Herm Edwards and Arizona State have a signature win

Rex Christensen
September 9, 2018

Trailing 13-3 heading into the fourth quarter, Arizona State rallied back in Herm Edwards' second game as head coach and pulled off an upset win over No. 15 Michigan State with a 28-yard Brandon Ruiz field goal as time expired. While he was hit-or-miss with his downfield passing most of the night, he came up with some big plays down the stretch and was the team's leading rusher on the night as well. After trading possessions for a spell, QB Manny Wilkins unleashed the Sun Devils on a two-play, 65-yard touchdown drive, first completing a 38-yarder to Kyle Williams and then finding star wideout N'Keal Harry for 27 yards for the game-tying touchdown.

The outcome spoiled the homecoming of Phoenix native Brian Lewerke, who was MSU's only source of offense because they couldn't really run the football at all. But in that final drive and the rest of Saturday night's game, there was no sign that he was out of place matching wits with Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, who has earned widespread praise for building one of the nation's most reliably unsafe programs.

Although the Michigan State defense allowed 31 points and 344 yards to Utah State, there were a lot of positives for Dantonio to be happy about. "When you think of (the Big Ten), they fit the bill". The inability to finish will certainly be brought up on the long flight back to East Lansing as a season filled with such promise has so far fallen short after two lackluster performances in 2018. The redshirt senior's pass for top receiver N'Keal Harry on a third-and-10 drew a pass interference call that put the ball at the Michigan State 29, and from there the Sun Devils picked up two first downs over the course of three run plays, the final conversion allowing them to bleed all but three seconds of the game clock away and put the ball in the ideal position for Ruiz to win it.

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As for Edwards, the victory might just make his team the favorite in the suddenly wide-open Pac-12 South this year. As well they should after knocking off a team like Michigan State.

Herm Edwards wasn't supposed to have the type of opener he did against UTSA as his Sun Devils blew out the Roadrunners, 49-7. After Saturday's contest, ASU travels to San Diego State and Washington.

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