PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Josh Swogger settled down after he threw
his first collegiate touchdown pass.
"I said to myself, 'Finally,' " the freshman backup said after
coming off the bench and helping No. 8 Washington State beat
Arizona State 34-19 on Saturday.
Swogger, who took the majority of snaps in practices, replaced
starter Matt Kegel in the second quarter with the game tied at 10
and led two long scoring drives, keeping the Cougars ahead of No. 2
Southern California atop the Pacific-10.
Swogger acknowledged he had trouble sleeping the night before.
"I asked Coach (Bill) Doba if he thought they might try to
blitz me and he said they would probably blitz Matt Kegel more than
you because of his injuries," he said.
The extra repetitions in practice paid off, and Swogger said he
felt comfortable against Arizona State's defense. "The learning
process is coming along really well," Swogger said of his quick
education in running a college football team.
The Cougars (9-2, 6-1 Pac-10) could record their third
consecutive 10-win season with a victory next week over Washington
in Seattle. The Sun Devils (4-7, 1-6) are heading to their second
losing season in three years under head coach Dirk Koetter.
Koetter said the Cougars beat his team on big plays.
"There were four big plays; a blocked punt, interception
returned for a touchdown, and two long passes over our head," he
said. "When we had our chances, we just didn't capitalize."
Koetter said he was impressed with the way Swogger played.
"You could see how poised he was, he really didn't make any
mistakes," Koetter said. "He played very solid."
Washington State rolled up 402 yards of offense, while the Sun
Devils compiled 322.
Swogger hit Devard Darling in the end zone on a 22-yard pass to
make it 24-10 just before halftime. Swogger completed 14 of 20
passes for 207 yards and a TD.
Kegel, who reinjured his right throwing shoulder last week
against UCLA and practiced sparingly all week, was 5-of-11 for 77
yards and an interception. He returned for the game's final two
"I wasn't confident in myself. I think a quarterback needs to
be confident in his arm and I wasn't," Kegel said.
Then he let quarterback coach Timm Rosenbach and Swogger know.
"I came off the field and gave Josh a little wink and said,
`Your time has come, babe," Kegel said.
Arizona State's Andrew Walter threw a 25 yard scoring pass to
Derek Hagan, but the Sun Devils were held in check by the
Washington State defense, which had three sacks and forced three
fumbles. He completed 19-of-35 for 262 yards and an interception.
Hagan had seven catches for 109 yards, while Skyler Fulton
hauled in five passes for 100 yards.
Kicker Drew Dunning connected on a 32-yard field goal in the
third quarter to break Jason Hanson's school record of 64 field
goals. Dunning tied the record with a 31-yarder in the first
quarter that put the Cougars up 10-7.
"That's quite an accomplishment for Drew. For him to break the
record of one of the best ever is a real tribute to him," Doba
Pat Bennett intercepted a pass from Walter intended for Moey
Mutz and ran 39 yards for a score to make it 17-10 late in the
Bennett, who hasn't scored a TD since high school, said he was
just following the lead of others on the defense.
"Our defense has so much depth," he said. "I just figured if
anybody could do it, I could do it, too."
Doba said Bennett's interception return for a TD "was a big
momentum swing. To pick that thing off and run it in really picked
Swogger hit Darling in the end zone for a 24-10 lead just before
halftime. Darling had five catches for 108 yards.
Washington State capitalized on an Arizona State miscue to take
the early lead.
Erik Coleman blocked Tim Parker's punt and it was recovered on
the Arizona State 1. Jonathan Smith ran it in on the next play to
take a 7-0 lead.
Arizona State replied on the next possession with a 54-yard
scoring drive as Cornell Canidate rushed from the WSU 1.
Jesse Ainsworth kicked a career-long 47 yard field goal to pull
even at 10 in the second quarter. He had a 34-yarder in the fourth
Sun Devils safety Riccardo Stewart suffered a neck injury and
felt some numbness in his left arm late in the game and was taken
to a hospital for observation. ASU officials said a battery of
tests came back negative, but Stewart was being kept overnight for
observation in Pullman Memorial Hospital. The game was delayed for
17 minutes while an ambulance took him off the field.