Sun Bowl: Arizona State Capitalizes on four picks of Blackman

2019 Sun Bowl

Yesterday was the day that the FSU Seminoles took on the ASU Sun Devils in the 86th Sun Bowl in El Paso Texas. It was a game that looked like FSU was going to run away with in the first half. It appeared that way. The first half was not anything near what FSU believed was going to happen as they trotted into the locker room down 9-0.

The game started off with Arizona State University receiving the ball and returning it from the two to the 20-yard line. As ASU started their first drive, the running back fumbles… and loses the ball at the 13-yard line. Florida State put themselves into a good spot on the field with the fumble recovery. Moving the ball down to the two in just two plays, it appeared to be an easy score coming up. Starting the next play from the two, James Blackman (Florida’s freshman quarterback with only eight picks in his rookie season) throws to his left and it’s picked off in the end zone and ran out to the 29! Just when it looked like an easy six… it’s not!

Picture Blackman at 6’5″ and 195lbs as he stands tall enough to see everything. But, on this opening drive… he didn’t see the defender.

ASU proceeds to go three and out and the punt goes about 41 yards. It would be handled by the return man as if its just a regular return and goes nowhere. FSU starts the drive. but they stop moving the ball just as fast as they started.

The first half would go back and forth with ASU scoring nine points through field goals and FSU being left scoreless through 30 minutes of play. FSU just seemed to not be able to get anything
to go right in the first half.

Coming onto the field after the halftime, FSU receives the kickoff and marches 91 yards down the field like they own the place. Boom seven points! Where did that come from? Then, in the next few series, ASU would punt the ball and as if there were magnets in it. It stopped right there at the nine-yard line. With the momentum going FSU’s way, they try a long pass… and it works! Blackman rolls out just a few steps, looks downfield and launches a missile that hits its target in-stride for 91 yards. It was the longest touchdown pass and reception in Sun Bowl history. Wait, I recognize that name… he was taking photos on the stadium wall before the game with his mom. Tamorrion Terry caught it on the fly and picked up speed as he neared the goal line. Next was the snap and the PAT was good. FSU was now in the lead 14-9. The only two TDs scored thus far and both were by FSU in the 3rd quarter and started at their own nine-yard line.

Going into the 4th quarter the momentum would reverse. FSU would no longer have the gas to make the big connections, nor would they score any more points. ASU owned the 4th quarter and Blackman would be picked off… again! ASU would drive and score six. They tried for two and missed. But wait… a penalty on FSU gave ASU another try from 1/2 the distance and the connection is made for two. ASU regained the lead at 17-14! They later would kick another field goal (five on the day) and win the 86th Sun Bowl 20-14.

On a day in El Paso where the temperature never reached 50, Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels with one touchdown and Cristian Zendejas would raise the trophy!

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Robert Conley
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