On a night when the Halloween costumes worn by Washington State students were more entertaining than their football team, the Cougars were walloped 55-21 by Arizona State Thursday on the first ESPN main channel telecast from Pullman in 23 years at half-filled Martin Stadium.
The Cougars fell to 4-5 overall, and 25th-ranked Arizona State improved its Pac-12 Conference South lead to 4-1, 6-2 overall. Two weeks earlier, the Sun Devils beat Washington 53-24.
Quarterback Taylor Kelly led three first-quarter scoring drives and accounted for six first- half touchdowns, including two rushing, that put the game out of reach by halftime.
WSU went three and out in its first three possessions, then fumbled the ball away on the fourth.
ASU was up 42-7 near the half but Connor Halliday led Washington State down the field, and 20 seconds before intermission, hit Ricky Galvin with a 15-yard TD pass. To start the second half, Halliday led another drive that concluded in the end zone after a four-yard run by Jeremiah Laufasa.
The Cougars stopped the next Sun Devils drive, but coach Todd Graham called for a fake punt that went for 21 yards. Kelly connected with D.J. Foster on a 23-yard touchdown over the middle of the field that swung the momentum back.
Arizona State hung 50 points on an opponent for the fifth time in eight games this season. Of the 557 total yards by ASU, 275 came on the ground and 282 came through the air.