The Oregon Ducks embarrassed Arizona State, 43-21, in front of an ESPN audience Thursday evening, putting up all 43 of their points in the first half while handing the Sun Devils their first loss in conference play.
Although you wouldn't guess it, the Sun Devils got off to a better start than anyone could have hoped. After William Sutton forced Marcus Mariota to fumble a sweep on the second snap of the game, Taylor Kelly hooked up with Kevin Ozier for a 28-yard touchdown pass on ASU's first offensive play.
But on that very same takeaway, Sutton went down with a right leg injury and was forced to watch the rest of the game with crutches. That loss would prove to be a deathblow as Oregon ran wild from that point on.
With Kenjon Barner's 71-yard touchdown sprint on the next drive setting the tone, the Ducks went on to compile 406 yards on the ground with 329 of those coming before halftime. A shoulder injury to fellow defensive lineman Junior Onyeali didn't help but it was clear the Devils weren't as good as their 187.8 rushing yards allowed and 14.2 points against averages suggested.
Including that huge burst from Barner, the Ducks found pay dirt on six consecutive drives before their first punt of the game. And by then, the game was more than decided as Kelly went 3-for-10 with two interceptions in the first half following his quick touchdown toss.
With the game all but decided heading into the locker room, the second half was mostly left to second stringers with backups Michael Eubank and Bryan Bennett getting a considerable amount of snaps. The Devils did manage to add on two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter with Anthony Jones nabbing 36-yard pick-six and D.J. Foster scampering for an impressive 23-yard TD reception but that didn't help to ease the pain of this humiliating loss.
Overall, there wasn't a lot of positives to take away from this one unless you consider not giving up any points to the second stringers a bonus. If one thing is for certain though it's that ASU ran into a far more talented team at the wrong time. Oregon was clearly upset at being No. 3 in the initial BCS rankings and they took their frustration out on national television, giving this overachieving Sun Devils team far more than they could handle.
Sure, it's clear the Devils aren't ready to hang with the big boys but only the most optimistic of maroon and gold diehards thought ASU was going to actually upset this national championship contender. The Devils will now remain in Tempe and try collect themselves against a tough UCLA team next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. MT.