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Fork Report: Devils own ground game in dominant win

TEMPE, Ariz. — Run and stop the run.

Arizona State did both in a 53-24 win against No. 20 Washington in front of 60,057 at Sun Devil Stadium Saturday.

Marion Grice passed the century mark for the first time this season, rushing for a career-best 158 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor Kelly added two rushing scores as well. He finished with a season-high 84 yards. As a team, the Sun Devils gained 317 yards on the ground, the fourth-most in the past 18 seasons.

Defensively, ASU allowed -5 yards rushing and held the nation’s leading running back, Bishop Sankey (149.8 yards per game) to 22 yards on 13 carries.

Washington jumped in front 7-0, scoring on its opening drive. It would not score again the rest of the half as the Sun Devil defense forced the Huskies to punt on their next seven possessions. The offense did its part with 29 unanswered points, including a pair of Kelly touchdown passes.

The 53 points were the most ever scored by ASU against Washington, and the win improved the Sun Devils to 5-0 at home and 9-2 since head coach Todd Graham arrived in Tempe.


With three scores — two rushing and one receiving — Grice now has 18 touchdowns on the year. He entered the game leading the nation in scoring at 15.0 points per game.

Freshman kicker Zane Gonzalez made four field goals, extending his streak of consecutive makes to 11. He is 15-of-18 overall.


ASU reached into its bag of tricks twice in the first half, and perhaps the bag is where they should remain. On the first play, on which 75 percent of the offensive unit stayed in its stance, Kelly was intercepted by Marcus Peters who had inside position on Jaelen Strong. The second play, a version of the fumblerooski, resulted in Cameron Smith being tackled for a four-yard loss.


ASU answered both Washington scoring drives in the third quarter and sealed the win four seconds into the fourth when Grice scored from a yard out to make the score 46-17 in favor of the Sun Devils.


The Sun Devils defense. The entire unit not only stopped the run but pressured quarterback Keith Price all game long, recording a season-high seven sacks. Redshirt freshman linebacker Salamo Fiso led the way with two sacks while Carl Bradford, Davon Coleman, Gannon Conway, Anthony Jones and Will Sutton each had one.


Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott attended the game as did representatives from both the Alamo Bowl and Sun Bowl. There were NFL scouts from five teams: Cardinals, Jaguars, Saints, Texans and Vikings.


“The key to this game was stopping 25 (Bishop Sankey) and that’s what we did.” — ASU defensive tackle Will Sutton


ASU (5-2, 3-1) is off next weekend. The Sun Devils will return to action with a road trip to Washington State on Thursday, October 31. The game is scheduled to kick-off at 7:30 p.m. with television on ESPN; and of course the Sun Devils’ flagship station Arizona Sports 620 with pregame coverage starting at 5:30 p.m.