Arizona State suffered a devastating overtime loss to Nevada-Las Vegas Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, 23-20. The extra session was prompted by a dramatic UNLV comeback in the waning stages of the fourth quarter.
The Rebels got the ball first in overtime, moved the ball 22 yards, and proceeded to score on a 20-yard field goal by Kyle Watson. ASU then mustered only seven yards when it had the ball in overtime on two rushes and an incomplete pass, and had a 35-yard field goal attempt by All-American kicker Thomas Weber get blocked by Malo Taumua, cementing the UNLV win.
The second half featured an impressive UNLV comeback in which the Rebels dominated the fourth quarter.
ASU opened up a 20-10 second-half lead on its first possession of the third quarter when quarterback Rudy Carpenter hit Kyle Williams on a 49-yard touchdown pass.
But the resilient Rebels would not go away. UNLV cut the score to 20-13 on a 20-yard field goal with 6:28 left in the fourth quarter. The score was the final play of a massive 18-play, 87-yard drive that chewed 9:16 off the clock.
Then after the next ASU possession stalled, UNLV marched 74 yards on 10 plays, and tied the score after Phillip Payne reeled in an acrobatic 9-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Omar Clayton with 18 seconds left in regulation.
ASU held a single-digit lead for most of the first half.
The Sun Devils took the game's opening kickoff 77 yards on 12 plays, and struck first on a 20-yard field goal by Thomas Weber. After each team had two possessions apiece which resulted in no points, the Rebels evened the score midway through the second quarter on a 44-yard field goal by Ben Jaekle.
The 3-3 tie was short-lived, as ASU quickly responded with a 5-play, 78-yard drive and scoring on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Carpenter to Chris McGaha.
UNLV evened the score at 10-10 with 33 seconds remaining in the first half on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Clayton to Payne. The score was set up by a Beau Orth interception of Carpenter that gave the Rebels the ball on the ASU 7-yard line.
Weber then put the Sun Devils back up by three with a 49-yard field goal on the last play of the first half.
ASU fell to 2-1 after Saturday' loss, and UNLV improved to 2-1. It was the fourth game Saturday in which a Mountain West Conference team defeated a team from the Pac-10 Conference. Earlier on Saturday, Texas Christian defeated Stanford 31-14, Brigham Young humiliated UCLA 59-0, and New Mexico beat Arizona 36-28.
Next week, ASU will host Georgia, the second-ranked team in the nation, in a highly-anticipated nationally-televised game. That game will kickoff at 5:15 p.m.