With the Pac-12 Championship Game just ahead, Arizona State decided to make a statement, and unfortunately, their hapless rivals could do nothing but become the medium in a 58-21 blowout. Oh, and the Sun Devils got a nice Territorial Cup victory to show for it.
Starting running back Marion Grice was out of commission for this game -- and might not be available next week against Stanford either -- but Arizona State did not end up needing him, racing to a 30-7 lead by halftime. It's hard to imagine how much better the Sun Devils could have played, as kicker Zane Gonzalez had nailed three field goals just 30 minutes into the game, and three different Sun Devils had crossed the goal line by that point.
Their outstanding play continued to the other side of the ball, as well. Arizona had trouble getting anything of value from their offense early on, with B.J. Denker playing utterly ineffectively and their biggest offensive threat -- running back Ka'Deem Carey -- was bottled up.
To his credit, Carey did begin to show up starting in the third quarter -- he registered 59 of his yards on the opening possession of the second half alone -- but by then it was too late. Arizona made it a two possession game twice, closing to within 30-14 and 37-21, but the floodgates would open after that second time. The Sun Devils scored 21 unanswered after that thanks to a Jaelen Strong 64-yard touchdown catch, a 7-yard score for D.J. Foster and a De'Marieya Nelson 1-yard touchdown run, which would give ASU its 37-point margin of victory.
Box Score Hero: Foster filled in quite ably for the Grice, rushing for two touchdowns and 124 yards on 23 carries. Taylor Kelly managed the game fairly effectively, completing 13-of-25 passes for 274 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Rankings Ramifications: With No. 6 Clemson's loss, Arizona State may climb up a spot or two from No. 12, but they are not likely to make much more movement than that. Arizona was not ranked and they will remain that way.
But Did They Cover? Arizona State was an early two touchdown favorite, but that line dropped to ten by kickoff. They covered. By a lot.
Next Week's Schedule: The Sun Devils have a date with Stanford on Dec. 7, while Arizona's season is done.