Sun Devils rout Navy in Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

December 29, 2012

The Arizona State University football team put it in the left lane, with the hammer down early and often, on Dec. 29, as the team routed Navy, 62-28, to win the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.

A 34-7 halftime lead set the tone for a dominating third quarter that saw ASU score four touchdowns to blow the game open even further – three of which coming in 55 seconds or less as the team set a new school record for points scored in a bowl game. The 28 points was the most scored in a quarter in ASU bowl history. Download Full Image

The Sun Devils finished with 648 yards of total offense – over 50 more than the team’s previous highest total this season of 593 yards against Colorado and was among the top-10 highest-grossing offensive games in school history and the most since putting up a school record 773 yards against Northwestern in 2005.  At 9.6 yards per play today, the Sun Devils with just shy of the NCAA Division I bowl record of 9.9, set in the 2011 Orange Bowl by Stanford.

With 36 first downs on the contest, the Sun Devils tied the NCAA Division I Bowl record with two other teams (Oklahoma in the 1991 Gator Bowl in a 48-14 victory over Virginia AND Marshall in the 2001 GMAC Bowl in a 64-61 double OT victory over East Carolina).

Taylor Kelly finished 17-of-19 for 268 yards and four touchdowns in three quarters of action before letting the reserves take it home. He finished his debut season as ASU’s quarterback with 29 touchdown passes, good for second on ASU’s all-time single-season list.

Three of those touchdowns went to Rashad Ross, who finished his career with the best game of his life with three touchdowns on four receptions for 139 yards – including two bombs of 50 or more yards. 

Marion Grice had 159 yards on 14 attempts with two touchdowns and finished his season with 19 touchdowns – the third highest single-season scoring tally in school history.  The performance garnered him the Offensive MVP honor for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

Cameron Marshall had two rushing touchdowns on his own and finished his illustrious career at ASU with 38 total touchdowns – the second most behind only Woody Green’s 43 from 1971-73.

Will Sutton finished the game with 2.5 sacks to give him 13 on the season and that was good for the fourth-most in a single season in school history and his 23.5 tackles for loss this year is also fourth all-time.  He was named the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Defensive MVP for the performance.

The Sun Devils scored touchdowns on its first nine possession of the game and it took until the fourth quarter for a drive to fizzle out for ASU and that was with the reserves in the game.

Kelly was 12-of-14 in the first half for 168 and three touchdowns, culminating in a 52-yard bomb to Ross for the senior’s second touchdown reception of the game and the longest passing play of ASU’s season to put the Sun Devils up 34-7 with just under a minute left in the half. 

Grice had nine rushes for 80 yards (8.9 avg.) in the half and a touchdown while Kelly added 41 yards on four rushes and his first career rushing touchdown on a one-yard keeper in the first quarter.

The team’s 27-point halftime lead was its largest in its bowl history and the 34 points scored in the first half was the most scored in a single bowl half in school history.

ASU is now 13-12-1 all-time in bowl games and won their first bowl game since the 2005 Insight Bowl, a 45-40 victory over Rutgers. 

With the victory, head coach Todd Graham improved to 8-5 in his first year as head coach of the Sun Devils and is now 4-1 in bowl games in his career.  With eight wins this year, it was the most for the Sun Devils since posting 10 in 2007.

The Sun Devils have an exciting schedule on top next season as they are slated to play the Pac-12 champion Stanford, the Big Ten Champion Wisconsin and the potential NCAA Champion Notre Dame in what is sure to be an exciting year for the squad.

Juno Schaser

Event coordinator, Biodesign Institute


Men's basketball tops Coppin State 68-52

December 31, 2012

With Pac-12 play on the horizon, the Arizona State men's basketball team concluded the non-conference portion of its schedule Saturday afternoon with a 68-52 win over Coppin State at Wells Fargo Arena.

"Our guys played a good game and played well in the non-conference, but we are ready to turn the page and start the Pac-12. Good non-conference for us, but everything gets reset going into the conference," said head coach Herb Sendek, the 2009-10 Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Download Full Image

Click here for some quick video highlights from today's action...

Saturday's win improves the Sun Devils' record to 11-2, giving the team more wins this season than all of last season. Sendek attributes the team's success to an attitude change from previous years, adding, "we feel good about focusing on the game at hand. We don't take anything for granted. We prepare and look at each game, as if it's the most important game on the schedule."

Although Jordan Bachynski scored on the first possession, the Sun Devils had a slow start to the game. ASU was held scoreless for almost two minutes following their first points before Jonathan Gilling hit consecutive three pointers to give ASU an 8-4 lead. Coppin State remained composed following Gilling's buckets, and put together an 8-0 run, before Chris Colvin broke the run with a layup, knotting the score at 12 heading to the second official timeout.

The Sun Devils created separation from Coppin State in the late stages of the first half, forcing an Eagle timeout with 1:28 remaining in the half in response to an 11-0 run spanning 3:33 that gave ASU a 34-23 lead. Although the Eagles broke their scoring drought after the timeout, Jahii Carson hit a jumper at the buzzer to give ASU a 37-26 advantage at the half.

The Devils relied heavily on the three in the first half, scoring seven of their 12 buckets from the floor from beyond the arc. Gilling connected on three of his five attempts from distance in the half, and led all scorers with 11 points at the break.

Arizona State jumped out to a quick start in the second half, scoring seven straight points, and extending their lead to 18, before Coppin State called a timeout with 17:57 on the clock.

With increased defensive pressure, ASU maintained a confortable lead, never allowing their lead to drop below 15 points for the remainder of the game. The Devils limited Coppin State to 33.3 percent shooting in the second half on 10-30 shooting.

Despite having only two points at the half, Carson led the Sun Devils with ¬15 points, seven assists and a career-high eight rebounds. Gilling followed his career-high performance of six three pointers at Texas Tech with four more Saturday, and finished with 14 points. Carrick Felix continued his streak of impressive performances, finishing with 11 points and six boards. Evan Gordon also added 11 points.

"[Carrick] has just transformed himself in every positive way following last season," Sendek said.

The Sun Devils finished the game shooting 47.2 percent from the floor on 25-53 shooting. ASU used its size to its advantage, scoring 28 points in the paint and holding a 41-29 advantage on the boards.

Coppin State had three players score in double digits. Michael Murray, Troy Franklin, and Patrick Cole each scored 13 points to lead the Eagles.

Arizona State will continue its home stand this Wednesday, opening Pac-12 play at Wells Fargo Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (MT) against Utah.

Juno Schaser

Event coordinator, Biodesign Institute