The Arizona State Sun Devils seemed to be going places this season before it all fell apart on two separate occasions. At least in the bowl game (Sun Bowl) things went their way, beating Duke 36-31 thanks to a solid performance from Taylor Kelly and a great one by Demario Richards.
Richards ran for a couple of touchdowns and caught both of Kelly’s touchdown throws. The Senior quarterback had a nice finish to the season after being pinpointed by many as the reason for the team’s “collapse” and failure to win the division, hence playing for the Pac-12 title and maybe the right to be in the college football playoff. He’ll be gone and Mike Bercovici who had a lot of promising moments this season will get the shot to take the Sun Devils one step higher next season.
Duke got involved in the game a bit too late, falling 20-3 behind before scoring two quick touchdowns to end the half, as Jamison Crowder running for a 68-yard punt return touchdown made it a 20-17 game. After Arizona State took a 27-17 lead to end the third quarter, it was once again quick double strike from the Blue Devils, including a trick play that meant Jamison Crowder throwing a touchdown pass in a busy day for the senior, putting Duke up 31-30.
But for the second straight season, Duke find themselves in a bowl game the program isn’t used to being involved in and end up on the losing side, making it something of a bittersweet ending to another very good season that propels this program even further away from the label of being just a basketball school. Kelly used a shovel pass to free up Richards who scored his fourth touchdown of the day, and Todd Graham gets to lift a bowl trophy for the second time since becoming the ASU head coach.