Six weeks after his hiring, Todd Graham still found himself in the midst of a significant mess.
The Sun Devil program was in a state of utter disarray after the Dennis Erickson era. Graham had been aggressive in outlining his vision of Sun Devil football, and had begun to take action. However, the news he received on January 27th, 2012 became his first major victory.
In a rare occurrence, Foster delivered on those hopes as a true freshman. His explosive gamebreaking ability was on display from the season opener, and he never looked back. By the time ASU hosted UCLA in a crucial South division game, he had already amassed a sizeable highlight reel, but his performance against the Bruins would prove to be his best of the year.
D.J. Foster's Stat Line vs. UCLA: 13 carries, 61 yards, seven receptions, 107 yards, one touchdown.
After his six-yard run helped set up ASU's opening drive touchdown, Foster took on a larger role in keeping up the momentum. He ran four times on the ensuing Sun Devil possession, including three straight carries for 30 yards that got the ball inside Bruin territory, as ASU took a 14-0 first quarter lead.
Late in the first quarter, Foster caught a 21-yard pass, the first of what would be a career-best seven on the day. He added four more in the first half, but saved his longest for the opening play of the second half. In fact, it would be the freshman's longest play from scrimmage of 2012.
But as is the case with most great players, Foster saved his best for last in what was arguably the defining moment of his freshman year, and perhaps the best omen of ASU's future success.
With the Sun Devils trailing 42-36 with just 3:36 left, Taylor Kelly marched the team down the field. With time running out and ASU facing a third and five at the seven, Kelly scrambled from pressure. Foster read the play, saw his quarterback in trouble, and ran to the corner. Kelly fired a pass, Foster leapt up and...
Sadly, ASU's defense couldn't hold the lead, but it did little to diminish Foster's magnificence on this day.
Foster's Second-Best Game: at Colorado, nine carries, 61 yards, six catches, 71 yards, one touchdown.
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