PULLMAN, Wash. - For the first time in a month, Arizona State's defense against the run was effective. Washington State gained 118 yards, about 70 below what ASU has allowed in its last eight games.
"We worked a lot on stopping the run," said inside linebacker Jamar Williams, who led ASU with 12 tackles, three of them behind the line of scrimmage.
The Devils abandoned the 4-3 defense and stayed strictly with its base 4-2-5.
ASU had Washington State in third-and-long situations that the Cougars converted, many of the plays coming against zone coverage.
"Washington State stayed in the game making plays," Williams said. "Their receivers made some great catches."
Williams said as the season heads for the finale against Arizona, the team still hasn't established an identity.
"We talk a lot about getting an identity for this team. Every game we see glimpses of what we should be," he said. "Overall, we did good as a team. We just didn't make enough plays."
Jesse Ainsworth's missed extra point following ASU's third period touchdown was the fifth of the season for the Sun Devils.
It marked the first time since 1974 that ASU has had more than four missed PATs. That season, ASU missed eight during a 4-7 campaign.
Last year ASU converted all 49 PATs.
The ASU football family was mourning the death of Tom DeMassa, husband of longtime football secretary Jo Anne DeMassa and father of former football manager Tommy DeMassa, football coach at Dobson High School.
DeMassa suffered a heart attack Friday at Dobson's playoff game in Tucson.
Wide receivers Derek Hagan (109) and Skyler Fulton (100) both had 100-yard receiving days.
Quarterback Andrew Walter moved into second place behind Jake Plummer with 517 career completions. Plummer has 632.
On the injury front, tailback Randy Hill (ankle), who made his first start, defensive tackle Brian Montesanto (leg), tailback Hakim Hill (knee) and defensive end Connor Banks (leg) sustained afflictions that limited their participation.