This past summer, Arizona State head coach Todd Graham told the media that this year’s Sun Devil’s team was the best he had ever coached and developed.
He’s probably got a good case to make after watching his No. 12 ASU team move to 10-2 on the season by crushing rival Arizona, 58-21, on Saturday night in Tempe.
The Sun Devils jumped out to a 27-0 lead on the Wildcats (7-5) and, except for a brief span early in the third quarter, the outcome was never in doubt from that point on.
Taylor Kelly passed for 274 yards and two touchdowns and D.J. Foster rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns to lead ASU. Receiver Jaelen Strong had a game-high 142 receiving yards and moved his season totals to 69 catches for 1,067 and seven scores, making him a strong candidate for Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year.
Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker struggled against ASU, throwing three interceptions while completing just 50 percent of his passes. He did have 87 rushing yards, adding to tailback Ka’Deem Carey’s 157 yards on 32 carries, the tailback’s 15th-straight 100-yard game.
But ASU was too much for Arizona tonight. For all the talk of Oregon and Stanford at the start of the year, UCLA in the middle and USC toward the end, it is ASU who might be the hottest team in the league right now and Graham who might be its Coach of the Year.
And we’ll know just how good this team is when it hosts No. 8 Stanford in next weekend’s Pac-12 title game.