Conference Bragging Rights
Arizona State won the Pac-12 South with a 10-2 (8-1 Pac-12) record and earned the right to host the Pac-12 Championship game at home in Sun Devil Stadium. The Pac-12 Championship is in its third year of its existence and this was ASU’s first time on the grand stage.
ASU finished with eight wins over conference opponents this year, matching the school record set in 1996 (8-0).
Against the Cardinals
With the loss, Arizona State dropped to 16-13 all-time against Stanford and 10-5 against them at home. The Sun Devils have dropped their last four games between these two teams.
Protect This House
ASU finished 7-1 at home in Sun Devil Stadium/Frank Kush Field in 2013. The last time it went undefeated at home came in 2004 with a 6-0 record but fell just short of the mark this year after dropping its conference championship.
Foster the People
D.J. Foster took a 51-yard run to the house in the first quarter to tie the game at seven apiece. The run was the longest of his career. His previous long was 29 yards. A dynamic player, Foster also notched a 65-yard touchdown reception that sent him scampering past defenders by the ASU sideline and into the end zone.
One for the Record Books
D.J. Foster’s 65-yard touchdown reception which sent him scampering down the ASU sideline and into the end zone set a new Pac-12 Football Championship Game record for longest passing play. The previous record of a 37-yard touchdown pass from UCLA’s Kevin Prince to Nelson Rosario was shattered on the play.
In the Midst of the Giving Mood
The Sun Devils have forced a turnover in 26-straight games, including one or more in all 26 games under Coach Graham’s helm. They are second in the country among FBS schools for the longest active streak, trailing only Missouri. They came into the game third in this category, but jumped Stanford as the Cardinals failed to get a turnover from ASU.
Chris Young had eight tackles, including a sack and four tackles for loss, as he for the fourth-straight game led ASU in that category. Young, a senior, has led the team in tackles in seven out of 13 games this season. He also forced his second fumble of the season and now has 16.5 tackles for loss in 2013 and 7.5 sacks.
A Point-Scoring Machine
Zane Gonzalez has 126 points on the season, second in ASU history only to Wilford White’s 136 in 1950. Gonzalez’s 126 points also puts him first in points by kicking in a single season for a Sun Devil, breaking the previous record of 118 set by Thomas Weber (2007) and Mike Barth (2002). Gonzalez has made 22 field goals and 60 extra points thus far this season.
Start Strong…Finish Strong
Arizona State scored seven points against Stanford in the first quarter Saturday, but gave up 14 to the Cardinals. That mark was the most the Devils have given up in a first quarter this season. The Sun Devils are still outscoring opponents 272-126 in the first quarter under Todd Graham, and 124-57 in the first quarter this season. Also telling, it has outscored opponents 261-135 in the fourth quarter since Graham took over at ASU and 129-79 this year. Stanford won the fourth quarter, too, 7-0.
Make ‘Em Pay
So far in 2013, Arizona State is outscoring opponents 136-52 in points off turnovers while posting a +14 turnover margin, which leads the Pac-12. It has put points on the board following 74.2 percent of opponent turnovers (23-of-31) compared to opponents scoring just 35.3 percent (6-of-17) of the time off ASU turnovers. It has 17 touchdowns this season off of 31 turnovers, aided by five interceptions returned for touchdowns.
The Force is Strong
This season, 46 of Jaelen Strong’s receptions have gone for first downs out of 65 total catches that he has (70.1 percent). Last season, ASU’s leading wide receiver in first downs only amassed 28 in the entirety of 2012.
ASU now has 134 (80 passing, 54 rushing) explosive plays this season after getting four Saturday night. Jaelen Strong now has 29 explosive plays on the season, notable because both Rashad Ross and D.J. Foster led the team in 2012 with only 18. Todd Graham constitutes an explosive play as either a reception of 16+ yards or a rush of 12+ yards.
Packing the House
A total of 69,535 people packed Sun Devil Stadium Saturday night for the Pac-12 Championship game, a Pac-12 Championship game record.