What we learned: Arizona State vs. UC Davis
The ASU Sun Devils were supposed to have an easy time against UC Davis and they did, posting a 48-14 victory in the season opener.
Offense: Nice job
The offensive line played a key role in the Sun Devils’ offensive efficiency. They didn’t allow a sack, giving quarterback Brock Osweiler plenty of time and protection.
“Those guys were awesome. Like I said going into this first game, this group has a lot of experience and has worked extremely hard in the offseason,” said Osweiler.
Cameron Marshall brings a lot of versatility to the backfield, and his talents were on full display Thursday night. Marshall had a 47-yard reception on the first drive of the game, and scored on a touchdown run a couple plays later. The junior finished the game with two rushing touchdowns, four receptions for 86 yards and seven rushes for 23 yards.
“I caught the ball well out of the backfield, I think. I had a couple of long pass plays. I think they told me I had a career high, so that’s good to do,” said Marshall.
Arizona State’s defense dominated from the beginning, with star Vontaze Burfict leading the way.
The junior picked up three sacks and did not allow UC Davis to score until the fourth quarter. In all the Devils brought UC Davis QB Randy Wright down five times behind the line of scrimmage.
The Aggies only converted three of 14 third down opportunities, which helped get the ball back to the explosive ASU offense.
“Their defensive line in particular I thought was good,” UC Davis Head Coach Bob Biggs said. “They had a good blitz package and they put pressure on us, so we had a hard time converting third downs in the first half.”
Special Teams: Pleasant surprise
Kicker Alex Garoutte looked very good in his college football debut. Replacing former All-American Thomas Weber, Garoutte nailed field goals of 49 and 25 yards along with going 6-6 on extra poins.
“He knocked that thing through and he kicked the ball off really well, he was kicking that thing in the end zone,” coach Dennis Erickson said about his new kicker.
The Sun Devils also recovered a muffed punt in Aggies territory and junior receiver Jamal Miles returned the opening kick of the second half 98 yards for a touchdown.
“I thought our special teams played real well. I thought our return team obviously was good,” said Erickson.
Needless to say special teams could be very special for the Sun Devils this season.
Up Next: Biggest test
ASU gets set for a big test against Missouri, who takes on Miami Ohio to open their season. Ranked 21st in the nation, the Tigers come to Tempe for a game that could go a long way towards determining just how good the Sun Devils really are.