NCAA Game Summary - Navy vs. Arizona State|
(Saturday, December 29th)
Final Score: Arizona State 62, Navy 28
San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Taylor Kelly threw four touchdown passes
and ran for another as Arizona State won the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl with a
dominating 62-28 victory over Navy at AT&T Park.
Kelly was nearly flawless in directing an Arizona State offense that was
nearly unstoppable, with the Sun Devils piling up 648 total yards and scoring
touchdowns on each of their first nine possessions. ASU wasn't stopped until
giving the ball away on downs early in the fourth quarter with the outcome
The sophomore quarterback completed 17-of-19 passes for 268 yards, while
adding 81 more on the ground on seven attempts to help give Arizona State
(8-5) its first bowl victory since 2005.
The win also enabled the Sun Devils to close out the season on a three-game
win streak that included a come-from-behind triumph over rival Arizona. It's
the first time since 1978 in which Arizona State has bested the Wildcats and
won a bowl game in the same season.
"This win means a lot - 1978 is a long time," said wide receiver Rashad Ross,
who hauled in three of Kelly's scoring tosses and amassed a a career-high 139
yards on four catches. "I'm just glad to be on this team, the team that
finally did it."
The Sun Devils also got two touchdowns each from running backs Marion Grice
and Cameron Marshall, with Grice finishing with 159 yards on just 14
"Obviously, I'm very proud of our football team," said Sun Devils head coach
Todd Graham. "We were one play from playing in the Pac-12 Championship. The
guys have come an awful long way."
Gee Gee Greene and Chris Swain were the lone bright spots on an otherwise
dreadful day for Navy (8-5), which had won seven of its last eight games
coming in. Greene rushed for 112 yards on 12 totes and returned a kickoff 95
yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, with Swain amassing 93 yards and
a touchdown on four carries in the loss.
Arizona State began its offensive barrage by marching 75 yards in eight plays
on the game's initial series, with Grice accumulating 37 yards on three
consecutive rushes before Kelly hit Ross on a 16-yard slant route to put the
Sun Devils ahead just 2:17 in.
It was a sign of things to come.
After forcing a quick three-and-out, Arizona State got on the scoreboard again
on Grice's 10-yard run near the midway point of the first quarter. The 8-play,
60-yard sequence was highlighted by Kelly's 20-yard keeper and an 8-yard pass
to DJ Foster on 3rd-and-7 that kept the chains moving and placed the Sun
Devils in the red zone.
Navy would move into Arizona State territory on the ensuing series before
turning the ball over on downs, then allowed the Sun Devils to find the end
zone again before the opening quarter came to a close. A 14-yard catch-and-run
by Grice on 3rd-and-6 put the ball on the Middies' 2, and Kelly crossed the
goal line on an option read two plays later for a 21-0 ASU advantage.
"We couldn't stop them," Navy linebacker Brye French said. "Everything that
they would try, they just dominated us in basically every aspect of the game.
It was very frustrating, but you have to give them credit. They had a great
game plan. They executed on everything. They had the deep ball, they had the
run, they had the short pass."
The Midshipmen finally generated something positive on their next touch,
churning out 84 yards in an 11-play sequence that featured a 36-yard run by
Swain to the Sun Devils' 18. Shortly afterward, quarterback Keenan Reynolds
side-stepped a blitzing defender and fired a 3-yard bullet to Matt Aiken that
gave Navy its first points with 9:24 remaining in the half.
Arizona State needed just five plays and 1:21 to respond, though. Jamal Miles
gave the Sun Devils excellent field position with a 41-yard return of the
subsequent kickoff, and three straight Kelly completions capped by a 10-yard
delivery to Alonzo Agwuenu extended the margin to 28-7.
Navy got inside the ASU 10-yard line on the following possession, but the
drive would stall and come up empty when Nick Sloan pushed a 33-yard field
goal attempt wide right. The Sun Devils capitalized just 19 seconds afterward,
with Kelly and Ross connecting on a 52-yard score with 55 seconds left before
intermission. Alex Garoutte missed the point-after try after a bad exchange,
leaving the score at 34-7 entering the break.
Robert Nelson intercepted Reynolds on the second play from scrimmage of the
third quarter, setting up another deep strike from Kelly to Ross that resulted
in seven points. This one, from 50 yards out, came just 1:36 into the second
The Sun Devils were pinned deep in their own end the next time they had the
ball, but again Navy couldn't come up with a stop. Six of ASU's first seven
plays on its 93-yard jaunt went for 10 yards or more, with Marshall's 1-yard
plunge into the end zone concluding the series and lengthening the lead to
48-7 with 6:24 to go in the third quarter.
Greene found a seam on the following kickoff and outraced the coverage team
for a 95-yard score, but Arizona State had a quick response once more. The Sun
Devils needed just three plays and 46 seconds to put together an eighth
straight touchdown march, with Grice breaking off a 39-yard run to make the
Less than two minutes later, Marshall came through with a 33-yard touchdown
scamper right after Miles took a punt back 37 yards deep into Navy territory.
Navy would put up a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the
outcome a little less lopsided. Swain got loose for a 46-yard run and reserve
quarterback Trey Miller threw a 23-yard scoring pass to Brandon Turner with
5:16 remaining, following Arizona State's lone turnover of the day.
Arizona State had lost three straight postseason games since posting a 45-40
victory over Rutgers in the 2005 Insight Bowl ... Sun Devils tight end Chris
Coyle finished with four catches for 37 yards to set a program record for
receptions in a season at the position (57), surpassing Zach Miller's old mark
by one ... Grice ends the season with 19 total touchdowns, 11 rushing and
eight receiving ... The Sun Devils outscored the opposition by a 145-63 margin
in the first quarter for the year ... Navy has now lost five of its last six
bowls and is 1-1 all-time in this game, having defeated New Mexico in 2004
when it was then known as the Emerald Bowl ... Graham improved to 4-1 in
bowls for his career.
12/29 23:30:37 ET