Scores

Final

(18) California 20

(5-3, 2-3 Pac-12)

(7) Arizona State 31

(8-0, 5-0 Pac-12)

10:15 PM ET, October 27, 2007

Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ

1 2 3 4 T
#18CAL 13 7 0 020
#7ASU 0 14 10 731

Top Performers

Passing: R. Carpenter (ASU) - 219 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: D. Nance (ASU) - 21 CAR, 85 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: D. Jackson (CAL) - 5 REC, 88 YDS, 1 TD

Arizona St. overcomes double-digit deficit to stay perfect

Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona State (No. 4 BCS, No. 7 AP) has taken an unusual road to national title contention.

The Sun Devils have made a habit of falling behind early, then burying their opponents in the second half.

They followed that script again on Saturday night, spotting California (No. 21 BCS, No. 18 AP) a 13-point first-quarter lead before rallying for a 31-20 victory to remain unbeaten.

Dimitri Nance ran for three touchdowns and Rudy Carpenter threw for 219 yards and a touchdown as the Sun Devils (8-0, 5-0 Pac-10) overcame a double-digit deficit at home for the third time.

"We know how to deal with adversity," Carpenter said.

Arizona State took over first place in the Pac-10 and set up a high-stakes showdown with No. 5 Oregon next week in Eugene -- a game that will have national title implications.

"It's big because people keep doubting us," Carpenter said. "We never doubted ourselves. Our confidence keeps growing and our swagger keeps getting bigger."

Students rushed the field to celebrate ASU's first victory over a ranked opponent this season.

"It was obviously an emotional ride," said first-year coach Dennis Erickson, who improved to 27-15 against the Top 25.

Erickson and his staff have become noted for their halftime adjustments, and they made the right ones on Saturday night as Arizona State shut out the Golden Bears in the second half. The Sun Devils have outscored opponents 153-29 after halftime.

"I knew in the second half that we were going to win this game," Carpenter said.

Nate Longshore threw for 261 yards and a touchdown and also threw two interceptions for the Golden Bears (5-3, 2-3), who dropped their third straight. Cal has plunged from No. 2 in the country to sixth in the conference in 21 days.

"We need to stay together," Cal coach Jeff Tedford. "We need to just evaluate and we need to correct the mistakes and get the thing going in the right direction. We've got to keep working at it. We're not going to give up on it."

The Sun Devils spotted Cal a 13-0 lead after one quarter. The Golden Bears struck first when Rulon Davis sacked Carpenter, forcing a fumble. Freshman Cameron Jordan recovered it and returned the ball 13 yards for a touchdown.

Jordan Kay kicked two field goals, from 41 and 22 yards, to make it 13-0.

No problem. The Sun Devils have been there before.

"It's a 60-minute game," ASU receiver Kyle Williams said. "13-0 in the first quarter means nothing to us."

ASU gave Colorado a 14-0 first-quarter lead before storming back for a 33-14 victory on Sept. 8. Two weeks later, ASU trailed Oregon State 19-0 after one quarter before rallying for a 44-32 victory.

"We seem to come out early and dominate the game," Erickson said with a snicker. "I don't know what it is with us, but I'll take the last part of it. We keep fighting back and keep making plays."

This time, the rally began with a defensive stop. Arizona State held Cal to a field goal on first-and-goal at the 5 late in the first quarter, and instead of facing a 17-0 deficit, the Sun Devils trailed only 13-0.

The stop inspired the offense, which shook off some early struggles and marched 59 yards on its next possession. Nance scored on an 11-yard run to cut the lead to 13-7 early in the second quarter.

California answered with an 89-yard march. The Bears scored touchdowns on consecutive plays. The first was called back on offensive pass interference on DeSean Jackson, who caught a 22-yarder to make it 20-7 on the next play.

Nance scored again from 2 yards out to make it 20-14 late in the first half. The play capped a 12-play, 65-yard drive, and the Sun Devils gained 45 yards on the ground.

The Sun Devils opened the second half by stopping Cal at midfield, then marching 91 yards in nine plays. On fourth-and-1, Nance scored on an 8-yard run to give ASU a 21-20 lead.

Carpenter had 45 yards passing at halftime and 70 on the scoring drive. He finished with 17-of-29 completions for 219 yards and a touchdown.

The Sun Devils went 67 yards in 10 plays to set up a 47-yard field goal by Thomas Weber, his 15th consecutive successful field goal.

ASU clinched the victory with fourth-quarter interceptions by Justin Tryon and Robert James and a 12-yard touchdown pass from Carpenter to Kyle Williams.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CAL
ASU
1st Downs1825
Total Yards359363
Passing261219
Rushing98144
Penalties11-788-60
3rd Down Conversions3-119-19
4th Down Conversions0-02-2
Turnovers21
Possession22:3037:30

Passing Leaders

CaliforniaC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Longshore18/362617.312
Arizona StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Carpenter17/292197.610

Rushing Leaders

CaliforniaCARYDSAVGTDLG
Forsett17623.6011
Smith11616.0016
Arizona StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Herring24964.0013
Nance21854.0311

Receiving Leaders

CaliforniaRECYDSAVGTDLG
Jackson58817.6144
Jordan58517.0025
Arizona StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
McGaha45814.5020
Nance34715.7032

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERCALASU
TD09:54Cameron Jordan 13 Yd Fumble Return (Jordan Kay Kick) 70
FG07:02Jordan Kay 41 Yd
Drive: 6 plays, 61 yds, 1:15
100
FG01:13Jordan Kay 22 Yd
Drive: 10 plays, 68 yds, 3:49
130
SECOND QUARTERCALASU
TD13:48Dimitri Nance 11 Yd Run (Thomas Weber Kick)
Drive: 7 plays, 59 yds, 2:25
137
TD09:32Desean Jackson 21 Yd Pass From Nate Longshore (Jordan Kay Kick)
Drive: 11 plays, 89 yds, 4:16
207
TD03:42Dimitri Nance 2 Yd Run (Thomas Weber Kick)
Drive: 12 plays, 65 yds, 5:50
2014
THIRD QUARTERCALASU
TD10:03Dimitri Nance 8 Yd Run (Thomas Weber Kick)
Drive: 9 plays, 91 yds, 3:42
2021
FG01:16Thomas Weber 47 Yd
Drive: 10 plays, 67 yds, 4:25
2024
FOURTH QUARTERCALASU
TD07:07Kyle Williams 12 Yd Pass From Rudy Carpenter (Thomas Weber Kick)
Drive: 8 plays, 45 yds, 4:17
2031