|Rashad Ross finished the day with four catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns. (US Presswire)|
ARIZONA STATE WON: This game was never in doubt and that final score actually makes it look like this was a closer contest than it was in reality. Arizona State had no trouble with Navy on Saturday in San Francisco, winning the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl 62-28. The Sun Devils scored touchdowns on their first nine possessions, with their first drive not resulting in points taking place in the fourth quarter after the reserves had come in and Navy forced a fumble.
Quarterback Taylor Kelly finished with 348 total yards and five touchdowns and Marion Grice rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns. Cameron Marshall only had 59 rushing yards, but did manage to score two touchdowns of his own. Then there was receiver Rashad Ross, who caught four passes for 139 yards and three scores.
The Arizona State offense finished with 648 yards of total offense, averaging 9.53 yards per play.
WHY ARIZONA STATE WON: Navy just couldn't figure out a way to stop the Sun Devils offense. Arizona State was able to do whatever it wanted in this game. Whether it was between-the-tackles runs for huge gains or deep balls in the passing game, Navy couldn't stop it.
WHEN ARIZONA STATE WON: There was never much doubt about the outcome once the game began. When Arizona State jumped out to a 14-0 lead halfway through the first quarter you got the sense this one would get out of hand. When the Sun Devils scored again on a Taylor Kelly touchdown run to finish the first quarter with a 21-0 lead, you knew it would.
WHAT ARIZONA STATE WON: The win improved Arizona State's record to 8-5 and gave the Sun Devils their first bowl victory since 2005, ending a three-game bowl losing streak. It also sends Arizona State into the offseason feeling pretty good about itself as it looks to improve even further in Todd Graham's second season.
WHAT NAVY LOST: I'm not sure Navy really lost anything aside from the game itself. In a way, this team actually gained some respect from me. The talent disparity between Navy and Arizona State was glaringly obvious, but what impressed me more than anything is that I don't think this Navy team was as strong as those we've seen in recent seasons, yet the Midshipmen still managed to finish the season with eight wins. That's a strong testament to Ken Niumatalolo's ability as a football coach.
THAT WAS CRAZY: We already mentioned that Arizona State scored on its first nine possessions, but none of those scoring drives lasted longer than 2:43. In fact, four of the scoring drives lasted less than a minute, and four of the nine touchdowns were from more than 30 yards out.