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WVU captures Cactus Bowl win at Chase Field

MLB.com

College football returned to Chase Field for the first time in over a decade on Saturday night, as West Virginia beat Arizona State in a shootout, 43-42, in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl.

Skyler Howard led an explosive aerial attack for West Virginia and set Cactus Bowl records with 532 passing yards and five touchdown passes.

College football returned to Chase Field for the first time in over a decade on Saturday night, as West Virginia beat Arizona State in a shootout, 43-42, in the Motel 6 Cactus Bowl.

Skyler Howard led an explosive aerial attack for West Virginia and set Cactus Bowl records with 532 passing yards and five touchdown passes.

"He had a great month of practice and he came out here and played his tail off," WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said of Howard on ESPN's postgame broadcast. "I'm proud of him."

In a game that saw nine lead changes, David Sills hauled in a 15-yard touchdown reception with 2:19 remaining and Josh Lambert converted the extra point to give the Mountaineers the lead for good.

Arizona State's Mike Bercovici passed for 418 yards and four touchdowns in his final collegiate game, as the two quarterbacks combined to set a Cactus Bowl record with 950 total passing yards. The teams also made seven total field goals, another Cactus Bowl record.

Chase Field will host the Cactus Bowl again in 2017 and '18. The bowl is usually held at Arizona State's Sun Devil Stadium, which is undergoing renovations. The ballpark previously hosted the bowl from 2000-05. Saturday's official attendance was 39,321.

The playing surface featured fresh sod over the infield dirt, with end zones in left field and in front of the first-base dugout. Bleachers were added in right field to bring fans closer to the action.

Chase Field is one of three Major League parks in use this bowl season. Duke beat Indiana, 44-41, in overtime in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 27 and Marshall topped Connecticut, 16-10, in the St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field on Dec. 26.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com.

Arizona Diamondbacks