TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Taylor Kelly accounted for 352 yards and four touchdowns, Marion Grice scored three times and Arizona State’s defense bottled up Washington’s Bishop Sankey in a 53-24 win over the 20th-ranked Huskies on Saturday.
Arizona State (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) has struggled against the run the past two seasons and Sankey entered the game as the nation’s leading rusher at nearly 150 yards per game.
The Sun Devils flipped the tables with a dominating defensive performance, limiting Sankey to 22 yards on 13 carries while holding the nation’s eighth-best offense to 212 total yards.
Grice ran for 161 yards and added to his nation-leading scoring total with a spectacular touchdown catch and two more scores on the ground.
Kelly threw for 268 yards and two scores and Zane Gonzalez kicked four field goals in Arizona State’s eighth straight win over Washington (4-3, 1-3).
The Huskies kept it close into the second half in losses to then-No. 5 Stanford and No. 2 Oregon, but were all but finished after being manhandled on both sides of the ball during Arizona State’s 26-point second quarter.
Washington had minus-5 yards rushing on 25 carries and allowed seven sacks as quarterback Keith Price was knocked around all day. The Huskies’ defense didn’t hold up any better, giving up 585 total yards.
Washington appeared to be in good shape at the start, moving 60 yards in 11 plays for a 1-yard touchdown run by Sankey on its opening possession.
It was almost all Arizona State after that.
After settling for Gonzalez’s first field goal in the first quarter, Grice opened the second with a spectacular touchdown, pulling down a one-handed, 15-yard pass while falling along the sideline. Gonzalez followed with two more field goals, Kelly scored on a 1-yard dive and the Sun Devils put together a quick-hitting drive in the final minute of the first half, capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass to Chris Coyle that put them up 29-7.
Good as Arizona State’s offense was, its D was even better.
The Sun Devils clogged up all running lanes against Sankey, meeting him with multiple tacklers often before he even reached the line of scrimmage. He had 11 yards on nine carries at halftime.
Price didn’t do much to offset the Huskies’ ground struggles, getting several passes swatted down early and repeatedly overthrowing receivers while facing constant pressure.
Washington had 74 total yards on 36 plays and went three-and-out six times in the first half after doing it nine times the first six games combined.
The Huskies finally showed some life to start the second half with Kevin Smith catching a pass from Price over the middle and turning it into a 70-yard touchdown.
Turned out to be just a blip in the Sun Devils’ runaway.
Arizona State answered with an 11-play, 77-yard scoring drive, capped by a spinning 1-yard touchdown run by Kelly. Grice followed with a 1-yard scoring run and another from 14 yards out to give him 18 touchdowns on the season and Arizona State a 53-24 lead.
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