Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE
ASU picked up right where they left off against NAU, leading Illinois 28-7 thanks to a dominant first half.
The Devils offense lead by redshirt sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly was practically unstoppable, scoring touchdowns on four of six drives. Kelly end the half at 11-13, 172 yards and one touchdown pass. Tight end Chris Coyle is killing the Illini secondary with seven receptions, 101 yards and two touchdowns.
ASU second quarterback Michael Eubank saw his first extended action of the season and looked sharp. Eubank orchestrated an efficient seven play, 2:34 second 84 yard drive. Overall, Eubank went 5-5 with 69 yards and two touchdown tosses
On the ground, ASU rushed for 82 yards. Cameron Marshall has a team high 47 yards on 10 attempts and a touchdown, but also fumbled on Illinois one-yard line. Marshall has fumbled in his last four contests dating back to last season.
In total, the ASU offensive performance was the epitome of "High Octane" averaging 8.7 yards per play and 323 yards. From the opening whistle, the Devils offense has beaten a stout Illinois defense.
Defensively, ASU only allowed seven points, with freshman linebacker Carlos Mendoza stealing the show with two interceptions. Illinois quarterbacks Riley O'Toole and Miles Osei split duties in absence of Nathan Scheelhaase, combining to complete just five of their 12 attempts with those two Mendoza picks.
At the end of the first half, ASU's Maroon Moonson is overwhelming the Illini. The Devils are one half away from validating themselves as legitimate Pac-12 contenders.