Saturday, September 10, 2011
Instant analysis: Arizona State 37, Missouri 30
By Ted Miller
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead but prevailed in overtime 37-30.
How the game was won: The game was sloppy on both sides, and it looked like Missouri was about to spoil the Sun Devils big stadium "black out" when Grant Ressel lined up for a game-winning 47-yard field goal in the final seconds. But he missed wide left. Granted new life, the Sun Devils took advantage with a touchdown and a stop in OT.
Stat of the game: The teams combined for 23 penalties for 223 yards. Yes, it was sometimes hard to watch.
Player of the game: Sun Devils QB Brock Osweiler completed 24-of-31 for 353 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed five times for 34 yards and a score.
Unsung hero of the game: Sun Devils receiver Aaron Pflugrad, an Oregon transfer, caught eight passes for 180 yards -- 22.5 yards per reception -- with two TDs. All career highs.
What Arizona State learned: The Sun Devils have blown games like this before. They pretty much blew this one, until Missouri returned the favor. But the Sun Devils can walk away with this: It's often better to be lucky than good. The Sun Devils have been pretty good and unlucky before and it hasn't worked. This time, luck smiled on them and they showed the gumption to take advantage.
What it means: The Pac-12 records its first meaningful nonconference victory of the season, and Arizona State gets a marquee victory on ESPN, one that should push them into the top-25. Of course, the Sun Devils head to Illinois next weekend. They need to refocus and get ready for a tough road trip.