Relive the 2013 regular season as we spend the next 13 days counting down toward the team’s departure to San Diego. Every day, from Dec. 12 through Dec. 24, we will take a unique look back at all 13 games this year. Visit thesundevils.com as well as all of Sun Devil Athletics’ social media outlets daily.
Defense Key To Home Victory Over No. 20 Washington
Arizona State 53, Washington 24
Oct. 19, 2013, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
Arizona State’s run defense was supposed to be weak, unable to stop much of anyone, much less the nation’s leading rusher.
Clogging lanes and jumping into the backfield on seemingly every play, ASU swarmed Washington’s Bishop Sankey while dominating both sides of the ball in a 53-24 victory over the 20th-ranked Huskies on Saturday.
The big knock on the Sun Devils’ defense under coach Todd Graham was that it couldn’t stop the run. The Sun Devils had trouble with it for most of the 2012 season and had similar issues in losses this season to power-running programs Stanford and Notre Dame.
Facing Sankey was supposed to be their most daunting task yet. The junior came in leading the nation at nearly 150 yards per game and appears to be well on his way to shattering nearly all of Washington’s season rushing records.
The Sun Devils flipped the tables on Sankey with a dominating defensive performance, holding him to 22 yards on 13 carries. ASU kept Washington to minus-5 yards on 25 carries -- matching the second-fewest ASU has allowed since 1996 – and limited the nation’s eighth-best offense to 212 total yards.
The Huskies were worried about Taylor Kelly’s legs as much as his arm and Arizona State’s quarterback still hurt them with both. He threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 84 yards and two more scores.
Running back Marion Grice did what he does best, scoring three touchdowns -- that’s 18 already this season -- while running for 161 yards on 22 carries. The nation’s leading scorer had two touchdown runs in the fourth quarter and had a spectacular catch that triggered Arizona State’s26-point second quarter.
Washington running back Bishop Sankey, an eventual Doak Walker Award finalist, came into the game at Sun Devil Stadium as the nation’s leading rusher before ASU’s defense held him to just 22 rushing yards.
True freshman kicker Zane Gonzalez connected on a career-high four field goals, including a long of 36 yards, to become just the fifth kicker in school history to make a quartet of field goals in one game.