Relive the 2013 regular season as we spend the next 13 days counting down toward the team’s departure to San Diego. Every day, from Dec. 12 through Dec. 24, we will take a unique look back at all 13 games this year. Visit thesundevils.com as well as all of Sun Devil Athletics’ social media outlets daily.
Defensive Stamina Helps ASU Defeat Oregon State
Arizona State 30, Oregon State 17
Nov. 16, 2013, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
Arizona State’s offense stagnated, its defense was on its heels.
A blocked field goal turned the momentum back on the Sun Devils’ side and cornerback Robert Nelson sealed it with another big play in the fourth quarter.
Nelson returned his second interception of the game 23 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and No. 21 Arizona State maintained control of the Pac-12 South with a 30-17 win over Oregon State on Saturday night.
ASU’s defense forced five turnovers behind four interceptions from the secondary, including a pair by Nelson, who also recovered a fumble. Safeties Alden Darby and Damarious Randall each had one interception apiece as the Devils held two of the nation’s most prolific offensive players in the nation, quarterback Sean Mannion and wide receiver Brandin Cooks, below their season averages.
Running back DJ Foster added a touchdown and wide receiver Jaelen Strong caught seven passes for 106 yards, while quarterback Taylor Kelly went 22-for-37 with 183 yards and no touchdowns.
ASU dominated the first half, going up 20-0 on two touchdown runs by running back Marion Grice, who became the third Sun Devil to score 20 touchdowns in a season after running for 118 yards. Grice extended his streak of 100 all-purpose yards to 12 straight games dating back to last year and upped his season rushing total to 901 yards.
The Devils halted Oregon State’s momentum when Davon Colemen blocked a field goal in the fourth quarter and Nelson, who has a knack for rising up in big moments, put it out of reach by racing into the end zone on Mannion’s fourth interception of the game.
The Sun Devils beat Oregon State for the 19th time in 20 games at Sun Devil Stadium and have won five straight games overall, setting up next week’s showdown with the Bruins in Southern California.
With a one-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter, senior running back Marion Grice dashed into the Pac-12 record books as he became just the 15th different player in conference history to score 20 or more touchdowns in a single season.
Continuing his trend of making big plays at critical times, senior cornerback Robert Nelson returned his second interception of the game 23 yards for a touchdown to stifle the Beavers and quarterback Sean Mannion, who entered the game as the nation’s leading passer.