(Photo: Allyson Cummings/WCSN)
No. 19 Arizona State was heavily favored against the Weber State Wildcats and had no problem handling their business, as they delivered a 45-14 beating that featured the usual suspects leading the way.
While the Weber State offense wasn’t able to find their way onto the scoreboard until midway through the third quarter, the Sun Devils’ offense found it early and often, despite looking out of sync at times. D.J. Foster, who scored three times for the ASU offense, racked up 147 yards rushing and 26 yards receiving.
Kalen Ballage and Gary Chambers also added touchdowns, as ASU tallied a 38-0 lead before the Wildcats scored their first touchdown. Ellis Jefferson added one more touchdown and the defense did the rest.
Player of the Game: Jaelen Strong. Foster did the scoring for the Sun Devils and very easily could’ve earned the designation, but Strong simply couldn’t be covered by the Weber State defenders. He got open often and even when he wasn’t, he wrestled balls away from opposing defensive backs.
Strong finished the game with 10 receptions for 146 yards, all of which were gained in the first half, as he spent most of the second half watching from the sideline.
Biggest Concern: The defense gave up a couple plays that were bigger than ASU fans should be comfortable with, but it’s an inexperienced group, so growing pains should be expected for now. Instead, it’s the lack of other wideout options for Taylor Kelly that appeared to be most concerning.
Kelly targeted Strong early and often, but one reason for that was his lack of other options. Guys like Cameron Smith and Gary Chambers will need to have a bigger impact when bigger, better cornerbacks key on Strong later in the year.
Unsung Hero: D.J. Calhoun. The true freshman was a star in spring camp, but disappeared some in fall camp before getting passed up by Carlos Mendoza. However, an injury for Mendoza gave Calhoun his spot back and he looked like he belonged in the starting lineup on Thursday night. He finished the night with five tackles, one for a loss. He also nearly intercepted a pass when he dropped into coverage early in the game.
Stat of the Game: 570. Really there wasn’t a single stat that the Sun Devils didn’t dominate in against their severely outmatched opposition, so their total yardage is tonight’s stat of the game. Any time an offense is able to rack up that much, points come with it and that was the case against Weber State.
What’s Next: The competition steps up when Arizona State travels to face New Mexico, but it’s a small step. The Lobos finished 2013 with a 3-9 record and should represent another tune-up for the Sun Devils before Pac-12 play gets started.
You can reach Adam Stites on Twitter @AdamStitesASU or by email email@example.com