robinsonespn.jpgTempe, AZ – Arizona State was ranked #2 and heading to a National Title game. They had already beaten USC, all they needed to do was crush their unranked and struggling rival at home. It seemed easy. But you can never take the Territorial Cup for granted.

ASU QB Early Hudson of Blacksburg, VA was looking to lead the Sun Devils into a National Title. Hudson was interesting in that he played 15 snaps in 2014, and then spent two years on the bench. But in 2017, his redshirt senior season, he broke out going 213/337, 2950, 33 TD/18 INTs and was by far the class of the Pac Ten quarterbacks. But he would be facing a tough challenge as ASU was missing it’s TOP two running backs and would be going with a third stringer. They were also without 94 OVR Right Tackle.

Arizona’s first possession looked good with Brent Robinson completing short passes, and Alan Barron making some solid runs. But a fumble after an 11 yard gain gave ASU the ball.

Early Hudson does not waste turnover opportunities and quickly marched the Devils into the endzone for their first score. It looked like Lee Corso’s prediction of an ASU win would come true.

Arizona was able to mount another impressive drive, but got shut down inside the 20 and Jay Gibson kicked a field goal to bring the score within 4.

But on the next drive Early Hudson just looked like a legend, and on a controversial 4th and 11 call at the Arizona 40, Hudson broke a tackle and scrambled for a first down. It looked like Barrett Dixon all over again. On the very parrishasu2016.jpgnext play he threw a perfect pass into the endzone to give ASU a 14-3 lead going into the final minutes of the 2nd quarter.

But Brent Robinson was fired up. He had no plans to roll over, and quickly marched the Wildcats down the field until Andy Jackson made a spectacular catch, broke a tackle and waltzed into the endzone to make the score 14-10 going into the half.

The second half featured some odd moments, including TWO separate plays where Arizona fumbled the ball, and then Arizona State fumbled right back to Arizona on the NEXT play.

“It was weird,” said Tim Christian, who fumbled once. “It was like they wanted us to win, I know there are a lot of retired mobsters up here, but this seemed almost TOO obvious.”

Then in 3rd Quarter, Steve Gilmore made a play that will live in Arizona history as one of the greatest ever seen (see video). He took the ball at the ASU 19 and stiff armed THREE Sun Devils on his way to the endzone.

“After I got the first one, I was feeling good,” said Gilmore. “But by the time I hit the third one, I felt kind of bad, it’s like dunking on an 9 year old.”

After that the Arizona Defense continued to play strong as a unit with no one star rising up. Nick Robinson was held to no sacks, but he did not care as the team effort was far more important to him.

gilmoretd.jpg“We won!” said Robinson. “Finally! Now lets tear up Mill Ave!”

But the real redemption here was for Brent Robinson. A man who had been blamed for a bad season filled so many expectations. In a game that meant everything, he played his best. Going 19/22 for 246 yard and 2 touchdowns – amazingly, his recievers had 2 drops, meaning he threw only ONE uncatchable pass all day long.

“It means a lot to me,” said Robinson. “I was not going to lose this game. We needed this, the program needed this, the coach needed this. I think it’s going to be a big building spot for us going into our bowl game, and next year.”

Notes:

*Final Stats Robinson 19/22 246, 2 TDs, 0 INTs
*Alan Barron 16/98
*Steve Gilmore – TD
*Ryan Parrish 8/139 1 TD
* Arizona now Ranked 23 (Coach), 19 (Media)

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