Aug. 30, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State quarterback Michael Eubank (18) attempts to run with the ball in the first quarter against Northern Arizona University at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

Northern Arizona Vs. Arizona State Football: Devils Score Seven Rushing Touchdowns In 63-6 Drubbing Of Lumberjacks

A relentless run game and a fierce defense highlighted Todd Graham's Arizona State coaching debut in the Devil's 63-6 win over NAU.

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ASU Vs NAU Final: Devils Kick Off Todd Graham Era In Dominating Fashion With 63-6 Victory Over Lumberjacks

The Arizona State Sun Devils jumped out to a 42-0 nothing halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way, owning all aspects of the game in route to a 63-6 season opening win over Northern Arizona Thursday evening. Michael Eubank, D.J. Foster, Brandon Magee, Marion Grice and Richard Smith each scored their first career collegiate touchdowns and the Devils forced three turnovers including the Magee pick-six.

Taylor Kelly seemed in total control in his starting debut, completing 15-of-19 passes for 247 yards and a passing touchdown to Smith. Kelly also contributed 43 yards on the ground, proving to fans Eubank isn't the only dual threat quarterback the Devils have to offer.

That's not to take anything away from Eubank's performance though. The quarterback rotation was fluid and effective in its debut with head coach Todd Graham sprinkling in just the right amount of Eubank in redzone packages. Overall, the redshirt freshman had seven carries for 36 hard fought yards including a touchdown late in the second quarter.

The running backs corp was also mighty impressive in their own right, combining for 305 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. Grice (game-high 107 yards) chipped in three scores while Marshall had two of his own before being pulled from the game after an early fumble. Later on, coach Graham would give Foster the same punishment following his fumble despite the true freshman compiling 99 total yards and finding pay dirt once during his time on the field. Yes folks, the first year Sun Devils head coach wasn't kidding about his "owning the ball" or else philosophy after all.

On the other side of the trenches, the defense looked like everything fans were promised. The new 3-3-5 scheme limited the Lumberjacks to only 92 total yards in the first half while totaling nine tackles for losses over the entirety of the game. The pash rush relentlessly swarmed both NAU quarterbacks all throughout as well, sending five, even six pass rushers at a time while limiting the Lumberjack passers to a combined completion percentage of under 50% (12-of-26).

Overall, this was undoubtedly a debut to remember for Graham and company. His team looked fast, disciplined and prepared in every meaning of the word from start to finish. Obviously the caliber of opponent isn't the highest but fans should still be encouraged after this performance. The Devils did everything that was expected of them and more and will now look to build on this momentum next Saturday against Illinois.


ASU Vs NAU Halftime Update: Devils Showcase Swarming Defense, Punishing Run Game With A 42-0 Lead

It may be against just Northern Arizona but Arizona State absolutely dominated the first half, scoring 42 unanswered points while owning the total yards department 356 to the Lumberjacks' 92. Cameron Marshall, D.J. Foster, Marion Grice and Michael Eubank combined for five rushing touchdowns with the defense chipping in three interceptions and four tackles for loss.

Marshall got things started with a nine-yard touchdown to cap off the first drive and then added another just seven plays later. Foster opened the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown of his own before Brandon Magee took an interception to the house on the Lumberjacks following possession.

Grice would get in on the fun on the Sun Devils next drive, pounding in a one-yard touchdown that was set up by a 50-yard reception from Rashad Ross. Eubank then got his first touchdown as a Sun Devil after Alden Darby made his job easy with a 50-yard interception return that put the ball at the three yard line.

Overall, Taylor Kelly has seemed confident in his first game as the Devil's signal caller, completing 9-of-13 passes for 187 yards. Kelly also pitched in 41 yards on the ground to go along with his smart, decisive decision making. The freshman instate phenom Foster has also been impressive in his own right, compiling a 10.8 yard average on his carries for 65 yards on the ground while adding 30 additional receiving yards.

With the comfortable lead, Sun Devils fans could now be treated to some backup action. Not that anyone's complaining though as the first 30 minutes of Todd Graham's ASU coaching career have been as entertaining as anyone could have hoped.


Arizona State Vs. Northern Arizona: Making Sense Of A Seemingly Meaningless Game

Arizona State might not be facing the most exciting of opponents to begin the season but there's still a lot that fans should be looking for in this one.

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