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Sunday, September 7, 2008
Stanford-Arizona State: Third-quarter reflections

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

TEMPE, Ariz. -- From the Sun Devil Stadium press box:

It's 101 degrees at the start of the third quarter.

Someone is blowing a whistle in the stands... ref just announced that if the whistle is blown again there will be... "consequences!"

Oooooooooo!

Press box erupted in laughter.

Tavita Pritchard is Stanford's QB.

And, on a first-and-15 from the Stanford 37, he tosses an interception to LB Gerald Munns. It's the Sun Devils' first forced turnover of the year, and they take over on the Cardinal 34.

Four plays later, Dimitri Nance bounces off the pile and takes it outside for a 1-yard TD run. Key play of the drive -- a 22-yard completion to TE Jovon Williams, who makes an athletic catch along the sideline.

Jason Forcier is back at QB for Stanford. It seems like Pritchard doesn't have much room for error with coach Jim Harbaugh.

Stanford seemed like it was doing some nice things on offense in the first half, when Pritchard was 8 for 11 for 89 yards. Seems like things have been flat since they started rotating QBs.

Stanford may be taking the "blue collar" thing too far -- or least trying to act like street fighters or something.

The D just got rung up for its second roughing the passer penalty. Remember LB Pat Maynor's cheap shot on Oregon State QB Lyle Moevao? And, the play before that cheap shot, Maynor had unnecessarily decked Beavers receiver Sammie Stroughter with a blow to the back well behind the play.

Of course, sometimes tough-guy stuff works. A Clinton Snyder sack forced a Carpenter fumble, killing a drive that might have put the game away for the Sun Devils.

Pritchard back in at QB for Stanford.

Three pass interference calls against the Sun Devils -- all fairly obvious -- and a sneaky 21-yard bootleg from Pritchard key the Cardinal's ensuing TD drive (6 plays, 63 yards, Toby Gerhart 1-yard burst).

27-17. Still a game with 3:07 left in the third. How will Carpenter and company answer?

Man... if this O-line gives Carpenter any time, he can just pick a defense apart -- a second-and-19 due to a holding penalty on Adam Tello?

Two Carpenter completions later, and it's first-and-10 on the Stanford 49.