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ASU Football: Gary Chambers' work pays off with first touchdown grab

With his parents in the crowd, Gary Chambers collects first college reception and first touchdown catch.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The stars in No. 19 Arizona State's opening night 45-14 win against Weber State were the usual suspects. Quarterback Taylor Kelly threw for 238 yards, wide receiver Jaelen Strong caught 146 of them and running back D.J. Foster scored three times.

But the offense started slowly, and it picked up when an unusual name scored the first touchdown of the game.

"It all happened so fast, but it was definitely a great feeling," wide receiver Gary Chambers said.

It was Chambers who caught the 8-yard pass from Kelly in the first quarter. Not only was it Chambers' first career touchdown catch, it was first career catch, period.

The Sun Devils were leading 3-0 at the Weber State 8-yard line when Chambers got his chance. He said at the second he saw that Kelly was coming his way, and that he had an open lane to the end zone, one thought was going through his head.

"You better catch this," he said, laughing. "I saw it coming, and I was able to adjust to it, and get it. We've run through all of our plays so many times that I'm trying to make it as routine as possible.

Chambers had the touchdown catch, and also hauled in a 38-yard grab on a 3rd-and-13 situation in the second quarter. He surprised Sun Devil fans who may not have heard his name, but his quarterback was pleased to see his offseason work pay off.

"He's been working his tail off this fall camp," Kelly said. "To finally see him really put it all together, get his first touchdown catch, have a nice catch on the climb on the third and long, it's really exciting. He's going to be a great player for us."

Chambers, a redshirt junior, has been around the program for four years now, seeing only sporadic game action before Thursday night. He was lined up with the first team offense, and finished with two catches for 46 yards and that one touchdown.

When coach Todd Graham was asked about Chambers, among other players who impressed, his face lit up.

"Really happy for Gary, one of the most improved guys," Graham said. "(Offensive coordinator) Coach (Mike) Norvell, all through camp kept saying he's really improved, really improved. I was really happy for him."

Chambers couldn't stay and talk too long after the game. He was hurrying out of Sun Devil Stadium to see his parents, who were in attendance for their son's first catch and first touchdown.