No. 16 Arizona State's 58-23 win over the lowly New Mexico Lobos may not appear to have been a competitive game, but this was a 29-21 game late in the second quarter before the Sun Devils took off in the second half. Who shined for Arizona State (2-0) on Saturday? Two of the three are familar faces, but a relative newcomer to the wide receiving corps found himself with a breakout performance. Here are this week's game balls.
The dual-threat quarterback sliced and diced hrough the New Mexico defense, completing 11 of 20 for 192 yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air. Kelly also slashed and dashed on Saturday, using his legs to rush 10 times for 84 yards, punctuated by a 12 yard scamper that gave the Sun Devils an early 15-0 lead.
As Sun Devil fans and coaches have come to expect, Kelly ran Arizona State's high-octane offense incredibly well, orchestrating more scoring drives on the day than drives that ended in punts.
For the second week in a row, Foster finds himself with a House of Sparky game ball. Just as was against Weber State in Week 1, Foster was brilliant against the Lobos, rushing for a career-high 216 yards on only 19 carries. The junior running back broke free for a pair of near-50-yard rushes, and scored his fourth touchdown of the young season on a one-yard score in the fourth quarter. He also became the first rusher since 2001 to accumulate at least 200 yards on the ground for the Sun Devils.
Foster also contributed in the passing game, catching three balls on the day for 54 yards. 2014 is a still a young year for Foster and the Sun Devils, but with the way he's played through the first two weeks of the season, he may be finding himself with more game balls as the year goes on. Thanks to his effort through the first two weeks, Foster sits second in the country in total rushing yards and fourth in average yards rushing.
Last week it was Gary Chambers and Ellis Jefferson who made names for themselves in the shadow of Jaelen Strong, but neither Chambers or Jefferson recorded a catch on Saturday, and the Lobos limited Strong to only three catches on the day. Rather, it was the speedy sophomore Cameron Smith who made his presence felt against New Mexico.
Smith hauled in four catches for 77 yards, with a large chunk of them coming on one play. After Kelly's touchdown to Strong increased Arizona State's lead early in the second half, Smith outran the coverage and found himself open in the end zone for a 41-yard scoring strike that put the Lobos out of reach.
With track star speed (4.4 40 yard dash) and a developing chemistry with Kelly, Smith is primed to excel as a supplementary receiver coming out of the slot.