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Stanford-Arizona State: First-half reflections

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

TEMPE, Ariz. -- From the Sun Devil Stadium press box:

Two first-and-goals inside the 5-yard line for Arizona State and both turn into field goals. Two drives, 140 yards, six points.

Not a disaster, but not very efficient.

ASU provides the game's first defensive stop.

Another Sun Devils drive... Keegan Herring goes for tough, rumbling, stumbling 20 yards on his first carry. Guess he's OK.

And Rudy Carpenter decides not to bother with the first-and-goal thing, hurling an 11-yard TD pass to Michael Jones for a 13-7 lead.

Carpenter has 185 passing yards already -- he's now 14th on the Pac-10's all-time career yardage list.

Jason Forcier in at QB for Stanford -- doesn't appear that Tavita Pritchard is hurt. A little surprising.

Carpenter makes his first bad mistake -- lobbing the ball up for grabs -- and Kris Evans intercepts and returns 21 yards to the Sun Devils 41 with just inside of four minutes left until the break.

Pritchard came back on the field for a third-and-6 play from the ASU 12 and misses a wide open Richard Sherman in the end zone. The 28-yard field goal to close the gap to 13-10 has to feel a bit like an ASU hold.

Stanford sends the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, so ASU starts on its 40. A roughing the passer penalty gives the Sun Devils a first down on the Cardinal 45 with 38 seconds left.

Forget the field goal... Carpenter finds a wide open Kerry Taylor for a 45-yard TD and a 20-10 lead.

Both offenses are moving the ball.

Questions for the second half:

  • Will the beating from Stanford on Carpenter -- even if he avoids sacks -- cause him to lose his rhythm and make a few more bad throws?

  • Or will the Sun Devils' offensive line make halftime adjustments and shore up its protection?

  • Will Stanford start to wear down in the heat?

  • Carpenter has 237 yards passing. Is he headed for 500?