Scores

Final

Sacramento St 0

(0-2, 0-2 away)

Arizona State 55

(1-0, 1-0 home)

Coverage: Pac-12 Network

10:00 PM ET, September 5, 2013

Sun Devil Stadium, TEMPE, AZ

1 2 3 4 T
SAC 0 0 0 00
ASU 14 28 10 355

Top Performers

Passing: T. Kelly (ASU) - 300 YDS, 5 TD

Rushing: M. Grice (ASU) - 14 CAR, 59 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: J. Strong (ASU) - 6 REC, 58 YDS, 1 TD

Sun Devils roll over Sac State 55-0 in opener

Associated Press
Sacramento State Hornets at Arizona State Sun Devils Highlight
Michael Eubank rush for 4 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

TEMPE, Ariz. -- 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.

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."

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.

"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.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
SAC
ASU
1st Downs627
Total Yards167523
Passing116365
Rushing51158
Penalties5-311-5
3rd Down Conversions4-158-16
4th Down Conversions0-01-2
Turnovers40
Possession27:4832:12

Passing Leaders

Sacramento StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Safron11/211115.302
Arizona StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Kelly23/313009.750

Rushing Leaders

Sacramento StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Graham11211.906
Warren8182.307
Arizona StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Grice14594.2113
Lewis8536.6013

Receiving Leaders

Sacramento StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Norrise6508.3011
Harrison33913.0030
Arizona StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Grice46516.3126
Strong6589.7124

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERSACASU
TD03:51De'Marieya Nelson 16 Yd Pass From Taylor Kelly (Zane Gonzalez Kick)
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07
TD00:39Kevin Ozier 41 Yd Pass From Taylor Kelly (Zane Gonzalez Kick)
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014
SECOND QUARTERSACASU
TD13:08Marion Grice 6 Yd Run (Zane Gonzalez Kick)
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021
TD09:31Jaelen Strong 24 Yd Pass From Taylor Kelly (Zane Gonzalez Kick)
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028
TD07:19Chris Coyle 33 Yd Pass From Taylor Kelly (Zane Gonzalez Kick)
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035
TD02:16Marion Grice 26 Yd Pass From Taylor Kelly (Zane Gonzalez Kick)
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042
THIRD QUARTERSACASU
FG10:59Zane Gonzalez 40 Yd 045
TD07:52Michael Eubank 4 Yd Run (Zane Gonzalez Kick)
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052
FOURTH QUARTERSACASU
FG12:37Zane Gonzalez 29 Yd 055