Sun Devils dominate season opener

Their performance may have not been always the smoothest or the cleanest, but the Sun Devils didn't have any trouble disposing of their first opponent of the 2011 campaign. The 48-14 victory over UC Davis gave as much reason for optimism as did concern, as ASU prepares for their mush anticipated showdown against #21 Missouri next week.

"There are some good things, some bad things," said Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson. "It's not unusual for many of those types of games that you play. You come out play pretty well on both sides of the football, then you start substituting in there and it gets a little sloppy, but I thought it was ok. We've got to play better than that next week against Missouri if we want to win that football game, but there were some good things."

Arizona State (1-0) scored on three of its four first possessions of the first half. The Sun Devils' first offensive play was a 47-yard pass to running back Cameron Marshall, who later in the first quarter scored twice on 2-yard runs. The junior finished the night with a team leading four catches for 86 yards, along with 23 yards on seven carries.

Quarterback Brock Osweiler, who completed 19 of 26 passes for 262 yards, had a 31-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad in the second quarter, and kicker Alex Garoutte in his ASU debut effectively sealed the first half score, 24-0, with a 49-yard field goal.

The Sun Devils defense registered four sacks in the first half, three of them coming from linebacker Vontaze Burfict, as the hosts limited the Aggies for 86 total yards of offense in the first 30 minutes. This group also recovered a fumbled punt return, by corner Alden Darby, which led to Marshall's second score of the night. Burfict tallied three sacks, while defensive end Junior Onyeali posted two sacks. Darby paced the Sun Devils with seven tackles.

ASU didn't wait long to strike in the second half, as wide receiver Jamal Miles, who had 188 all-purpose yards, returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a score. However, in its ensuing possession ASU turned the ball over as Osweiler was intercepted by the Aggies' Jonathan Calhoun. The defense forced another three and out and Osweiler atones for his error with second score to Pflugrad, this time from 13 yards out, to put ASU ahead 38-0.

The hosts kept their foot off the gas pedal the rest of the contest, which allowed the visitors to score twice albeit versus the Sun Devils' reserves and send home the reported 45,671 in attendance perhaps wondering if Thursday's effort will be enough for the showdown with the Tigers a week from Friday.

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