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ASU offense displays versatility in rout of Washington

Arizona State head coach Todd Graham often makes a point of saying he “doesn’t lose any sleep” over concerns about his offense.

The Sun Devils showed why on Saturday.

ASU racked up 585 yards of offense while hanging 53 points on Washington at Sun Devil Stadium, dominating a team that allows an average of 378 yards and 24.6 points per game.

The Sun Devils have scored more than 50 points in each of their last three Pac-12 games — 62 against USC, 54 against Colorado and 53 against the Huskies. And while ASU’s lowest point total of the year came in a 42-28 loss to Stanford, the Sun Devils’ 28 points are the most the Cardinal has allowed this season.

“They execute a great system that’s designed for them,” Graham said, “but players are the ones who make plays.”

Both quarterback Taylor Kelly and running back Marion Grice set career-highs in rushing yards (84 for Kelly, 158 for Grice) as the Sun Devils racked up 314 yards on the ground. Kelly added two touchdown passes on 26-of-42 passing, and seven different ASU players recorded a catch. Three of those receivers had a catch go for more than 20 yards.

“We’re very explosive,” Kelly said. “It’s pick your poison with us. It’s hard for a defense to stop everything. If they take someone away, I’ll go to the next guy. If they want to stop the pass, we’ll run the ball.”

Senior receiver Kevin Ozier led Arizona State with eight catches for 88 yards while filling in for the Sun Devils’ leading receiver, Jaelen Strong, who was sidelined for much of the game after rolling an ankle.

“When someone goes down, the next guy has to step up,” Ozier said. “That’s what I did.”

Ozier’s next-man-up mentality is a large part of what makes ASU’s offense so dangerous. As Kelly alluded to, the Sun Devils have no problem turning to the next option when someone isn’t available, whether because of injury of a defensive scheme.

And that mindset is why Graham can rest easily when the Sun Devils’ offense enters his mind.

“We don’t turn it over … we don’t have negative plays,” Graham said. “We’re going to score.”