a chance to get all of the momentum in its corner with more points on this drive.

***

Arizona marched 80 yards in 5:19 and quarterback Nick Foles was 6-of-6 passing to five different receivers to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead after one possession.

Keola Antolin broke a tackle and plunged in from one yard out after ASU was called for pass interference in the end zone, giving the Wildcats a first down. The drive was highlighted by a 48-yard bomb from Foles to Juron Criner that got the ball down to the 1-yard line.

***

We’re here at Sun Devil Stadium where Arizona (2-8, 1-7 Pac-12) is looking to do its part to knock ASU (6-4, 4-3) out of contention in the Pac-12 South Division.

Arizona is wearing its all white uniforms while ASU is wearing all black to go along with the blackout theme for the fans. Nick Foles is looking to bounce back from three straight rough performances while the ASU defense is trying to rebound from allowing a freshman quarterback to throw for nearly 500 yards for Washington State in its last contest.

This game is the first sellout in a little more than three seasons for ASU. Check back for updates throughout the game and follow @WildcatSports on Twitter for updates throughout the night.

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