The No.19 Arizona State Sun Devils kicked off their 2014 campaign with a 45-14 win over the Weber State Wildcats on Thursday night in front of a season-opening record 9,800 students at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
The Sun Devils (1-0) offense was rolling on all cylinders as it scorws 31 points in the first half alone. Sophomore kicker Zane Gonzalez opened the scoring with a 33-yard field goal midway through the first quarter, and it was all ASU after that.
Redshirt senior quarterback Taylor Kelly completed 18-of-27 passes for 238 yards, putting him fourth on ASU’s career passing list with 6,943 yards. Kelly’s performance allowed him to surpass Sun Devil legend Danny White’ 6,717 yards and Arizona high school great Ryan Kealy’s 6,912 yards. Kelly also managed to rush for 14 yards on three attempts.
The end zone was not an unfamiliar place for junior running back D.J. Foster as he crossed the goal line three times and rushed for 147 yards, putting him over the coveted 1,000-yard mark at 1,141 career rushing yards. Foster’s third touchdown run, halfway through the third quarter, was a career-long 57 yards.
Redshirt junior wide receiver Jaelen Strong led the way in receiving with 10 catches for 146 yards, including a game-high 35-yard reception.
Youth did not phase the Sun Devil defense as they held Weber State (0-1) to 156 yards passing and 152 yards rushing, all while playing six first-time starters. ASU also made an impressive goal-line stand early in the second quarter when Wildcats failed to convert on fourth down from the one-yard line.
Redshirt sophomore linebacker Salamo Fiso was the top performer on the defensive side for the Sun Devils as he recorded seven tackles, including one sack, and redshirt senior safety Damarious Randall contributed six solo tackles to the effort as well.
The introduction to the season proved to be an opportunity of “firsts” for the Sun Devils. Redshirt junior wide receiver Gary Chambers caught an eight-yard pass from Kelly, scoring not only the team’s first touchdown of the season, but making his first career catch as well. Redshirt junior quarterback Mike Bercovici connected with redshirt freshman wide receiver Ellis Jefferson on a 15-yard touchdown pass as the two both scored their first career touchdowns.
The Wildcats did mange to get on the scoreboard when quarterback Billy Green threw a 19-yard pass to wide receiver Shaydon Kehano halfway into the third quarter. Running back Zach Smith added another touchdown with a 60-yard run late in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.
The Sun Devils next contest comes on Saturday, Sept. 6 against the New Mexico Lobos in Albuquerque, N.M. Kickoff is set 4:00 p.m. and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.