Arizona State downs Washington 24-14 - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Arizona State downs Washington 24-14

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Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2010 12:31 am | Updated: 9:17 pm, Mon Oct 11, 2010.

— In three hard-fought losses in the last three weeks, Arizona State was its own worst enemy.

Whether it was untimely interceptions from Steven Threet or costly personal fouls on hotheaded linebacker Vontaze Burfict, the Sun Devils couldn't get out of their own way. They entered the game averaging over 85 yards in penalties per game and Threet had thrown seven interceptions in their last two games.

On Saturday night, Arizona State (3-3, 1-2) limited those mistakes and managed to end an eight-game Pac-10 losing streak with a 24-14 victory over Washington.

"It's been a hard three weeks for us, losing those close games and being in them and our guys just doubted what they were doing," Sun Devils coach Dennis Erickson said.

"It's a relief. Certainly didn't want to go home with an extension of (the streak)."

After winning their first two games, the Sun Devils had lost by a combined 15 points to Wisconsin, Oregon and Oregon State.

But on Saturday, Threet passed for 288 yards and two touchdowns in the Sun Devils' first victory over a Pac-10 opponent since a 24-17 win over the Huskies last Oct. 17. Arizona State committed just four penalties for only 31 yards, their lowest mark on the season.

Threet fought through heavy rains most for the night to complete passes to nine different receivers. The Sun Devils dropped six passes in the first half in the downpour, but Threet still managed to throw for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns before the intermission.

"We hate losing," Threet said. "We lost two or three tough games in a row and we just wanted to bounce back from it. That was a big game for us."

Threet, who had thrown seven interceptions in his last two games, was intercepted midway through the fourth quarter by Cort Dennison. It was Threet's only turnover on Saturday.

"I thought Steven had a tremendous game," Erickson said. "I think we had one turnover and four penalties is all we had in this game. You've got to do that to win."

The interception didn't cost the Sun Devils, either. The Huskies (2-3, 1-1) went three-and-out and Arizona State capitalized with a 53-yard drive that set up a 23-yard field goal by Thomas Weber to give the Sun Devils a 10-point cushion.

Washington failed to convert on fourth-and-12 with just over six minutes to play, giving the ball back to Arizona State and effectively ending the Huskies' chances.

Jake Locker's final pass intended for Jordan Polk was intercepted by Omar Bolden in the end zone to seal the victory for Arizona State.

Threet led the Sun Devils on a 14-play, 92-yard drive for the game's first touchdown. Arizona State converted four third downs on the drive that culminated in a 3-yard pass from Threet to Gerell Robinson for a 7-0 lead.

A 51-yard kickoff return by Jesse Callier gave the Huskies great field position at the ASU 41. Locker eventually scored from 2 yards out to tie the game. The Sun Devils quickly regained the lead, going 67 yards in six plays with Threet scoring from a yard out to make it 14-7.

Burfict sat out the entire first quarter after being benched by the Arizona State coaching staff for reckless play against Oregon State last week.

Behind Burfict, the Sun Devils' defense rose up to stop a promising Washington drive into ASU territory. Jamaar Jarrett sacked Locker for a 3-yard loss to force fourth-and-18 from the Arizona State 31.

"I thought he played good," Erickson said. "He didn't get any penalties."

On the fourth-down play, the Huskies ran a fake field goal with holder Cody Bruns trying to run around the left side, but was stopped for no gain.

"With the weather and the pre-game kicks I didn't feel good about kicking the field goal from there," Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. "It was something in the game plan that we liked that we though that we had the opportunity but they defended it well."

Washington faced another fourth down late in the first half, but a Locker pass sailed through the hands of Jermaine Kearse to give the ball back to the Sun Devils.

"I thought out defense gave us a chance to win the game." Sarkisian said. "(They) moved the ball between the 20's but when it's all said and done, out defense left a chance for us to win and we weren't able to do that."

"We're learning how to win, and we're learning how to lose. We're going through so many growing pains right now," he said.

Arizona State went 65 yards in just 42 seconds to add another touchdown before the half as Threet connected with Mike Willie for a 20-yard touchdown for a 21-7 lead at the break.

The Sun Devils managed to keep Locker in check for most of the game, holding him to just 6 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Sarkisian said that Locker was sick all week long and it affected their ability to turn him loose more in the running game. Sarkisian only called three designed runs for Locker all night. He was also sacked three times by the Sun Devils' defense.

"He had a hard time catching his wind, getting his breath, but that's the nature of when the seasons change," Sarkisian said of Locker. "You gotta deal with sickness like we gotta deal with everything else."

In addition, Locker had to go without starting wide receiver Devin Aguilar, who suffered a hip flexor injury in practice on Thursday.

Locker finished with 209 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception for the game.

Gregory Christine started at left guard for Washington in place of Erik Kohler, who was out with mononucleosis. Christine picked up his second holding penalty of the game on the Huskies' opening drive of the second half to stall a drive. Erik Folk, the hero of last week's victory at Southern California, missed a 47-yard field goal wide right. It was Folk's first miss this season.

Washington finally capitalized with Locker connecting with D'Andre Goodwin for a 15-yard touchdown to pull within 21-14.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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