NCAA FB

Thu, Sep 5, 2013 - 10:00 PM ET
Game Recap
 

Sun Devils roll over Sacramento St.

Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly (10) throws during the first half against the Sacramento State Hornets at Sun Devil Stadium.
Taylor Kelly enjoys a big game in Arizona State's season opener vs. Sacramento State.
Share This Story

   
 

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP)

The schedule about to get a whole lot tougher, the last thing Arizona State wanted in its opening game was to play poorly or, worse yet, lose to a lower-division opponent.

The Sun Devils put away any concern about a letdown by racing out to a big lead and coasting to the finish.

NCAA FOOTBALL'S BACK!

Check out the best shots from college football's opening weekend.

Taylor Kelly threw for 300 yards and matched a career high with five touchdown passes before sitting out most of the second half, helping Arizona State open its second season under coach Todd Graham with a 55-0 rout over Sacramento State on Thursday night.

''We did just what we wanted to do,'' Graham said. ''It wasn't real exciting in the second half, but it was a team we should have dominated and did.''

The Sun Devils opened with a 63-6 victory over Northern Arizona in 2012 and quickly took care of another FCS opponent to start this season, scoring on their first five possessions while building a 42-0 halftime.

Arizona State had 523 total yards and Kelly spread it around before sitting down, hitting five different receivers for touchdowns.

Marion Grice picked up where he left off from his stellar first season in the desert, catching a touchdown pass, running for another score and finishing with 117 total yards in little over a half.

And, after a rough opening drive, Arizona State's defense tightened down, finishing with its first shutout since a 42-0 win against Washington State in 2010.

Letdown? Yeah, right.

''We were really set to go out and beat this team,'' said Arizona State tight end Chris Coyle, who caught Kelly's third touchdown pass. ''The only we could have lost is if we went out and beat ourselves.''

MIKE MAKES THE CALLS

Our rules guru Mike Pereira says this new targeting rule could be a problem.

Despite being one of two FCS teams to beat an FBS opponent each of the previous two seasons, Sacramento State (0-2) never stood much of a chance against the bigger, faster Sun Devils.

The Hornets, who lost 24-0 to San Jose State in their opener, had a good opening drive against Arizona State, but did little else after that, finishing with 167 total yards, six first downs and three turnovers.

''We did struggle most of the night,'' Sac State coach Marshall Sperbeck said. ''And that's an understatement.''

Arizona State got the Graham Era off to a solid start, winning eight games last season, including a blowout over Navy in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

The follow-up was filled with anticipation.

The Sun Devils brought back many of their key players, including Kelly, All-America defensive tackle Will Sutton and loads of playmakers who have bought into Graham's discipline-first ways.

Their task in the opener was to keep from looking past Sac State.

After this game, Arizona State faces No. 21 Wisconsin at home next week, followed by games against No. 5 Stanford, No. 25 Southern Cal and No. 14 Notre Dame.

With the Hornets' success at beating FBS schools — Oregon State in 2011, Colorado last season — and the eight wins by FCS schools in college football's opening weekend, the Sun Devils needed to keep their focus on the present, not their future schedule.

Sac State showed some promise on its first drive, converting four straight third downs while holding the ball for 16 plays against Arizona State's defense. All that work ended in no points, though, when Arizona State's Robert Nelson raced around the right end and blocked Justin Weldon's 33-yard field goal attempt.

Check out our latest Facebook updates, tweets and photos.

''We missed a good opportunity there to start the game off on a good note and didn't convert,'' Sperbeck said.

The rout was on after that.

Kelly hit tight end De'Marieya Nelson on a 16-yard touchdown pass, then used a pump fake to free up Kevin Ozier for a 41-yard touchdown. Sutton recovered a fumble on the Hornets' next play from scrimmage, setting up Grice for a 6-yard touchdown run.

And the scores kept coming.

Jaelen Strong outleaped Sac State defensive back Joshua Armstrong for a 24-yard touchdown catch from Kelly.

Kelly used a pump fake on the next drive to set up Coyle for a 33-yard TD over the middle.

Arizona State lost the ball on downs its next drive, but turned an interception into Kelly's fifth touchdown pass of the half, a 26-yarder to Grice out of the backfield.

The Sun Devils went into halftime with a 42-0 lead, 340 yards of offense and held the Hornets without a first down after their initial drive.

Coming off a solid first season as Arizona State's starter, Kelly had stellar first game of his junior year by going 19 of 24 for 262 yards while matching his career high for touchdown passes by halftime. He played one series of the third quarter before sitting out the rest of the half.

''I had higher expectations for myself and just going off our team's ability last year, I had high expectations for our offense,'' Kelly said. ''We showed that tonight and need to keep rolling.''

A good start, but it gets tougher from here.

Tagged: Arizona, Arizona State, Taylor Kelly

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash