Share “Arizona State rolls to 45-14 victory over...”

Arizona State rolls to 45-14 victory over Illinois

Associated Press Modified: September 9, 2012 at 2:20 am •  Published: September 9, 2012

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Todd Graham wants his team to play fast, score points and make few mistakes.

So far, so good for the first-year Arizona State coach.

Taylor Kelly completed 18 of 24 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown, and the Sun Devils rolled past Illinois 45-14 on Saturday night to improve to 2-0 with Graham at the helm.

"I want to put a product on the field that's exciting to watch," Graham said. "We are exciting to watch, but we're just beginning."

Kelly's backup, Michael Eubank, was 5 of 5 passing for 69 yards and two touchdowns and ran 7 yards for a score.

"They're a very good 1-2 punch," Graham said, "very tough to handle."

Chris Coyle matched a school record for tight ends with 10 catches, totaling 131 yards and two scores. He caught six passes for 73 yards all of last season.

"It was a great night tonight," Coyle said. "I just tried to catch everything they threw my way. Both of these guys had a lot of passes to me. I just tried to make as many plays as possible. I was happy to get in the end zone the couple of times I did. It was just a really good night for me."

Illinois (1-1) was without quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase because of an ankle injury, but the Illini's biggest problem was on defense, especially against the pass.

While the team missed Scheelhaase, Illinois coach Tim Beckman said "that's not the total reason" for the loss.

"That's not the reason we didn't cover receivers, missing tackles and throwing interceptions and all that stuff," he said. "It's about a team and it's about 22 guys playing."

Illinois joined Nebraska (to UCLA) and Wisconsin (to Oregon State) as Big Ten teams to lose at Pac-12 schools on Saturday. Beckman got his first loss as Illini coach after directing the team to a win in the Fight Hunger Bowl last season and last week's season opener against Western Michigan.

Arizona State (2-0) could have won even bigger but fumbled the ball away twice inside the Illinois 10. The Sun Devils, who gained a reputation as undisciplined and penalty-prone under former coach Dennis Erickson, were penalized once for 5 yards, and that was an intentional delay of game to set up a punt.

Freshman Carlos Mendoza had two interceptions for Arizona State, which was without linebacker Brandon Magee because of a concussion.

Josh Ferguson rushed for 101 yards in 14 carries for the Illini, 51 of them on one carry. The Sun Devils rolled up 510 yards to 332 for Illinois.

Scheelhaase, a junior who has started 27 games, was a game-time decision after injuring an ankle in last week's season opener.

Both of his replacements, Reilly O'Toole and Miles Osei, had their struggles, but neither plays defense, where the lion's share of the blame rests.

The Sun Devils scored touchdowns on four of their six first-half possessions. It was almost five TDs, but Cameron Marshall lost a fumble at the Illinois 1.

Arizona State completed its first 14 passes, 10 by Kelly and four by Eubank. The two quarterbacks combined to complete 16 of 18 passes to an array of wide-open receivers in the first half, building a 28-7 lead.

Coyle had seven catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

The Sun Devils took the opening kickoff and quickly drove from their 31-yard line to the Illini 3. But on first-and-goal, Marshall fumbled, and Patrick Nixon-Youman recovered at the Illini 1.

Illinois moved the ball to its 24 before being forced to punt, and Arizona State bolted downfield on offense again. Kelly had passes of 20 yards to Coyle and 23 to D.J. Foster in an eight-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Kelly threw 5 yards to Ozier for the touchdown to make it 7-0.

A second delay-of-game penalty on O'Toole and an Illinois three-and-out followed, then Arizona State zipped to another score. Kelly had passes of 19 and 30 yards to Coyle, and Marshall scored on a 2-yard run to make it 14-0 with 1:32 left in the first quarter.

Osei replaced O'Toole and directed an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive. Donovonn Young's 14-yard scoring run cut the lead to 14-7. But the Illini could not slow down, let alone stop, the Sun Devils.

Eubank, Arizona State's touted redshirt freshman, came in and led a seven-play, 84-yard scoring drive that took just 2:29. He threw a 1-yard pass to Coyle for the touchdown to make it 21-7.

Then things fell apart for Osei. His ill-advised pass was picked off by Mendoza at the Illinois 46. Four plays later, after Kelly threw 41 yards to Jamal Miles, Eubank tossed 3 yards to Coyle for another score, and the Sun Devils were up 28-7. Mendoza picked off Osei again on Illinois' next possession, and the Illini went back to O'Toole.

On the second play following the second-half kickoff, O'Toole's pass was intercepted by Alonzo Agwuenu, who returned it 34 yards to the Illinois 13. Kelly threw 12 yards to Foster, then Foster scored on a 1-yard run, and it was 35-7 just 1 minute, 15 seconds into the third quarter.

With their 63-6 victory over Northern Arizona a week ago, the Sun Devils have outscored their opponents 108-20 in their first two games under Graham.


  1. 1
    Explosions rock north Tulsa residential area
  2. 2
    Claremore hospital fires doctor who authorities say threatened officer after DUI arrest
  3. 3
    Former Arrow Trucking CEO sentenced to 7.5 years in prison
  4. 4
    George Kaiser Family Foundation donates $10 million in land in Tulsa
  5. 5
    Tom Petty Reveals ‘90s-Era Heroin Addiction in New Biography
+ show more


× Trending sports Article