By Eric Smith for DieHardDevil.com
One thing that can not be over-stated is that, in a single season, the 2012 Sun Devils established a new identity for the ASU Football program.
Here is a snap-shot of ASU’s 13 performances. As we look forward to a big 2013, these serve as reminder’s of the game-to-game trends that evolved into an 8-5 campaign under first year head coach, Todd Graham. Can this years team solidify ASU’s identity and push it a step further up the hill?
Aug. 30, 2012 vs. NAU: W 63-6
- Marion Grice led all rushers with 107 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns
- The Sun Devils rushed for a combined 305 yards on 51 attempts (5.98 per attempt)
- Taylor Kelly made his first career start going 15-19 for 247 yards and one touchdown.
- Kelly also rushed six times for 43 yards.
- Brandon Magee made two tackles and one interception, which he returned 45 yards for a touchdown. It was his first and only career pick six.
- ASU allowed 237 total yards (88 rushing, 149 passing)
Sept. 8, 2012 vs. Illinois: W 45-14
- The Sun Devils forced three interceptions, two from freshman linebacker Carlos Mendoza.
- A shoulder injury would end Mendoza’s season against the Illini
- QB Michael Eubank threw five passes completing all of them for 69 yards and tossing two touchdowns.
- Eubank also ran seven times for 51 yards and another score.
- TE Chris Coyle hauled in 10 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
- ASU sacked Illinois six times for 35 yards.
- ASU racked up 510 total yards of offense, (192 rush, 318 pass)
Sept. 15, 2012 @ Missouri: L 20-24
- Taylor Kelly was 14 for 23 passing for 178 with one touchdown and two interceptions.
- Kelly had a team-high 15 rushes for 59 yards.
- The Sun Devils were held to 113 yards rushing, their second lowest total of the season.
- LB Brandon Magee recorded his second interception in three games.
- Magee led all Sun Devils with 12 total tackles.
- ASU controlled time of possession, holding the ball the ball for 34:51 to Missouri’s 25:09
- The Sun Devils were lights-out on third down, allowing Missouri to convert only twice in 12 attempts.
Sept. 22, 2012 vs. Utah: W 37-7
- Utah’s two-time 1,000 yard rusher, John White, was shut down by ASU’s defense, gaining only 18 net yards on 14 carries.
- ASU’s defense allowed only 129 yards of total offense.
- The defense only allowed two drives of more than 26 yards.
- 21 of ASU’s 37 points came in the first quarter.
- QB Taylor Kelly threw 326 yards on 19 completions as well as three touchdowns and one interception.
- RB D.J. Foster rushed a team-high seven times and 70 yards as well as catching one pass for 26 yards.
- LB Brandon Magee had a game-high 10 tackles as well as a forced fumble that he recovered.
Sept. 29, 2012 @ Cal: W 27-17
- ASU sacked Cal QB Zach Maynard seven times, tied for the most in a game all-season
- DT Will Sutton and DE Junior Onyeali combined for five of the seven sacks.
- The Sun Devil offense ran a whopping 94 offensive plays for 409 yards.
- Of those 94 plays, ASU ran the ball 48 times (51%) but only gained 116 yards (2.4 yards per rush) and didn’t score a rushing touchdown.
- K Alex Garoutte had a rough day going 2 for 5 on field goals, one of which was blocked.
- ASU fumbled the ball three times but didn’t lose any of them.
- WR Kevin Ozier caught three passes for 41 yards and two touchdowns.
Oct. 11, 2012 @ Colorado: W 51-17
- The Sun Devils put on their second-best offensive performance of the year with 593 yards of offense (261 rush, 332 pass)
- Taylor Kelly passed for 308 yards on 20-28 passing and tossed five touchdowns.
- RB Marion Grice did most of his damage as a receiver, catching five passes for 101 yards and three touchdowns.
- RB Cameron Marshall rumbled for 98 yards on 13 carries.
- RB D.J. Foster led the team with 132 all-purpose yards (61 rush, 71 receiving)
- LB Brandon Magee made a game-high nine solo tackles as well as sacking Colorado QB Jordan Webb twice
- DT Will Sutton also chipped in two sacks.
Oct 18, 2012 vs. No. 2 Oregon: L 21-43
- ASU scored on its very first offensive play, a 28-yard strike from QB Taylor Kelly to WR Kevin Ozier.
- The Sun Devil defense was gashed for a season-high 406 rushing yards.
- ASU suffered demoralizing injuries to DT Will Sutton and DE Junior Onyeali in the first quarter.
- The Sun Devil defnese gave up touchdown runs of 71 and 86 yards.
- QB Taylor Kelly was 10 of 18 passing for 93 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He was also sacked five times.
- QB Michael Eubank didn’t fare much better, going 10 for 19 passing for 123 yards, one touchdown and two picks.
- S Alden Darby led ASU in tackles with 12.
- The Sun Devils outscored Oregon 14-0 in the second half but it was too little too late by then.
Oct. 26, 2012 vs. UCLA: L 43-45
- ASU had trouble containing UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin who had 164 rushing yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns.
- RB D.J. Foster led the Sun Devils in receiving with 107 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. It was his only 100 receiving-yard game.
- Foster also led the team in rushing yards with 61 yards on 13 carries.
- QB Taylor Kelly threw for 315 yards and four scores on 25 for 35 passing with one interception.
- RB Marion Grice caught two touchdowns on six receptions for 69 yards.
- CB Osahon Irabor made nine solo tackles, his most in a game all season.
- The Sun Devils managed to sack UCLA QB Brett Hundley five times but also gave up four sacks on Kelly.
- With 1:33 left, ASU led the Bruins 45-43. Hundley would lead a 12-play, 60-yard drive setting up UCLA to kick a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Nov. 3, 2012 @ No. 13 Oregon State: L 26-36
- DT Will Sutton returned to action.
- QB Taylor Kelly struggled against one of the Pac-12’s best defenses, posting his lowest pass efficiency rating of the season (88.18)
- Kelly was 22-41 for only 153 yards and one touchdown and one interception.
- The defense struggled against the run again, allowing 146 yards on 19 carries to OSU RB Terron Ward.
- However, the defense did manage to sack OSU QB Cody Vaz six times.
- For the third straight game ASU gave up 400+ yards of offense.
- The Sun Devils only converted four third downs on 17 attempts (23%)
- LB Brandon Magee posted another double-digit tackle performance registering 12 total tackles and a sack.
Nov. 10, 2012 @ No. 21 USC: L 17-38
- In a recurring theme, stopping the run was an issue against the Trojans. USC RB Curtis McNeal racked up 163 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries.
- Additionally, USC WR and Biletnikoff Award winner Marquise Lee hauled in 10 catches for 161 yards and a touchdown.
- QB Taylor Kelly was sacked a season-high seven times.
- ASU was held to a season-low 71 rushing yards.
- TE Chris Coyle led all Sun Devil receivers with five catches for 85 yards and a touchdown.
- The Sun Devils turned the ball over four times: one fumble lost and Taylor Kelly threw three interceptions.
Nov. 17, 2012 vs. Washington State: W 46-7
- In four previous games, ASU allowed an average of 250 rushing yards per game. Against WSU, they allowed one.
- QB Taylor Kelly was exceptional, going 20-23 for 246 yards and four touchdowns and an efficiency rating of 234.19.
- WR Rashad Ross snagged eight catches for 79 yards and two scores.
- TE Chris Coyle, had three catches for 53 yards and another two touchdowns.
- ASU’s defene sacked Washington State’s quarterbacks a combined seven times. DE Davon Coleman led the team with two sacks.
- RB Cameron Marshall led all rushers with 77 yards on 16 carries.
- S Keelan Johnson intercepted two passes and returned them for a combined 35 yards.
Nov. 23, 2012 @ Arizona: W 41-34
- The Sun Devils forced four UA turnovers that led to 28 points.
- With ASU leading 34-27 in the fourth quarter Robert Nelson had a critical interception that he returned 66 yards to the Arizona two-yard line setting up a Michael Eubank rushing touchdown.
- ASU had less total yards of offense that UA in the win (460-522)
- RB Marion Grice was named the Bob Moran Game MVP with 18 rushes for 156 yards and three touchdowns.
- S Keelan Johnson had an interception as well as forced a fumble.
- LB Brandon Magee was all over the field making 17 total tackles, 14 solo.
- ASU had seven penalties for 86 yards.
Dec. 29, 2012 vs. Navy: W 62-28
- The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl performance against Navy was by far ASU’s best all year, posting 648 yards of total offense.
- After the tragic shooting death of his brother, RB Marion Grice had a standout rushing performance, racking up 159 yards on 14 carries with two touchdowns.
- QB Taylor Kelly threw for 267 yards on 17-19 passing with four touchdowns.
- WR Rashad Ross had his best game of the season, snagging four passes, three for touchdowns and 139 yards.
- DT Will Sutton chipped in 2.5 sacks, brining his total on the year to 13.
- ASU’s Defense allowed only 37 passing yards but surrendered 313 rushing yards to Navy’s option-style running attack.
- On their 68 offensive plays, the Sun Devils averaged 9.5 yards per play.
We can only imagine the nature of the battle summaries we’ll be reviewing in a year.
With a calendar that includes the Badgers, Cardinal, Trojans and Irish, that new identity formed by last year’s team will be tested about as hard as any college football fan could ask. It is the long, hard road necessary to produce a Championship team. Will that be Todd Graham’s Sun Devils?
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