As for as road Pac-12 openers go, they don’t get much easier than the one Arizona State encountered Saturday night in Boulder.
Facing a Colorado program that has only four conference wins since joining the Pac-12 back in 2012, the Sun Devils did exactly what they were supposed to do: turn a golden opportunity on paper into a win on the field.
Taylor Kelly threw for 195 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for another, D.J. Foster amassed 207 total yards to go along with two scores and Jordan Simone forced two turnovers as ASU did just that — with a 38-24 victory over Colorado.
Here’s a look back at the double-digit triumph by the numbers:
ASU held Colorado scoreless over the first 15 minutes of play.
Under Todd Graham, the Sun Devils are 15-1 when blanking their opponent in the opening quarter.
Kelly landed awkwardly following a four-yard run late in the third quarter and was held out for the final 15 minutes due to a right foot injury.
Wideout Jaelen Strong corralled his ninth career touchdown on a one-yard strike from Kelly in the opening minutes of the third quarter.
Of his nine scores, six have come in games played outside of Tempe.
D.J. Foster’s first quarter touchdown run marked the junior tailback’s eighth straight game reaching the end zone — a span dating back to Nov. 9, 2013 at Utah.
Foster’s 15-yard score also capped off ASU’s first touchdown drive of the season to last more than three minutes.
Antonio Longino made his first career start in the win. Playing the Devilbacker position, Longino recorded 10 total tackles, two tackles for a loss and a 16-yard sack.
In 30 games under Graham, the Sun Devils have scored first 24 times.
Of those 24 occurrences, ASU has gone on to win 19 times.
Freshman Kalen Ballage, a Falcon, Co. native, enjoyed his homecoming at Folsom Field.
The former Falcon High standout scored his third touchdown of the season on ASU’s second offensive series — a 36-yard screen pass from Taylor Kelly.
On the play, Ballage ran through just about everyone, including offensive lineman Nick Kelly.
Simone, a former walk-on who wears No. 38, had arguably his finest game in a Sun Devils’ uniform — intercepting a Sefo Liufau pass in the first quarter and forcing a fumble to set up ASU’s third touchdown late in the second quarter.
The Sun Devils added to their NCAA-high rushing plays over 40 yards total with a 52-yard run by Foster and a 50-yard touchdown by Kelly in the third quarter.
On the season, ASU already has six such plays.
ASU has allowed 61 total points through its first three games on the schedule. Of those 61 points, 28 have come during the second quarter — 45.9 percent of the opposing team’s point production.
In his first three games, Foster has accumulated 650 yards from scrimmage — most by any position player in the conference.