The Arizona St. Sun Devils are off to a solid 4-1 start. While their defense has been terrific all season, their offense has done a very nice job scoring points early in often whenever they take the field. The first quarter usually sets the tone for a college football game, and ASU is doing a fine job of sending the message early to their opposition.
Why have the Devils been so successful? Quarterback Taylor Kelly is a good place to start. SB Nation's fine ASU blog, House of Sparky, took a look at a few of Kelly's numbers early in the game and stacked them up against the second half. What did they find? Kelly has been great in the first quarter.
Arizona State is outscoring their opponents 56-10 in the first quarter, and that +46 margin is the best of any quarter for the team. The early success continues all throughout the first half, with ASU on the right side of a 125-38 margin through the first 30 minutes. The catalyst for those early points has been the hot passing by Kelly, with seven of his nine touchdowns coming in the first half.
Kelly is also completing 75% of his passes in the opening quarter, which is quite impressive given it is his first season as the starter. It will be interesting to see how Kelly and the Sun Devils fare in the second half of the season, which is much tougher. The slate includes games with No. 2 Oregon, No. 25 UCLA, road trips to No. 14 Oregon State and No. 13 USC, as well as a visit to Tucson to wrap up the year.