Arizona State fans could not have asked for a better way to start the season, as the Sun Devils defeated the NAU Lumberjacks 63-6 last night. ASU led 42-0 at halftime and out gained NAU by over 300 total yards.
There was a lot to be impressed with if you're ASU head coach Todd Graham, as ASU finished with 305 rushing yards and his defense intercepted NAU quarterbacks three times.
Click the jump to find out the good, the bad from ASU's season opening victory last night.
- D.J. Foster and Rashad Ross: The true freshman Foster had an electric Sun Devil debute, rushing eight times for 67 yards and catching four passes for 32 yards. Foster was used in both the running and the passing game in the first half and showed some electric moves in the open field. Even though Ross only had one catch for 50 yards, the senior emerged as the top target for Taylor Kelly. Ross was constantly getting behind the defense and he showed that he will be the deep threat for ASU all season long.
- The Defense: No doubt that the ASU defense was tremendous all game. Shutting out NAU in the first half, ASU forced three turnovers and the Lumberjacks only managed 88 rushing yards. Chris Young led the Sun Devils with eight tackles, including three tackles for loss. Perhaps the moment of the night came when senior linebacker Brandon Magee intercepted NAU QB Cary Gossart and returned it 45-yards for a touchdown.
- ASU Newcomers: All ASU newcomers shined in their debut last night. JUCO-transfer running back Marion Grice led the Sun Devils in rushing with 107 yards and three touchdowns. True freshman Richard Smith caught five passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. On defense, Chris Young led the team with eight tackles, freshman Carlos Mendoza finished with four tackles and Jaxon Hood finished with one tackle in his first start.
- Ball Security: It is tough to find something wrong when you win a game 63-6. However, both Cameron Marshall and D.J. Foster both fumbled the ball in this game. Todd Graham has preached ball control all offseason, even making his players walk around campus with football tucked in their arms. Marshall couldn't handle a pitch from Taylor Kelly, leading to the only ASU turnover on the night. Foster fumbled when he was hammered by two NAU defenders, however the ball was not lost. Both players were removed from the game for at least a series by the coaching staff.