ASU 2004 Sun Bowl vs Purdue: A Look Back to Look Forward
By Source ASU,
December 13, 2014 12:00 PM
Sophomore QB Sam Keller in his first start - 2004 Sun Bowl

Sophomore QB Sam Keller in his first start – 2004 Sun Bowl


As 9-3 Arizona State prepares for 9-3 Duke in the 2014 Sun Bowl, let’s revisit the Sun Devil’s last trip to El Paso, Texas ten years ago.

#19 ASU (9-3) finished the 2004 season tied with Oregon State for 3rd place in the PAC-10. This garnered an invite to the 71st Annual Sun Bowl where the Sun Devils would square off with the Purdue Boilermakers (7-5) on New Years Eve.



The Sun Bowl Winners - Past 20 Years

The Sun Bowl Winners – Past 20 Years

Sun Devil stand-out QB Andrew Walter, the then all-time Pac-10 leader in TD passes with 85, had separated his right shoulder mid-way through the 4th Qtr in a Territorial Cup loss just weeks earlier. This opened the door for sophomore Sam Keller to prove his worth in his first career start for the Devils.

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 10.22.15 AMKeller delivered, particularly in the second half. He out-dueled Purdue’s Kyle Orton, going 25 of 45 for 370 yards. Orton was 23 of 47 for 281 yards. That day, both signal callers threw 3 TD’s with no interceptions.

Keller’s first came in the 3rd Qtr with a 27-yard strike to Derek Hagen, putting the Devils up 10-9. Hagan, ASU’s all-time leading receiver, pulled in 9 catches for 182 yds.

Keller’s other two TD passes came in the final 6 1/2 minutes of the Sun Bowl. On both he connected with versatile #3, Rudy Burgess, who had a monster game for ASU. The first was a 41-yard catch, putting ASU up 20-16 followed by the game winner with a 19-yard reception for pay dirt with just 44 seconds left on the clock. *Footage courtesy of JediASU below.

Although ASU place kicker Jesse Ainsworth had an off day, he opened all scoring with a 22 yard FG. He also hit from 34 yards early in the 4th Qtr, which proved to be the difference in the game.

Sun Devil #3, Rudy Burgess, with the winning score with 44 seconds left on the clock

Sun Devil #3, Rudy Burgess, with the winning score with 44 seconds left on the clock

The Devils out-gained the Boilermakers on the ground 158 yards to 66, 125 of which came on the heals of Burgess and his 20 carries.

The first half was mostly a sleeper, ending with an ASU 3-2 advantage. But the fireworks started immediately after the break when Purdue’s Kyle Orton threw an 80 yard TD pass on the 1st play of the 2nd half.

Final: ASU Sun Devils 27 – Purdue Boilermakers 23. Todd Graham is looking to avenge last year’s ugly performance in the Holiday Bowl Loss. If he’s successful, the 3-year head coach will have secured his 28th victory with back-to-back 10-win seasons.

Get tickets to this years Bowl Game in El Paso. It’s only a 5-hour drive from Phoenix.





* Here’s ASU’s game winning drive in the 2004 Sun Bowl-


Most Program Appearances – SUN BOWL History

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