Despite losing to Cal 59-7, Arizona State University has a lot to feel positive about.
Cal certainly was the better team, but a quick look at the timeline shows that with 20 minutes to go, the score was only 17-7 in favor of the Bears from Berkeley.
Sure Cal scored three tries in the space of eight minutes, putting the game away, and then three more in a seven-minute span that really tested the scoreboard, but the Sun Devils did much that was impressive. For 32 minutes, from minute 28 to minute 60, the score was ASU 7, Cal 0.
"I felt the game was well played," said an encouraged ASU Head Coach Gary Lane. "We worked hard and wanted to measure ourselves against the best. It should have been 17-7 at half but a great play by one of the Cal players as Zack Utley was placing the ball down to score was unbelievablely good."
Had they scored, ASU might well have been in position to tie the match, and could have as they had a kickable penalty at around minute 60. Certainly they faded late, but many of Cal's opponents this season haven't had the option of fading at all.
"Overall we are happy with the performance," said Lane. "Now we need to upgrade our fitnes because that's what eventually let us down. So we will work on the fitness level and get ready for Penn State."