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ASU Football: One Year Ago ASU Swept Michigan State-Let's Relive

A look down memory lane of ASU sweeping Michigan State.

Somehow it has only been a year since an unranked Arizona State football team defeated #18 Michigan State 10-7.

History had told us this would be a low scoring affair. MSU and ASU had previously played each other three times, and the highest score was a 20-17 in 1986; a win for ASU, which would be followed by other wonderful things (cue the Leishman Rose Bowl Trophy).

Back to September 2019, both teams made quick work of their previous two opponents and were set to play in East Lansing. Both defenses played well throughout the entire game, keeping either side from scoring a touchdown until the fourth quarter. Missed field goals plagued the Spartans in the first half of the game, missing two. ASU kicker Cristian Zendejas made his only opportunity in the first half, a 41-yard dime that kept ASU ahead 3-0 until the fourth quarter.

The third quarter ended with an ASU punt, and the fourth started with an effective Spartan drive. MSU quarterback Brian Lewerke (a Phoenix/Pinnacle High School local) went 5/6 in passing attempts and running back, Elijah Collins finished the drive with a 9-yard run to put Michigan State up 7-3. After trading unsuccessful drives, Arizona State had possession of the ball at their own 25 with 3:34 on the clock. After a couple of quick 5-yard gains to Kyle Williams and Eno Benjamin, Freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels connected with Brandon Aiyuk for a 40-yard gain to put ASU at Michigan State's 25. Aiyuk was targeted again for two more yards before a timeout was called with 1:28 left on the clock. After a failed pass attempt, it became 4th & 8. Timeout, 1:23 left. An ASU false start forced a 4th & 13, Michigan State timeout.

1:23 on the clock. Daniels, with no man open, ran for 15 yards, a Sun Devil first down at the MSU's 13. Daniels again with his legs, 2nd & 5 at MSU 8. After an incomplete pass attempt, Arizona State called its final timeout. 3rd & 5, Daniels again help the ball, this time for 7 yards- first down and oh so close. With 50 seconds left, Benjamin ran in for a touchdown. Sun Devils up 10-7 after the kick from Zendejas was good.

Daniels had not yet committed to ASU when the Devils hosted Michigan State in 2018. In fact, the 28 freshmen playing in East Lansing were not there.

In a story that sounds familiar, flashback to 2018, then ASU Quarterback, Manny Wilkins had a solid three quarters and a great fourth quarter. Down by a touchdown with less than 10 minutes in the game, Wilkins connected with Kyle Williams for 38 yards and N'Keal Harry for 27 more yards and a touchdown. Game tied 13-13. MSU seemed on the way to a comeback, but back-to-back sacks for a combined 15 yards kept Lewerke from gaining any momentum. ASU, at their own 21-yard line with 4:55 left, charged back down the field and kicked the field goal in with no time to spare.

The games continued to rhyme; with less than a minute, the Spartans started marching down the field. The defense had already secured a third straight week of giving up less than 21 points, but all it took for an MSU win was 14. With almost no time left on the clock, Lewerke completed a 25-yard pass to Darrell Stewart Jr., and the crowd began to roar. What was a year of gloating was about to become an ironic pain for Tempe. Matt Coghlin lined up with a 42-yard attempt, and the kick was good... having 12 men on the field though was not. A 5-yard penalty and a replay. 42 yards became 47, and a perfect shot became a hooked shot. ASU won 10-7.

Michigan State would not be on the AP top-25 again for the rest of the season. Arizona State bounced on and off throughout the rest of the season, having moments of growing pains and even more moments of playing spoiler.

Zendejas would go on to receive a scholarship three days later from ASU.

When Daniels, Edwards, and company will be allowed to take the field again is still unknown, as COVID-19 has halted all fall sports for the Pac-12, but when they do, I'm sure Sun Devils fans will be ready to get behind them..