Both offenses started the game slow as the Wildcats and Sun Devils each punted on their first possession. On Arizona's second possession, Christian Sam stripped Arizona quarterback Jerrard Randall and the fumble was recovered by Laiu Moeakiola, setting up ASU at the Arizona 49-yard line.
The Sun Devils were not able to take advantage of the turnover and turned the ball over on downs after Mike Bercovici was sacked on fourth down near midfield.
Following Arizona's third punt of the first quarter, the Sun Devils got on the board first courtesy of a nine-yard touchdown run by sophomore Demario Richard. The score was set up by a 58-yard reception by Devin Lucien to put ASU inside the Wildcat 10-yard line.
The Sun Devils extended their lead on their next possession when Bercovici found a wide open Devin Lucien for a 59-yard touchdown. ASU extended their lead to 14-0 on just six plays, with each scoring drive taking less than two minutes.
ASU's momentum was halted on the second play of the second quarter when Arizona defensive back Cam Denson intercepted a screen pass and took it 21 yards for a touchdown. The Sun Devil lead was cut to 14-7 less than 30 seconds into the second quarter.
Following the turnover, the Sun Devils marched 78 yards in 10 plays for their third touchdown of the half. Two plays after a defensive pass interference penalty gave ASU first-and-goal at the two, Bercovici rushed one yard for the ASU score to put the Sun Devils up 21-7 with 10:33 left to play in the half.
Following a disastrous first quarter in which the Wildcats punted the ball five times and went three-and-out three times, Rich Rodriguez made change at quarterback, electing to play third string, redshirt freshman Brandon Dawkins.
The Wildcats responded with their best drive of the day in which Dawkins converted a third down with a 26-yard run and found Johnny Jackson for 28 yards to put Arizona in the ASU red zone. However, the drive stalled and the Wildcats kicked a field goal to make the score 21-10 with 5:47 left in the first half.
Once again the Sun Devils answered a Wildcat scoring drive with one of their own as Bercovici found Jalen Harvey for a 41-yard touchdown on ASU's next drive. It was Harvey's first career catch and it gave ASU a 28-10 lead with 4:00 left in the half.
After Arizona went three-and-out, it looked as if ASU was content to run the clock out and take an 18-point lead into halftime. However, with just over two minutes left, Kalen Ballage took a handoff up the far sideline 65 yards to the Arizona 10. The Sun Devils settled for a field goal to take 31-10 lead into halftime.
Bercovici finished the half 14-of-20 for 231 yards, three total touchdowns and one interception. Ballage tallied 98 rushing yards on 12 carries and Richard added 71 yards on just eight carries. Arizona gained just 141 total yards in the first half.
The Sun Devils will receive the second half kickoff.