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10/19/2013 10:20 PM EDT
Sun Devils roll over No. 20 Huskies 53-24
ARIZONA ST 53, WASHINGTON 24
By JOHN MARSHALL
AP College Football Writer
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona State's run defense was supposed to
be weak, unable to stop much of anyone, much less the nation's
The Sun Devils took it as a challenge and, boy, were they up to
Clogging lanes and jumping into the backfield on seemingly every
play, Arizona State swarmed Washington's Bishop Sankey while
dominating both sides of the ball in a 53-24 victory over the
20th-ranked Huskies on Saturday.
"We were flying around," Arizona State defensive end Gannon
Conway said. "We had a good night, did what we were coached to
It wasn't supposed to be this way.
The big knock on Arizona State's defense under coach Todd Graham
was that it couldn't stop the run. The Sun Devils had trouble
with it for most of the 2012 season and had similar issues in
losses this season to power-running programs Stanford and Notre
Facing Sankey was supposed to be their most daunting task yet.
The junior came in leading the nation at nearly 150 yards per
game and appears to be well on his way to shattering nearly all
of Washington's season rushing records.
The Sun Devils (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) flipped the tables on Sankey
with a dominating defensive performance, holding him to 22 yards
on 13 carries.
And they didn't stop with him.
Arizona State held Washington to minus-5 yards on 25 carries -
matching the second-fewest ASU has allowed since 1996 - and
limited the nation's eighth-best offense to 212 total yards.
The Sun Devils also knocked around Huskies quarterback Keith
Price all game and finished with seven sacks against a team that
had allowed 12 in its first six games combined.
"That was embarrassing," Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said
after the Huskies' eighth straight loss to Arizona State. "We
weren't good enough, we weren't well enough coached, we didn't
perform well enough and we weren't physical enough, nearly
physical enough, against a good football team."
Arizona State's offense was just as overwhelming.
The Huskies (4-3, 1-3) were worried about Taylor Kelly's legs as
much as his arm and Arizona State's quarterback still hurt them
with both. He threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns and ran for
84 yards and two more scores.
Marion Grice did what he does best, scoring three touchdowns -
that's 18 already this season - while running for 161 yards on
22 carries. The nation's leading scorer had two touchdown runs
in the fourth quarter and had a spectacular TD catch that
triggered Arizona State's 26-point second quarter.
Zane Gonzalez kicked four field goals, extending his streak to
11 straight, and Arizona State racked up 585 yards while scoring
its most points ever against the Huskies.
"Man, what an impressive performance; it might be the most
impressive performance that we've had as a team since I've been
here," Graham said. "We've got a heck of a football team and I
love watching them. Man, it's exciting to watch."
Not for the Huskies.
They appeared to be in good shape at the start, moving 60 yards
in 11 plays for a 1-yard touchdown run by Sankey on its opening
It was almost all Arizona State after that.
After settling for Gonzalez's first field goal in the first
quarter, Grice opened the second with a highlight-reel
touchdown, pulling down a one-handed, 15-yard pass while falling
along the sideline. Gonzalez followed with two more field goals,
Kelly scored on a 1-yard dive and the Sun Devils put together a
quick-hitting drive in the final minute of the first half,
capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass to Chris Coyle that put them
Good as Arizona State's offense was, its D was even better.
The Sun Devils clogged up all running lanes against Sankey,
meeting him with multiple tacklers often before he even reached
the line of scrimmage. He had 11 yards on nine carries at
Price didn't do much to offset the Huskies' ground struggles,
getting several passes swatted down early and repeatedly
overthrowing receivers while facing constant pressure.
Washington had 74 total yards on 36 plays and went three-and-out
six times in the first half after doing it nine times in the
first six games combined.
"We obviously had a great first drive,"' Sarkisian said. "I felt
we could've moved the ball better than we did today, that's for
The Huskies finally showed some life to start the second half
with Kevin Smith catching a pass from Price over the middle and
turning it into a 70-yard touchdown.
Turned out to be just a blip in the Sun Devils' runaway.
Arizona State answered with an 11-play, 77-yard scoring drive,
capped by a spinning 1-yard touchdown run by Kelly. Grice
followed with a 1-yard scoring run and another from 14 yards out
to give Arizona State a 53-24 lead.
"We beat a really good football team," Graham said. "We
dominated a really good football team tonight."
They sure did, on both sides of the ball.
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