Sun Devils kick off Pac-12 play with victory over Utah
ASU finishes game with 37-7 victory over Utes
The Arizona State Sun Devils dominated their Pac-12 opener against Utah on Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium, 37-7.
"I'm really proud of our players," head coach Todd Graham said. "They came ready to play...they [Utah] have a really good football team but we really dominated them."
The Devils' defense set the tone of the game at the start of the first quarter, sacking Utah quarterback Jon Hays on fourth down of the Utes' opening drive, to usher in the offense.
ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly then methodically moved his team down the field in just over a minute and ended the series with a smooth fake before a touchdown pass to receiver Rashad Ross, his first of the season.
"We came out with a good start," Kelly said. "The defense did a great job stopping them and then once we got the ball, we decided to come out strong."
The rest of the first half was controlled by the Devils in a similar fashion. They scored two more touchdowns in the first quarter alone and a touchdown and field goal in the second. Running back Cameron Marshallbarreled his way into the end zone - and into third place on Arizona State's all-time career rushing touchdowns list - for the second touchdown of the game.
The Devils led the Utes 31-7 at the half behind Kelly, who was 13-of-17 for 259 yards and three touchdowns by the end of the half.
The Utah offense could not shake the aggressive Devil defense, which collected 10 tackles-for-loss, including four sacks, and caused three turnovers. Linebacker Brandon Magee led the team with 10 tackles and recovered a fumble, and Spur backer Chris Youngadded eight tackles, including 2.5 tackles-for-loss.
"We watched film, we studied and everybody did their assignments," Magee said. "We felt like we should shut them out and that's what happened."
Magee recovered a fumble by Utah running back John White late in the third quarter and closed out the fourth on both sides of the ball, with relentless defense and another field goal from kicker Alex Garoutte, to put the game out of reach.
Kelly passed for a career high 326 yards and three touchdowns on 19-of-26 passing. Marshall added a pair of touchdowns, including one rushing and one receiving, and Ross caught five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. DJ Foster led all Devil rushers with 10 carries for 70 yards.
The Sun Devils travel to Cal next week for their second Pac-12 division game.