ASU Football: Lone Star Letdown, Sun Devils defeated in Lubbock

LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 16: Manny Wilkins
LUBBOCK, TX - SEPTEMBER 16: Manny Wilkins /

After overcoming an 18-point deficit, ASU football falls short at Texas Tech 52-45 behind a Red Raiders touchdown with 1:55 remaining in the game.

Texas Tech and Arizona State are very similar teams. It was only fitting that playing a home-and-home series would feature similar games with the home team coming out victorious. Texas Tech defeated the Sun Devils in a nail-biter Saturday night in Lubbock by the score of 52-45.

Arizona State struggled mightily in the first half, and by the time the offense found their way in the second half, it was too little too late. Senior defensive standout Koron Crump exited with an injury on the Red Raiders second drive, a loss that was too much for an ASU defense that played very well in the second half.

The Sun Devils were absolutely dominated in the first quarter, giving up 21 unanswered points having no answer for the Red Raiders passing attack.

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Texas Tech senior quarterback Nic Shimonek lit up the inexperienced Sun Devil defense throwing for 543 yards and six touchdowns.

Shimonek was the story for the Red Raiders, but his favorite target of the game Dylan Cantrell had a huge impact. Totaling 163 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns, Cantrell was too much for the Sun Devil defense to handle.

Texas Tech had an opportunity to deliver the knockout punch on multiple occasions, but four defensive penalties and fumbling in the end zone kept ASU in the game.

The Red Raiders were able to overcome those mistakes with some help on special teams, when Ja’Deion High blocked Michael Sleep-Dalton’s punt and was recovered at ASU’s 27-yard-line setting up Cantrell’s second touchdown catch of the evening.

ASU came out swinging in the second half, forcing a turnover on downs and then a quick 73-yard drive ending with Kalen Ballage’s 1-yard touchdown run cutting the score to 35-24.

Texas Tech answered quickly when Shimonek threw to Derrick Willies for a 28-yard touchdown pass pushing the lead to 42-24.

After the Sun Devils tied the game at 45 on N’Keal Harry’s 21-yard touchdown reception, the Red Raiders mounted a 12-play, 90-yard drive capped off by a Cantrell 1-yard run to take the lead for good.

ASU tried for some late-second heroics, but Manny Wilkins was sacked on 3rd and 15 setting up a 4th and 30 that caused the turnover on downs sealing Texas Tech’s victory.

Next: ASU Football: 2017 Pac-12 Week Three Power Rankings

The Sun Devils will continue their 2017 campaign with their Pac-12 opener next Saturday night in Tempe against the Oregon Ducks.