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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The 2015 bowl season"s last non-title bout featured 2 teams that were clearly on the undercard in Arizona State and also West Virginia. The Sun Devils and also Mountaineers combined to display that styles make fights in a wild Cactus Bowl anymeans, through West Virginia holding on late for a 43-42 win.

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Skyler Howard set brand-new Cactus Bowl documents through 532 passing yards and also five touchdowns, and West Virginia held off one last charge from the Sun Devils in the fourth quarter of a game that see-sawed earlier and forth.

West Virginia recorded an Immaculate Reception-esque catch in the initially quarter, but that was all by forgained by the second fifty percent, especially after a blocked point-after turned into two points for Arizona State simply prior to halftime. By night"s end, tright here had been controversial replay reviews benefiting both groups, a timeout prior to a kickoff, two heated sideline disagreements between Arizona State head coach Todd Graham and unique teams coordinator Shawn Slocum, a play on which a referee offered a player that drew a flag for being hit late a forearm shiver, a touchdown catch by David Sills -- the player who infamously committed to USC and also Lane Kiffin as a seventh-grader and quarterago -- and a baffling decision to go for one up five.

Oh, and 4 touchdowns of 30 or even more yards. Those, also.

The Cactus Bowl was the last true bowl game of the 2015 season, via next week"s College Football Playoff championship game counting as somepoint different. And it made up for a bunch of snoozers.


Three things to know

1. Dana Holgorsen still does not fairly have a defense. He might have actually his job right into the 2016 seaboy, yet Holgorsen"s Mountaineers were more or much less defensemuch less against Arizona State, providing up 42 points and also over 500 yards despite shutting down the Sun Devils on the ground. And this was Holgorsen"s finest defense because his arrival in Morgantown, one that enabled just 23.2 points per game coming right into Saturday night despite, you recognize, playing versus the Big 12.

It"s feasible that West Virginia can still win the Big 12 without an elite defense, specifically if Holgorsen -- that shelp "I wanted to win this game pretty negative," and touted this 2015 team as the finest one West Virginia"s had actually given that joining the Big 12 -- can make Howard even much better. It"s easier, though, to win games via the brilliant offense Holgorsen is recognized for and a defense of the sort his regimen hasn"t yet fielded.

2. Todd Graham isn"t trending upward at the minute. The Sun Devils" head coach has actually hopscotched the country to gain to the massive chair in Tempe, yet after being a moderately attractive coaching candidate in 2014, his Sun Devils developed just his second shedding seaboy in 10 yards of FBS coaching by losing this game. And the method in which Graham handled the fourth quarter will rankle fans: Arizona State took a timeout before a kickoff for some reason, then kicked an added suggest up 41-36, which enabled West Virgina to take the lead on its last score.

Graham"s offense didn"t really endure despite shedding offensive coordinator Mike Norvell to Memphis, yet the Sun Devils couldn"t soptimal Howard or obtain off the area as soon as they necessary to in third and long cases in the fourth quarter. And 2016 will mark his first time making it to a fifth season with a institution, barring something unexpected. It might be a turning point for the regimen and also his career.

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3. Bowl games are better with 2 experienced offenses. The Mountaineers and also Sun Devils took slightly different paths to their points on Saturday: West Virginia loaded up and fired deep, mixing in draws, while Arizona State made good usage of Tim White (who had 289 all-objective yards) on horizontal passes. Both groups, but, had actually an principle as to what they were doing on offense, which created a shootout that was far even more entertaining than many kind of of 2015"s even more dreary bowls. More matchups choose this one, please.