I guess Oregon didn’t Boat Race ASU after all
In the closing minutes of a tight game against Oregon State in Corvallis Oregon, ASU Sun Devils head coach decided to go for a 2-point conversion after a touchdown and take the lead instead of going for a tie and trying to force overtime against the Oregon State Beavers. The conversion failed and the Sun Devils were unable to score again and loss to the Beavers 35 – 34 dropping their record, at the time, to 5 – 5 and still one victory short of qualifying for a Bowl game.
“I said when we got the ball on the 10- yard line to start the drive, I said when we score we are going for 2 (point conversion) to win the game.” Edwards continued, “We had momentum and we play to win football games not tie. And yes, I would do the same thing again.”
At the time, there were a lot of folks that second guessed that decision, yours truly being one of them. The thinking by many was, this was the game to win because you didn’t want your ability to become bowl eligible to come down to the games against then 6th ranked Oregon and in state rival Arizona.
But as the old saying goes, if you’re scared buy a dog because that thinking never entered to Herm Edwards mind. “The day I don’t think we can compete and win is the day I walk away,” Edwards said.
All week leading up to the game against the Oregon Ducks, Edwards stated that this team would compete. That’s exactly what they did, and in the middle of that competing a team that was supposed to be on the wrong side of the boat race ended up winning.
Final score 31 – 28 in the Sun Devils favor.
ASU let the Ducks know they were in for a fight from jump street. They lead 10 – 3 at halftime and never allowed the high powered Ducks offense to get a rhythm.
Sun Devil running back Eno Benjamin ran the ball 31 times for 114-yards and freshman quarterback Jaylen Daniels looked more like a Heisman Trophy candidate than the Ducks senior quarterback Justin Herbert, completing 22 of 32 passes for 408-yards with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
After the game Sun Devils wide receiver Frank Darby said, “That’s what we do, working on going deep, because we knew their corners were going to play us man and the way we work all season we just felt like nobody could cover us one on one, they tried to man us up and we got ‘em both sides.”
To that Sun Devils wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk added about Daniels, “Best quarterback in the Pac12.”
So next for the SunDevils, the U of A Wildcats come into Sun Devil Stadium to play in one of the rivalries in the country and even though the stress level will be high, a bowl bid will no longer be part of that stress.