What happened and what mattered in the Stanford 20-13 win over Arizona State?
Stanford 20, Arizona State 13
Stanford won’t get any style points for this one. Bryce Love gave it a go, but he was hurt, and only ran for 21 yards on 11 carries. Cameron Scarlett ran for a score, MJ Costello found JJ Arcega-Whiteside for a touchdown, and the defense did the rest as the Cardinal held on for dear life. But it was a win on the road, and Stanford needed it.
The Sun Devils were brilliant at clock management in the win over Michigan State earlier this season. Against ASU? Not so much. They had their shot late, but a final drive fizzled out. Manny Wilkins threw for 353 yards, and N’Keal Harry caught eight passes, but the Cardinal defensive backs won more than their share of key battles in key moments. Wilkins also led ASU with 41 rushing yards and a score – the Cardinal bottled up Eno Benjamin.
Stanford couldn’t run, but it slowwwwwed things down. It managed to hold on to the ball for over 38 minutes, and while it was outgained by ASU by almost 80 yards, the D held firm, allows two field goals before the late TD run by Wilkins.
Stanford is still deep in the Pac-12 title chase. It only has one loss in conference play, and that’s to Utah from the South. Win out, and it’s the Pac-12 champ. Now comes the big test with Washington State up next, and then the trip to Washington follows. Win those two, and even with road games against Cal and UCLA to deal with, the Cardinal will be back in Levi’s.
This wasn’t a death blow to ASU bowl hopes, but it made things a whole lot harder. It still needs three more wins, and there’s a trip to USC up next, followed up by a date with a rolling Utah team. UCLA has to be a win, but the last two games are at Oregon and Arizona. The Sun Devils are good enough to get to six wins, but it’ll be a fight.