Sun Devils rout San Jose State 45-3 in Erickson’s first game as coach
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP)—Dennis Erickson’s debut as Arizona State coach was a rousing success.
With Ryan Torain rushing for 123 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries and Rudy Carpenter completing 14 of 20 passes for 197 yards and two scores, the Sun Devils beat San Jose State 45-3 in Erickson’s first game as their coach.
Hired last December to replace six-year coach Dirk Koetter, the 60-year-old Erickson watched his new team overpower outmanned San Jose State.
Before the game, which began in 101-degree temperature, Arizona State detonated a series of fireworks. Then, the Sun Devils showed their own explosiveness.
They scored on five of their six possessions in the first half, and dominated the Spartans both offensively and defensively, delighting both Erickson and the crowd of 54,405.
On the Sun Devils’ first possession, they drove 66 yards in 10 plays, Torain capping the march by leaping over the goal line from the 1.
San Jose, winner of the inaugural New Mexico Bowl last year in its second year under Dick Tomey, then produced its only points on a 28-yard field goal by Jared Strubeck. The Spartans went 45 yards after recovering Brent Miller’s fumble.
The rest of the game belonged to Arizona State.
The Sun Devils went ahead 10-3 late in the first quarter on freshman Thomas Weber’s 44-yard field goal.
They showed no mercy in the second quarter, rolling up three touchdowns for a 31-3 halftime advantage. First, the elusive Torain, who rushed for 1,229 yards last season, swept the left side from the 13.
Then, Carpenter threw a 27-yard scoring strike to Michael Jones, and Torain added his third TD, running in unmolested from the right side.
Carpenter added his second touchdown pass on the opening drive of the second half, hitting freshman Kerry Taylor from the 11.
Following that, Erickson removed the first team and second-string quarterback Danny Sullivan completed the scoring with a 5-yard TD pass to Andrew Pettes.
Overall, ASU had 33 first downs to San Jose’s 7, and outgained the Spartans 520 yards to 115. In addition, Arizona State converted 13 of 17 third-down opportunities.