Arizona vs. ASU: Sun Devils open up strong in first half against Wildcats

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Sun Devils are taking the Wildcats to the wood shed in the first half of the Duel in the Desert

ASU has dominated the game so far, only punting once, and going into the locker room with a 30-7 lead.

It's been a rough start for the Arizona offense.  Ka'Deem Carey has not gotten the ball as regularly as Arizona fans are used to seeing, and B.J. Denker has been shaky with his reads and his throws.

Arizona has just 78 rushing yards compared to ASU's 120.  The Sun Devils also have the passing yards advantage 194-133.

Garic Wharton has been targeted often, and Trey Griffey has another solid game going, picking up 39 yards.

The Sun Devils started the game with a 54 yard drive that led to a Zane Gonzalez 38-yard field goal to make the score 3-0.

After a 12-yard punt from Drew Riggleman, Kelly overthrew another receiver in the endzone to lead to a second ASU field goal.

The Arizona offense still wasn't getting anything going, giving the ball right back to Arizona St.  Kelly connected on a pass to Darwin Rogers that was almost exactly like the play Auburn tied up the game against Alabama earlier in the day.

Ka'Deem Carey finally started getting touches on the regular in the third drive of the night, but was stopped on a 4th and 1 at ASU's 40-yard line.  ASU answered with a crushing 53 yard drive to push the score to 20-0, capped by a D.J. Foster 14-yard TD run.

The next drive, the exact same situation came up again, and Will Sutton came up with another stop for the ASU defense.  Arizona came up with a defensive stop for the first time on the night, but the offense sputtered again, and B.J. Denker threw his fifth pick of the year,  Alden Darby came up with the INT after a horrible fade away throw from Denker, who looked rattled the entire game.

ASU of course took advantage of the rare Denker interception, capping off a 31-yard drive with De'Marieya Nelson's first career TD run.

Denker and the Cats responded with a 12 play, 78-yard drive, highlighted by great grabs from Garic Wharton and Terrence Miller.  Denker finished it off with a 1-yard scamper to paydirt to make it 27-7.

That drive got the defense a little confidence too, as they forced a three-and-out.  Arizona had a chance to get back in the game towards the end of the first half, and drove the ball down to the ASU 25.  Any points would have been huge since the Wildcats would start the second half with the ball, but Jake Smith missed a 42 yard FGA.

After a 50-yard completion to Jaelen Strong, the Arizona defense held inside the 10, and kept ASU to just a field goal.

30-7 at halftime.

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