TEMPE, Ariz. — What can you say?
The 2014 season opener went pretty much according to plan for the 19th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils.
Translation: ASU’s “Big Three” of quarterback Taylor Kelly, running back D.J. Foster and wide receiver Jaelen Strong were dominant.
Kelly threw for 238 yards and a touchdown, Foster rumbled for a career-high 147 yards and three touchdowns and Strong caught 10 passes for 146 yards in one half of action as the Devils breezed to a 45-14 victory over the Weber State Wildcats in front of a crowd of 52,133 at Sun Devil Stadium.
ASU started a bit sluggishly on offense, getting just 27 yards on their first possession, which ended in a punt. But once the Sun Devils got rolling, they were hard to stop.
A 33-yard Zane Gonzalez field goal was followed by three straight touchdown drives. In fact, ASU would score touchdowns six of its next seven possessions before taking their foot off the gas pedal late in the third quarter.
Offensively, the Devils were efficient in both the running and passing games. The piled up 303 yards through the air and and another 267 on the ground at almost six yards per pop.
Strong is ridiculous. Granted, he was playing inferior competition, but he looks to be just as dominant as he was in 2013 when he snagged 75 passes for 1,122 yards.
Foster also picked up where he left off last season, scoring three times including a gorgeous 57-yard jaunt where he spun out of a tackle and outran defenders down the sideline to the end zone.
Defensively, there were a lot of questions due to ASU’s youth and inexperience. But for a first game, most of the Sun Devil first-teamers acquitted themselves quite nicely. Sophomore linebacker Salamo Fiso asserted himself early, with seven tackles and a sack.
ASU downed two punts at the Weber State 1-yard line.
Play of the Game:
This run by D.J. Foster was pretty nice.
ASU did allow Weber State to gain over 300 yards of offense and failed to force a turnover, breaking their streak of 29 straight games with at least one.
The other bad thing is we didn’t really learn anything about this year’s Sun Devils in the win. They beat a team they were supposed to beat and did so soundly.
He Said It:
“That guy is 210 pounds, but he plays 230. Obviously, he made some mistakes but man he makes them going 100 miles per hour. I just love his attitude.” — Graham on freshman linebacker D.J. Calhoun
• Mike Bercovici’s third-quarter touchdown pass to Ellis Jefferson was the first of his Sun Devil career. It was also Jefferson’s first touchdown.
• Gary Chambers also had his first career touchdown reception.
• This was ASU’s 12th consecutive season-opening win. They haven’t lost a home opener since dropping a game to Washington in 1998.
The Sun Devils travel east to Albuquerque to take on the New Mexico Lobos next Saturday, Sept. 6. The game will kickoff at 4:00 p.m. Phoenix time and can be seen on CBS Sports Network. KTAR News on 92.3 will have radio coverage with Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst and Doug Franz on the call.