Arizona State improved to 2-1 on the season with an impressive 34-10 victory over New Mexico on Saturday night to close out the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedule.
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After a slow start in which neither team scored in the 1st quarter, Arizona State began to open up the scoring in the 2nd quarter with a 22-yard FG by Zane Gonzalez and then a 14-yard TD pass from Mike Bercovici to Tim White just before halftime to take a double-digit lead into the locker rooms at 10-0.
Demario Richard extended the Sun Devils lead to 17-0 early in the 3rd quarter when he caught a screen pass and ran 33 yards to the house for a touchdown.
New Mexico wouldn’t go down without a fight as Tyrone Owens ran right up the middle of the Sun Devils defense for a 65-yard touchdown to close the deficit back to 17-7. Bercovici rushed for his second touchdown run of the season, but New Mexico countered with a 32-yard FG of their own to close out the 3rd quarter with the Sun Devils leading 24-10.
The Sun Devils put a nail in the coffin when Bercovici found a wide open Richard for a 93-yard touchdown pass early in the 4th quarter. Gonzalez nailed a 24-yard FG to close out the scoring at 34-10.
Bercovici finished 22-for-37 for 317 yards, three touchdown passes, zero interceptions, 15 rushing yards on five attemptes, and a rushing touchdown in his most complete game of the season.
Richard had a career game in which he carried the ball 15 times for 104 yards, while catching four passes for 151 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Richard is the first NCAA player to finish with 100+ rushing yards and 150+ receiving yards since North Texas’ Lance Dunbar did so in 2011.
Jordan Simone and Salamo Fiso were the only two defenders with double-digit tackles as each player finished with 10 tackles. Simone added a sack, two tackles for loss, and an interception to his stellar defensive efforts.
Arizona State will host No. 6 (entering week 3) USC at Sun Devil Stadium on September 26 in what could very well be a high-scoring affair.