Work in Sports
TEMPE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Freshman Rich Alexis ran for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter as 10th-ranked Washington survived a furious finish and held on for a 21-15 Pac-10 Conference victory over Arizona State.
The Huskies (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) built a 15-point lead early in the fourth quarter and notched their eighth victory in the last 11 meetings with the Sun Devils.
The win was also the first for Washington coach Rick Neuheisel in his hometown. He attended nearby McClintock High School before playing at UCLA.
Alexis scored on a one-yard run 51 seconds into the final quarter and, after Arizona State punted, gave the Huskies their biggest lead. On the next play from scrimmage, he raced 86 yards for his second score in 1:40 in the Huskies longest play of the season.
"I saw a cut-back and I broke it," Alexis said. "Thank God it worked out well. That was a big point for us right there. I was just wanting to hold on to the ball really right."
Arizona State climbed within 21-8 when a Washington lineman was called for holding in the end zone on a punt with 5:08 left. Jeff Krohn, playing his first game in three weeks after battling mononucleosis, fired a four-yard TD pass to Todd Heap two minutes later.
But the Sun Devils (4-2, 1-2) had just one timeout left and the Huskies ran out the clock for their second straight win.
Both teams committed six turnovers.
Alexis had 16 carries for a season-high 127 yards and Marques Tuiasosopo completed 13-of-30 passes for 110 yards for Washington, which trails Arizona and Oregon by one game in the Pac-10.
"It was not a pretty game. We were just barely able to hold on," Tuiaososopo said. "ASU's defense put on a lot of heat. We didn't get in a rhythm. We didn't do that until the second half."
The Huskies gained a 186-60 advantage in rushing yards and 296-262 in total offense.
"We got a little claustrophobic," Neuheisel said. "When we got outside to make some plays, we didn't make the plays. There were all sorts of things from a coaching standpoint that I would say have to be corrected."
Krohn relieved Griffin Goodman late in the first quarter and completed just 12-of-33 passes for 170 yards and two interceptions for the Sun Devils, who have lost two of their last three.
"I was a little rusty, but that's no excuse," Krohn said. "Their defense didn't surprise us. We've just got to execute better. The turnovers hurt us and that doesn't help the team."
"I'm really pained at the final result," Sun Devils coach Bruce Snyder said. "I think we're still trying to find an indentity at quarterback. We still haven't found one yet. There won't be any finger-pointing."
Mike Barth booted field goals of 27 and 24 yards as Arizona State opened a 6-0 lead midway through the second quarter. It has scored first in all six of its games this season.
Tuiasosopo gave Washington the lead for good with 5:45 left in the half on a five-yard touchdown pass to Wondame Davis. It was Tuiasosopo's sixth touchdown pass of the season.