No. 21 Missouri can't escape OT vs. ASU

BY foxsports • September 9, 2011

Arizona State won in a blackout.

Brock Osweiler hit Jamal Miles on an 11-yard touchdown pass in overtime and Arizona State held on defense to make a big early season statement with a wild 37-30 victory over No. 21 Missouri on Friday night.

''My heart's fluttered,'' Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson said.

Playing in front of a ''Black Out'' crowd at Sun Devil Stadium, Arizona State (2-0) built a 30-16 lead behind Osweiler's 353 yards and three touchdowns passing, along with another score on the ground.

The Sun Devils had trouble closing out games last season and appeared to be headed toward another disheartening loss when Missouri (1-1) charged back behind quarterback James Franklin.

Franklin opened the fourth quarter with a a 25-yard touchdown pass to L'Damian Washington, then tied it on 3-yard TD to Michael Egnew with 2:50 left. Franklin moved the Tigers quickly at the end of regulation to set up a game-winning field goal, but Grant Ressel's attempt from 48 yards missed wide left with 12 seconds left.

Arizona State opened overtime with an 11-yard touchdown from Osweiler to Miles on a swing pass, then swarmed the field after Franklin's fourth-down pass fell harmlessly into the end zone, ending a back-and-forth game that included 23 penalties for 224 yards.

Aaron Pflugrad caught eight passes for a career-high 180 yards and a pair of touchdowns — the second on a trick-play pass by Miles — and Arizona State finished with 492 total yards to beat a ranked opponent for the first time in its last 11 tries.

''That's the kind of game we couldn't win last season,'' Pflugrad said.

But Franklin almost single-handedly kept the Tigers in it.

A week after a nervous first start, the sophomore threw for 319 yards and two touchdowns, while running for 84 yards and another TD.

It just wasn't enough on a night in which Missouri had 501 total yards, but converted only three of 15 third-down chances to see its 22-game winning streak in regular season nonconference games come to an end.

Both teams came in looking to make a statement against a big-time program after opening against smaller schools.

Arizona State rolled over UC Davis in its opener, thanks to 262 yards and a pair of touchdowns from Osweiler, along with a stingy defense that held the FCS Aggies to minus-4 yards rushing before giving up a couple of late scores.

The Tigers struggled offensively in their opening 17-6 win over Miami of Ohio, scoring their fewest points in an opener since 2001 as Franklin played with what he called ''jittery feet.'' Missouri's defense made up for the offensive shortcomings, stifling the RedHawks, giving up the one score after an interception by Franklin gave them a short field.

This first big-test matchup had Sun Devil Stadium juiced for one of the few times in recent years, a sellout crowd — the first since 2008 — of 70,236 fans all dressed in black. A nearby lightning storm added to the buzz, as did the celebrities in attendance: golfer Phil Mickelson, Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash, not to mention a dozen or so NFL scouts.

They got to see quite a show.

Osweiler was sharp from the opening drive, squeezing a 12-yard touchdown pass between two defenders to Miles, who was pinballed, but still held on.

Arizona State had to settle for Alex Garoutte's 47-yard field goal after a fourth-down conversion was wiped out by a penalty early in the second quarter, but Osweiler answered Missouri's first touchdown with a 60-yard scoring pass to Pflugrad on the next play. Missouri blocked Garoutte's extra-point attempt.

Osweiler had the hockey-style assist on the screen pass to Miles, who then hit Pflugrad for a 35-yard touchdown pass. He then took it in himself for a rumbling 12-yard touchdown run up the middle that put ASU up 30-16. Osweiler finished 24 for 32 on the night.

''Our team is just relentless,'' Osweiler said. ''We refuse to give up.''

So did Franklin and the Tigers.

Baffling Arizona State with both his arm and his legs, he had a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, set up three field goals for Ressel and opened the fourth quarter with a 25-yard TD pass to Washington that got the Tigers within 30-23 early in the fourth quarter.

Franklin followed with the 3-yard touchdown pass to Egnew, tying it at 30-30 with 2:50 left, and had the Tigers moving again, but Ressel missed the final chance in regulation. Franklin's last-ditch attempt on fourth down in overtime fell in the corner of the end zone when he receiver cut inside. He finished 26 for 42.


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