We're launching a new offseason series here at House of Sparky, in which we spotlight a key player from the 2012 season and highlight their best game of the year.
First up, we start with running back Marion Grice.
Coming over from the junior college ranks, Grice started fast in ASU's opening night blowout over NAU, rushing for 107 yards and three touchdowns. However, due to a crowded backfield, he didn't top 50 yards over the next 10 games, although he did thoroughly impress with his outstanding receiving ability and nose for the end zone. During that stretch, he scored 10 total touchdowns, including seven through the air.
But like most great players, Grice stepped up in the most crucial of situations, and had his best game during the November 23rd battle with Arizona.
Grice's Stat Line vs. Arizona: 18 carries, 156 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 reception for 18 yards
His night, like that of the entire ASU team, got started slowly.
Grice had just two carries for eight yards in the first quarter, and didn't register a touch during the first eight offensive snaps in the second. However, with just under 10 minutes left in the half and ASU trailing 6-0, Grice gave the Sun Devils a major jolt of momentum.
Showing off his great vision, agility and speed, Grice rumbled 52 yards for the score.
On the next ASU possession, sparked by an Osahon Irabor interception, ASU offensive coordinator Mike Norvell fed the hot hand. Grice ran three times for 23 yards, showing off his power, and had a great 18-yard reception that set up his second score of the game and a 14-6 lead.
During the disastrous third quarter, Grice was held in check. He had three carries for 15 yards, and all four of Taylor Kelly's attempts to him were incomplete.
But that drought simply set up a heroic fourth quarter.
Following Keelan Johnson's sensational and clutch forced fumble of Matt Scott, the Sun Devil offense went to work, trailing 27-20 with 8:39 left to go. They knew what they had to do: give it to Grice and watch him go.
On the first two plays, Grice ran through the Wildcats for 19 and 13 yards. A Kelly run got the ball into the red zone at the UofA 16, and three powerful Grice runs later, he was in the end zone and the game was tied.
After that, the Sun Devils scored twice more to secure the victory and, most importantly, bring the Territorial Cup back home to Tempe.
Grice's Second Best Game: A 159-yard, 2 touchdown game against Navy following the death of his brother.
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