Posted September 06, 2013 on AP on Fox
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. The Sun Devils opened with a 63-6 win 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. Marion Grice had a pair of touchdowns and finished with 117 total yards, and Arizona State had its first shutout since 2010 to avoid a letdown before its schedule gets a whole lot tougher. 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 and three turnovers. 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. 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 Chris 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. Kelly was 19 of 24 for 262 yards and matched his career high for touchdown passes by halftime. He played one series of the third quarter before sitting out the rest of the half.

Kelly shows signs of quantum leap in ASU's blowout win

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell said last week he did not want to see the same Taylor Kelly this season that he saw in 2012. He needed a new and improved version. In ASU's dominant 55-0 season-opening win over Sacramento State on Thursday night, Kelly showed all the signs of a quarterback who has taken the next step. "He has a lot more...

ASU rewind: Kelly, defense dominant in big win

As coach Todd Graham expected them too, the Sun Devils dismantled Sacramento State in their season opener Thursday night, leaving the field with a 55-0 shutout. The story of the game was a redshirt junior quarterback Taylor Kelly's dominant performance, in which he went 23 for 31 with 300 yards passing and five touchdowns. He looked every bit like a quarterback ready to top...

Arizona State staffer on leave following arrest

Arizona State reportedly has placed an assistant athletic director for recruiting on administrative leave after his arrest in a domestic-violence incident last month. The Arizona Republic reported Thursday that Sherman Morris was charged by police in suburban Chandler with one count of aggravated assault-serious physical injury and one count of aggravated assault-strangulation on...

ASU dominates Sacramento State in season-opening rout

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- 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. The Sun Devils opened with a 63-6 win over Northern Arizona in 2012 and quickly took care of another FCS...

Pat Tillman Life-Size Image, ‘Tillman Tunnel’ to Lead ASU Football Players Onto Field (Photos)

The Arizona State Sun Devils don’t have to look far to find inspiration before each home game. On Wednesday, the ASU equipment staff tweeted out the entrance to the football field from the Sun Devils tunnel. The entrance has a life-size photo of former ASU Sun Devil Pat Tillman walking onto the gridiron to make it look like the late Army Ranger leading the squad onto the field...

Arizona State has Potrait of Pat Tillman in Tunnel (Photo)

With the college football season in full swing, it’s always nice to see when teams recognize that the world is bigger than just football. CBS Sports reports that Arizona State has done just that by putting a portrait of former star LB and Army Ranger Pat Tillman. Tillman was killed on duty in Afghanistan in 2004. This is Todd Graham’s second season with the Sun Devils, and since...

Sun Devils unveil new 'Tillman Tunnel'

College football programs do all kinds of cool stuff to get players pumped to take the field. There's Howard's Rock at Clemson and Notre Dame's "Play Like A Champion Today" sign. Purdue wheels out a big ol' drum, Auburn has the War Eagle, Oklahoma has the Sooner Schooner and FSU has Chief Osceola and Renegade, one of several man-on-horse combinations that...

Pat Tillman leads Arizona State out of the Tunnel each week

The Arizona State Sun Devils made a fantastic gesture to Pat Tillman and his family when they created this mural so that he would lead the team out onto the field for each game.  Definitely one of the greatest gestures that a school has made in a long time. [@RobSchumacher1]

ASU's Tillman Tunnel Got a Makeover for 2013

If Arizona State comes out of the locker room with a little extra passion and fury this fall I can't say I blame them. Last night, Pac-12 beat writer Doug Haller tweeted us a first look at the revamped "Tillman Tunnel" that runs onto the field at Sun Devil Stadium, complete with a new paint job, awning, and Pat Tillman memorial on the door. It's nice to see Arizona...

Photo: Pat Tillman leads the way for Arizona State tunnel entrance

American hero Pat Tillman will lead his Sun Devils brethren onto the field before every Arizona State home game in the new Tillman Tunnel.

857 Arrested During First Two Weeks of Semester at Arizona State

The ushering in of a new academic year usually means an increase in textbook sales and collective grumbles among college students. But Arizona State University has seen increases in a number that school officials might not be as proud of — student arrests.  After only two weekends, the Tempe Police Department has arrested a total of 857 people […]

Pat Tillman will lead Arizona State football players onto their home turf this season

This season, the doors leading from Arizona State University’s locker room tunnel onto the field turf will be decorated with decals depicting Pat Tillman walking out onto that same field. It’s a pretty great move by the school to honor not only one of their own, but also to pay homage to an American hero. Tillman, who played safety for the Sun Devils before becoming one of the...

ASU Assistant Coaches’ Interviews

Devils Digest was the only ASU media outlet to interview all nine of Sun Devils’ assistant coaches in the week leading towards the season opener. For those who haven’t read those interviews, or for those who want to review those one more time before the 2013 season kicks off, we offer you a one-stop shop to take a look at the Sun Devils position by position from their coach’s perspective.

Sacramento State at Arizona State Updates

Follow our game thread for live updates from Arizona State’s home and season opener against Sacramento State.
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