STANFORD, Calif.—The reigning Pac-12 Champion proved to be a formidable opponent as the Stanford Cardinal (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12) rolled to a 42-28 victory over the Sun Devils, Saturday, in Stanford, Calif.
Arizona State (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) outscored the Cardinal 28-13 in the second half, but it was not enough to overcome a 29-point first-half deficit.
Coming out reinvigorated in the second half after Stanford scored 29 of its 42 points in the first half, Arizona State scored its first touchdown of the game on a direct snap (a.k.a pitchfork snap) to running back Marion Grice. Grice carried the ball two yards into the end zone to put the Sun Devils on the board after moving 75 yards down the field in less than two minutes.
Stepping up the defensive pressure on the following Stanford possession, defensive back Robert Nelson intercepted Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan. Nelson would return the ball eight yards on Hogan’s second pick of the season.
The Sun Devils would strike again to start the fourth quarter on a 45-yard pass from quarterback Taylor Kelly to Chris Coyle for the tight end’s first reception of the day.
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Jaelen Strong, who racked-up a career-high 168 yards and 12 catches in the match-up, narrowed the scoring deficit with a 27-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinal’s offense was proficient in the first half, scoring four touchdowns on an average of two and a half minutes per possession. Stanford made the first strike in the game going up 7-0, at the 9:08 minute-mark of the first quarter and continued to click offensively throughout the half.