Sept. 19, 2004
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TEMPE, AZ (AP) – Arizona State had no problem getting up for Iowa (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP).
Avenging an embarrassing loss that was pivotal in their skid to a 5-7 record last year, the Sun Devils upset the Hawkeyes 44-7 on Saturday night.
“Our guys came ready to play,” said Andrew Walter, who threw for 428 yards and five touchdowns. “I mean, there was just something about the feeling before. Guys remembered last year and all the rest.”
Walter went 31-for-43 and broke Jake Plummer’s record for career TD passes with 66, one more than the Denver Broncos’ quarterback. The fifth-year senior has 11 TD passes this year.
He threw a pair of 7-yard TD passes to Derek Hagan, found Zach Miller for scores of 6 and 5 yards, and had a 14-yard throw to Moey Mutz.
Miller had 10 receptions for 85 yards, and Hagan had his sixth consecutive 100-yard game with 112 on eight catches.
“We ran into a buzz saw,” said linebacker Chad Greenway, who had 12 tackles to increase his team-high total to 32. “They have a great offense, great defense, special teams. We got beat in every phase of the game, and everybody’s got to come out and do a better job.”
The kickoff was delayed 45 minutes by lightning.
Once play began, it was clear the Sun Devils (3-0) were still smarting from last year’s 21-2 loss in Iowa City, where they were held to 12 first downs and 184 yards of total offense. Arizona State lost six of its next nine games.
The Hawkeyes (2-1), who scored on their opening possession each of the two previous games, were held to 100 yards and six first downs – none consecutive until late in the game – and were in danger of being shut out for the first time since 2000 until Walner Belleus returned a punt 83 yards to score with 18 seconds left.
“There’s no question you begin with the defense,” ASU coach Dirk Koetter said. “All we heard about all week is we weren’t physical enough to hold up. Our defense took that personal.”
Walter had three TD passes at halftime, and the Sun Devils led 27-0 after scoring with five seconds left on Jesse Ainsworth’s 48-yard field goal following Iowa’s ill-fated attempt to get something going.
Arizona State, out of timeouts, would have run out the clock when it got the ball with 1:11 left, but Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz called timeout with the Sun Devils facing third-and-11 at their 35.
Koetter used the opportunity to call a play, and Walter made good with a 34-yard pass to Terry Richardson. After a spike stopped the clock with 10 seconds remaining, Ainsworth made his second field goal.
“We ran into a buzz saw. They have a great offense, great defense, special teams. We got beat in every phase of the game, and everybody’s got to come out and do a better job.”
Linebacker Chad Greenway
Ainsworth added a third 5:20 into the third quarter, and Arizona State took a 37-0 lead with 3:04 left in the third on a short drive keyed by Rudy Burgess’ 25-yard punt return and capped by Hagan’s second catch in the end zone.
“It was about as sound a beating as we’ve had in quite some time,” Ferentz said. “It wasn’t much fun for us.”
Walter completed a 41-yard pass to Matt Miller to set up Mutz’s 14-yard TD grab with 9:49 left in the first quarter.
Ainsworth added a field goal, and the Sun Devils built a 17-0 lead on their next possession, when they overcame a first-and-25 situation on Walter’s 18-yard check off to Loren Wade and a 10-yard pass to Zach Miller.
Two plays later, Walter found Hagan for 45 yards to the Iowa 4, and Hagan completed the drive with a 7-yard scoring catch with 12:08 left.
Iowa’s first-half highlight was Antwan Allen’s interception – the first thrown by Walter this year – with 6:21 to go, but Sun Devils linebacker Jamar Williams trumped that with a pickoff of Iowa’s Drew Tate and a 31-yard return to the Hawkeyes 13.
After two runs by Wade, Walter passed to Zach Miller for the score that made it 24-0 with 2:35 to go in the half.