LAS VEGAS (AP) — Braelon Allen ran for 159 yards and Wisconsin drained the final 9:57 off the clock with an 18-play drive that sealed a 20-13 victory over Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl on Thursday night.
Allen, the 17-year-old true freshman from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, had 101 yards by halftime for his eighth 100-yard game of the season.
Graham Mertz finished 11 of 15 for 137 yards and a touchdown to senior tight end Jake Ferguson, who caught three passes for 33 yards in his final game for Wisconsin (9-4).
The Badgers started 1-3 with Big Ten losses to ranked opponents Penn State and Michigan but answered with a seven-game winning streak to earn a 20th consecutive bowl bid.
Clinging to a seven-point lead, they took over at their own 3 with just under 10 minutes remaining and drove 90 yards to run out the clock in the first bowl game at Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders.
Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels accounted for 199 total yards and threw an interception for the Sun Devils (8-5), who are 3-6 in bowls since 2011.
The Sun Devils were held to 219 total yards, including 102 in the first half. Wisconsin entered with the nation’s top defense, allowing 240.8 yards per game.
Arizona State has made the postseason in each full season under head coach Herm Edwards; the Sun Devils played only four games in 2020 due to the pandemic.
TOUGH BADGERS DEFENSE
Arizona State allowed just 21 sacks this season, an average of 1.75 per game. Daniels was sacked a season-high four times and Wisconsin held the Sun Devils to 60 yards rushing on 33 carries.
Sophomore linebacker Nick Herbig had two sacks and finished with a team-high nine this season.
VALIANT EFFORT FROM DANIELS
The Sun Devils’ quarterback tried all he could to rally his team in the second half. Daniels, who finished 11-of-21 passing for 159 yards, completed two nearly miraculous heaves; one to Ricky Pearsall for 38 yards that led to Daniyel Ngata’s 5-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and a 35-yard completion to Jaylin Conyers on 3rd-and-18.
Arizona State failed to score after that play.
Wisconsin: Hosts Illinois in the 2022 season opener Sept. 3.
Arizona State: Hosts Northern Arizona on Sept. 1.
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