Arizona State rallied from 19 points down in the fourth quarter with 20 unanswered points to beat archrival Arizona 41-40 on Saturday afternoon at Arizona Stadium in Tucson.
The comeback was aided by two Wildcats turnovers that led directly to 10 Sun Devils points, the latter a fumble by running J.J. Taylor that enabled ASU’s Eno Benjamin to score on a 22-yard touchdown on the ensuing play to put the Sun Devils up 41-40 with 3:08 left in the game. A two-point conversion pass failed.
Arizona (5-7, 4-5 Pac-12), drove to ASU’s 27-yard line on its last possession — with quarterback Khalil Tate converting on third down three times — to set up a 45-yard attempt by placekicker Josh Pollack. But the kick went wide right with 11 seconds remaining.
Benjamin finished with 80 yards on 21 carries with three touchdowns. ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins completed 18 of 31 passes for 265 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Brandon Aiyuk had five receptions for 106 yards for the Sun Devils (7-5, 5-4).
Tate completed 21 of 39 passes for 282 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, which led to a Brandon Ruiz 39-yard field goal with 3:33 left that cut Arizona’s lead to 40-35.
Taylor had 144 yards on 28 carries.
Arizona scored four times for 18 points — a safety and field goal included — in the third quarter to take a 40-21 lead. The Wildcats reached 40 points for the third time in the last four games.
They seemed to get the momentum they needed after ASU cut the lead to 27-21 on a 14-yard touchdown run by Benjamin with 9:23 left in the third quarter.
The Wildcats answered in only four plays on a 75-yard drive, capped by a 35-yard touchdown run by Gary Brightwell with 7:51 left in the third quarter.
After ASU went three and out, returner Shun Brown put Arizona in a good spot at its own 42 after a 19-yard return. The ensuing nine-play, 58-yard scoring drive culminated on Tate’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Tony Ellison, giving Arizona that 40-21 lead with 2:44 left in the quarter.
Arizona State’s first three possessions of the fourth quarter ended with a 27-yard field goal by Ruiz, an 11-yard Wilkins touchdown run (with a two-point conversion pass from Wilkins to Tommy Hudson) and Ruiz’s 39-yard field goal.
—Field Level Media