TEMPE, Ariz. - It's been a rockier night than expected for the Sun Devils, but the third quarter proved a vital boost in their 37-31 win over New Mexico State in the season opener at Sun Devil Stadium.
It looked like ASU could take off early after an interception on the Aggies' first drive led to a quick score for the Sun Devils as Kalen Ballage rumbled into the end zone for a touchdown.
After an Aggies three-and-out, ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins hit Jalen Harvey on a 53-yard touchdown pass, and less than seven minutes into the game, the Sun Devils had a comfortable 14-0 lead.
But the Aggies came back with two 89-yard drives in the second quarter and would have tied the game at halftime if it weren't for a missed extra point.
The Sun Devils came out in the third quarter and took control of the game, scoring 16 points on three drives, including a 60-yard bomb from Wilkins to receiver John Humphrey. A second Ballage touchdown, this time from 20 yards out, put ASU up 30-13 with less than a minute left in the third.
A 49-yard pick-six by DB Kobe Williams just over a minute into the fourth moved the game into route territory. Three late touchdowns by the Aggies, including one as time expired, brought NMSU within a score by the final whistle.