Walter passes for 332 yards, 5 TDs

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Andrew Walter said a spectacular farewell and Pat Tillman's family left with the game ball on an emotional Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium.

Walter passed for 332 yards and five touchdowns -- to five receivers -- in his final home game and No. 20 Arizona State rolled past Washington State 45-28.

"It was one of the hardest games of my career to just stay focused," Walter said. "Everything involved -- my last game at Sun Devil Stadium, honoring an American hero like Pat Tillman, then trying to stay undefeated at home. There were so many things."

In the locker room after the game, the Sun Devils presented Tillman's father, Pat, with the game ball.

"I'm just so honored for our small, little part in paying tribute to a true American hero," Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter said.

Tillman's wife, brothers and parents were on hand for the retirement of his No. 42 at halftime.

A star linebacker who graduated with honors from Arizona State, Tillman then played four seasons in the NFL before abandoning his pro career to join the Army Rangers.

He died in combat in Afghanistan in April.

About 50 former teammates, including Denver Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer, joined Tillman's family in the halftime tribute.

Walter completed 26-of-41 passes without an interception while breaking the school record for touchdown passes in a season with 30. Mike Pagel set the old mark of 29 in 1981.

"Andrew was very, very sharp early," Koetter said. "Washington State's plan was to try to blitz him, and he just made some beautiful throws."

Fifteen of Walter's TD passes came in his last three home games.

Walter, who holds the Pac-10 career record with 85 TD passes, threw for five touchdowns in a game for the fourth time. He had six against UCLA earlier this season.

"I was scared to death of that quarterback coming in," Washington State coach Bill Doba said, "and unfortunately he didn't prove me wrong."

Arizona State (8-2, 5-2 Pac-10) was unbeaten at home (6-0) for the first time since going 11-0 overall in the 1996 regular season.

With Oregon's loss to UCLA, the Sun Devils took sole possession of third place in the Pac-10.

Jerome Harrison rushed for 118 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown run, for Washington State (2-5, 4-6). Michael Bumpus had a 76-yard punt return for a score and Jason Hill caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from Alex Brink for the Cougars. Hill tied the WSU school record with 11 touchdown catches this season.

The loss eliminated the Cougars from bowl contention.

Walter had touchdown passes of 28, 18 and 11 yards in the first 11 minutes of the game.

An interception and a fake punt helped Arizona State to its quick 21-0 lead.

Kyle Caldwell became the ninth ASU player with an interception this season, picking off Brink's pass at the Washington State 30. Two plays later, Walter threw 28 yards to Matt Miller 28 yards for the score.

On their next possession, the Sun Devils faked a punt on fourth-and-1 at their 44. Punter Chris MacDonald threw to Lee Burghraef for 34 yards to the Washington State 22. Walter's 18-yard pass to Terry Richardson put ASU up 14-0.

Arizona State made it 21-0 on a seven-play, 76-yard drive, Walter throwing 11 yards to Derek Hagan for the score with 4:09 left in the first quarter.

Washington State scored twice in 1 minute, 36 seconds to cut the lead to 21-14.

Harrison burst over the middle on a second-and-inches play for a 56-yard TD run. After the Cougars' defense held, Bumpus' big punt return cut the lead to 21-14 with 1:07 still left in the first quarter.

Walter's 51-yard pass to Miller on the final play of the first quarter set up Hakim Hill's 2-yard TD run.

Walter threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Hill in the third quarter. His 5-yard scoring pass to Zach Miller with 12:38 to play put ASU up 45-14 and was Walter's final play of the night.


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