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October 31, 2010Arizona State's defense finally got the treat its been waiting for. After giving up 50 points last week against California, the Sun Devils came out with vengeance Saturday night, keeping Washington State off the scoreboard in a 42-0 shutout.
"We weren't in fear today," senior safety Lequan Lewis said. "We said we were going to get a donut, we said it all season, that we weren't going to let teams score. Today we really stepped up. We lit it up in the end zone and really played very hard. We put a lot of effort into it. Some guys were going down and other guys came in and stepped up."
Lewis was among those who unexpectedly stepped up for the Sun Devil defense, receiving extensive playing time for the first time in his career at cornerback
Within minutes of replacing redshirt freshman Osahon Irabor early in the second quarter, Lewis intercepted what otherwise could have been Washington State's only touchdown of the night.
The acrobatic play, in which Lewis stepped in front of the intended Washington State receiver and leapt for the ball along the side of the end zone, was initially ruled incomplete. Upon further review, however, it was determined Lewis had one foot just inbounds.
"I always told myself I was going to wait and be patient," Lewis said. "I didn't get that much playing time at the corner spot, so when I got the opportunity I was going to take it and not let go of it."
All told, Lewis had three pass breakups for the night -- including another in the end zone on the game's final play -- in addition to two tackles, one of which was for a loss.
It was an impressive defensive effort that summed up the night pretty well for the ASU defense.
"He's such a hard worker and such a team guy. Dennis Erickson said of Lewis, "He really hasn't had a lot of opportunity to play other then on special teams and when he did have the chance he stepped up and made the interception."
On special teams, where Lewis has been a standout all season sharing kickoff return duties and as a so-called gunner on punt cover, he also had arguably his best effort.
Lewis downed two of senior Trevor Hankins's three punts inside Washington State's 5-yard line, pinning the Cougars deep and seemingly helpless in their own territory.
"The punting was extremely good we knocked it down in there a couple times maybe three times" Erickson said, "It was great to see LeQuan play like that, he deserves it. He's a hard worker that got a chance and made some plays.
It was an opportunity Lewis took full advantage of Saturday night, contributing in the Sun Devil win.
"I believe we stepped up and put the game last week behind us, instead of having it hang over our heads," Lewis said. "We weren't talking about how many points we gave up and how many mistakes we made. I feel like if we stay consistent and believe in what we have, we will be very good."
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