Stanford beats ASU 20-13 for key road victory
TEMPE — K.J. Costello threw for 231 yards and a touchdown, and Stanford remained in the thick of the Pac-12 North Division race with a 20-13 win over Arizona State on Thursday night.
Stanford (5-2, 3-1) needed a half to get its offense fully rolling off a bye week, held to a pair of field goals in the first half. The Cardinal put together a pair of impressive drives in the third quarter and had a 16-minute advantage in time of possession to tie No. 14 Washington atop the Pac-12 North.
Arizona State (3-4, 1-3) was held to a field goal in the first half before Manny Wilkins scrambled for a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to pull the Sun Devils within 20-13.
Arizona State got the ball back at its own 16 -yard line with 2:20 left, but couldn’t get off a final play from Stanford’s 20 after a short gain.
Wilkins threw for 353 yards, but the Sun Devils turned it over three times, including one on a failed trick play, to lose for the fourth time in five games. Neither offense could gain much traction in the first half.
Arizona State had a good drive going late, but failed on a trick play when receiver N’Keal Harry’s pass off a reverse was intercepted at Stanford’s 11.
The Cardinal appeared to have a touchdown when Cameron Scarlett turned a screen pass into a 59-yard score, but it was called back on a holding penalty.
Jet Toner hit his second field goal of the half, from 31 yards, on the final play of the half to put Stanford up 6-3. Arizona State opened the second half with Brandon Ruiz’s second field goal.
Stanford opened by dominating the Sun Devils on a pair of long scoring drives to take control.
Costello hit JJ Arcega-Whiteside on a 28-yard touchdown pass on the first drive, and Scarlett scored on a 1-yard dive to put the Cardinal up 20-6.
Stanford still has control of the Pac-12 North with an impressive road victory that prevented the Cardinal’s first three-game losing streak in eight seasons under coach David Shaw.
The Sun Devils now have win three of their final six to become bowl eligible in their first season under coach Herm Edwards. It won’t be easy, with road games against USC, Oregon and Arizona still left.
Stanford hosts Washington State next Saturday.
Arizona State plays at Southern California next Saturday.