Welcome to our new summer series. A lot has happened over Todd Graham's first three seasons as Arizona State's head football coach. Over the next two weeks, we will be ranking 15 of Graham's 28 total wins so far before the 2015 season, which has potential to send the program to new heights. Today we get to No. 13 in our countdown, it happens to be the first time Graham took the sidelines in 2012, on a warm August night.
No. 13: August 30, 2012 - ASU trounces NAU for Graham's first win at ASU
When Todd Graham was hired in December of 2011, many questioned the decision from then athletic director Lisa Love. Graham had success at Tulsa, but had been at Pittsburgh just one season, guiding the Panthers to a mediocre 6-6 record.
So, when ASU opened the 2012 season (Graham's first) all eyes were on the new coach as thousands poured into Sun Devil Stadium to begin the new era of ASU football. They weren't disappointed.
Granted, the Sun Devils were playing Northern Arizona, their traditional FCS season-opening opponent. But their performance that night remains one of the most explosive and efficient games in the Todd Graham era.
Led by two Cameron Marshall touchdown runs, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 14-0 lead after one quarter. In the second quarter, ASU exploded with 28 points, including a Brandon McGee 45-yard interception return and three touchdown runs from Michael Eubank, D.J. Foster and Maron Grice respectively.
Up 42-0 at halftime, ASU eased off the gas a bit in the second half, however three more touchdowns pulled the final score to 63-6 and the Todd Graham era started off in high octane fashion.
Taylor Kelly was an effective 15/19 for 247 yards and a touchdown in his first career start. Marion Grice rushed for 107 yards and three scores and the ASU defense forced three turnovers in the blowout win.
WHAT IT DID FOR ASU: In the long term this win doesn't mean too much. It was against an FCS opponent that the Sun Devils would have thrashed whomever was their head coach. However, it was the first time ASU fans were treated to Graham's disciplined approach, a welcomed sight after some of Dennis Erickson's squads. The Sun Devils totaled just 30 penalty yards and tallied over 550 yards of total offense.
Graham's debut as head coach comes in at No. 13 in our countdown of his 15 best wins at ASU. Check back tomorrow for No. 12.