Arizona State is 72-27-2 all-time in season openers, including victories in 10 straight, all coming at home. ASU holds an all-time mark of 55-15-1 when opening the season at home and hasn’t lost a home opener since 1998 to Washington. Head Coach Todd Graham is 6-2 in season opening games in his seven years as a collegiate coach.
SHUT THEM DOWN, SHUT THEM OUT
ASU’s 55-0 victory is its first non-conference shutout at home in 17 years. The last time it happened came against No. 1 ranked Nebraska on Sept. 21, 1996. The last time they shut out an opponent at home came Oct. 30, 2010 against Washington St.
ON THE HORNETS AND THE BIG SKY
With the win, the Sun Devils nabbed the victory in the first-ever meeting between ASU and Sacramento State. The Hornets are a member of the Big Sky Conference and are a FCS football institution. ASU now is a winner in 20-straight games against Big Sky opponents.
KEEP ‘EM COMING
The Sun Devils now have captured four-straight victories dating back to last season. ASU finished the 2012 season with three straight wins for the first time since 1978 and beat Arizona and won the ensuing bowl game for the first time since 2005.
WIN EARLY, WIN OFTEN
The Sun Devils are 8-0 when shutting out their opponent in the first quarter under second-year Head Coach Todd Graham. ASU also has outscored opponents 159-69 in the first quarter under Graham’s leadership.
Arizona State once again got on the scoreboard first, this time with a 15-yard pass from Taylor Kelly to De’Marieya Nelson. The Sun Devils’ first drive of the season was 11 plays going 80 yards, taking 3:24 off the game clock.
SPREADING THE ROCK
Taylor Kelly began his season by throwing his first five touchdown passes to five different receivers.
WINNING BY WAY OF TKO (TAYLOR KELLY OFFENSE)
Taylor Kelly tied his career high of five touchdown passes in a single game with 2:16 remaining…in the first half. Dating back to the final three games of the 2013 season, Kelly has gone 76-of-102 (.745) with 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions on 1,005 yards since the Washington State game last season.
NOT SO HARD AFTER ALL
Tight end De’Marieya Nelson’s 15-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter was the first-career reception for the freshman. Wide receiver Jaelen Strong also caught his first touchdown pass of his Sun Devil career, his coming on an outstretched 24-yard grab in which the defense was called for pass interference against him.
EXPLOSIVE PLAY COUNTER
The Sun Devils collected six explosive plays (15+ rush, 20+ pass) in the season opener:
BETTER SUITED FOR HANDKERCHIEFS
ASU went the entirety of the first half without committing a penalty and only committed one penalty for five yards coming on a delay of game in the third quarter. This marked the lowest single-game total since playing Illinois last season on Sept. 8, 2012. Last year, ASU had just 55 penalties for 454 yards and led the Pac-12 and finished eighth in the nation with just 34.92 penalty yards per game.
A SUTTON IMPACT
After briefly going down early in the game, Will Sutton bounced back to grab a loose ball and his first fumble recovery of the season. He finished the game with two tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss.
STILL NOT PLAYING COY
Tight end Chris Coyle picked up where he left off from last year, with the highlight of his night coming on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Kelly. He finished the night with 48 yards on two receptions. Last season, Coyle finished with five touchdown grabs and finished third in the nation in tight end receptions per game with 4.38.
On Robert Nelson’s 33-yard field goal block on Sacramento State’s first possession, he became the first Sun Devil to block a field goal since LeQuan Lewis against Cal on Oct. 23, 2010.
INZANE, ISN’T IT?
Freshman place kicker Zane Gonzalez knocked through his first field goal as a Sun Devil, booting it 40 yards through the uprights 3:54 into the second half.
GRANDY MAN CAN
Grandville Taylor grabbed his first collegiate interception off a Garrett Safron pass early in the third quarter. He returned the pick 67 yards and came up yards short of finding the end zone.
LIGHT ‘EM UP
ASU scored 108 total points in its first two contests last season. After dropping 55 points on Sacramento State, they are more than halfway there to duplicating that number.
After scoring 55 points in its opener, ASU now has averaged 51 points in its last four games dating back to last season.