Arizona State would go three-and-out in their opening series, and the Spartans would be held down by the Sun Devils defense on their first drive and were also forced to punt.
The next drive contained a lot of short passes by Wilkins to the outside, and also a lot of draw plays to Benjamin. It looked like Herm Edwards wanted to take advantage of the speed of the Spartans front seven by either getting the ball out early or using a draw play to fool the rush. One of the bad things about last week’s 48-7 win over UTSA was the number of penalties. And the penalties would stall this drive with back-to-back flags (false start, holding). A nice punt of 39 yards by Sleep-Dalton was downed on the Michigan State 1-yard line.
The Spartans, starting on their own 1, would then drive down the field and find themselves on the Arizona State 16-yard line before the end of the 1st quarter. The scoreboard was showing zero’s as neither team put any points on the board in the 1st.
The Sun Devils defense would step up and hold the Spartans to a 37-yard field goal by Matt Coughlin. So Michigan State is the first on the board, leading 3-0 with 13:19 remaining in the 2nd quarter.
Arizona State’s offense would stall on a 4th and 1 at mid-field after Benjamin came up short and the Spartan offense would take over on the ASU 49 with 10:22 remaining in the 1st half.
Michigan State would take advantage of the great field position and drive down the field with a series of swing passes and shots outside the numbers. However, the Sun Devil defense would come up big again, winning the tip drill in the end zone and intercepting the pass from Lewerke, and running it back to their own 16-yard line. The pass was intercepted by Dasmond Tautalatasi.
Arizona State would drive down to the Michigan State 39-yard line before being forced to punt. Michigan State would take over at their own 10. If anything, that’s a nice change of field by the Sun Devils.
After forcing a punt, the Sun Devils would take over again on their own 24-yard line with just under two minutes remaining in the half. Wilkins would turn the ball back to Michigan State after being intercepted by the Spartans Matt Morrissey on their own 12-yard line. And that’s how the first half would end with Michigan State taking a knee.
Michigan State was up on the Sun Devils at the half, 3-0, and received the 2nd half kickoff. They drove down the field after starting on their own 25-yard line. The drive would be capped off with a 28-yard field goal by Coghlin. The Sun Devils defense did a nice job on the 3rd and short play prior to the field goal after stuffing the Michigan State run attempt.
Arizona State would finally get on the board with a 49-yard field goal after a 7-play, 44 yard drive. Ruiz placed the ball through the uprights for the score. ASU cut the Spartan lead in half, 6-3, with 7:48 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
Michigan State would get one through the air after an impressive 70-yard drive, capped off by a 31-yard pass by Lewerke to White. The Spartans ran for the majority of that drive after almost abandoning the run through out the game.
Arizona State would respond with Manny Wilkins driving the Sun Devils down the field mostly through the air on their own 70-yard drive. But the drive would stall again, this time on the Michigan State 5-yard line. Ruiz kicked the field goal to make the score 13-6 with 14:19 remaining.
The ASU defense would continue to step up, forcing another punt by Michigan State. Wilkins would then drive the Sun Devils down the field for a 65 yard drive in just 45 seconds, connecting with N’Keal Harry for the score! Arizona State tied it up with Michigan State at 13-13 with just under nine minutes remaining in the game.
After it looked like Michigan State would be driving down for a potential go-ahead score, the Sun Devils defense stepped up again with back-to-back sacks, one of them forcing a fumble, which was recovered by the Spartans. ASU would receive the following punt on their own 21-yard line.
Manny Wilkins would again come up big (along with a flag) to help the Sun Devils drive down to their own 8-yard line, where Ruiz would kick the game winning field goal, and seal the upset victory over Michigan State.
The Sun Devils improve to 2-0 with their new head coach, Herm Edwards, at the helm. A big win, over a big school, and a job well done in the desert.