PULLMAN, Wash. – The #25 Arizona State Sun Devil football team scored early and often en route to a 55-21 victory over the Washington State Cougars on Halloween in Pullman, Wash.
Taylor Kelly had five touchdowns on 22-of-31 passing for 275 yards while the Sun Devils (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) added 270 yards on the ground to become bowl eligible before November for the first time since 2007 and just the third time this decade.
The Sun Devils scored their most points against a Pac-12 opponent on the road since scoring 56 against Arizona in 1996 while posting their third consecutive game with over 500 yards of total offense (557) in the rout.
ASU limited the Cougars (4-5, 2-4 Pac-12) to two total rushing yards and have held their last three opponents under 100 total rushing yards – the first time the team has done so since 2009.
Following a dominating first half, Arizona State allowed Washington State to drive 74 yards early in the third to climb back within three touchdowns on a Jeremiah Laufasa four-yard touchdown to make things 42-21 but the Sun Devils would shut WSU out from there.
ASU responded with back-to-back drives that utilized fake punts – one for 20 yards by Carl Bradford and another for 19 yards by Alex Garoutte – to score the next 10 points with a 23-yard pass to D.J. Foster for his second touchdown reception of the game followed by a 37-yard Zane Gonzales field goal to jump back ahead, 52-21. Gonzales added one more field goal – his 13th straight - to finalize the ASU tally.
Kelly found four different receivers for touchdowns in the game while also rushing for two touchdowns in the game, accounting for 42 points in the game. Entering the game 14th in the nation in points responsible four, Kelly now has 66 points in his last two games.
The rout was on early for the Sun Devils as they jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter on the heels of Kelly, who rushed for two scores in the first 10 minutes of the game before connecting with Jaelen Strong for a 12-yard touchdown.
ASU had 10 first downs in the first frame, compared to just three for the Cougars while forcing WSU to four three-and-outs in the quarter. ASU is now 13-0 shutting out its opposition in the first quarter and has done so in five of six victories this season.
After allowing a Cougar first down early in the second quarter, ASU responded with 21 unanswered – all of which coming by way of Kelly’s arm. Kelly found Foster, Rick Smith and Chris Coyle before the half was over to extend ASU’s lead to 42-7 before a late Cougar touchdown made it 42-14 heading to the half.
Kelly finished the first half with four touchdown passes on 14-of-18 passing for 193 yards with no interceptions for a gaudy 241.2 quarterback efficiency rating.
ASU will remain on the road next weekend as the team will square of with Utah in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 9 on the Pac-12 networks with a kickoff scheduled for a 2 p.m. kickoff (Arizona Time).