It took until ASU's second drive of the night to find a rhythm, but once Mike Bercovici and the offense did, wasn't long until they found paydirt. After punting on its opening drive, Bercovici led the Sun Devils on a nine-play, 77-yard march to the end zone that culminated in a 14-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Foster.
A consistent dose of Demario Richard was followed by a 30-yard strike to Gary Chambers that set the Sun Devils up in the Cal Poly red zone.
ASU wasn't able to mount a scoring drive before the end of the quarter but the changes at offense were notable. D.J. Foster made the touchdown catch to start the scoring but spent the rest of the period operating mostly from the halfback roles, finding a couple holes for double digit gains on drives that ultimately ended as punts. At the end of an electric first quarter ASU had yet to take charge of the game but led 7-0.
ASU opened the second quarter with a 20-yard connection from Bercovici to Devin Lucien, and Foster's 16-yard rush placed the Sun Devils within striking distance of the end zone. Demario Richard found his way into the end zone to cap off the drive, making a pair of Cal Poly defenders whiff on his 13-yard scamper to put ASU up 14-0.
Instead of rolling over and letting the Sun Devils take command, Cal Poly pieced together an impressive drive spurred by the strong performance of running back Jared Mohamed. His runs of 26 and 17 yards, respectively, set the Mustangs up deep in ASU territory and Joe Protheroe punched it in from four yards out for the score, muscling through a pair of ASU tacklers to reach over the goal line and secure the score.
ASU's first positive special teams moment came on the ensuing kickoff, as 'Gump' Hayes nearly broke away for a touchdown in the eventual 57-yard return that gave ASU the ball in Cal Poly territory.
Bercovici took a sack on first down and missed his receiver on second down, but a 16-yard strike to Kody Kohl moved the chains and an 11-yard completion to Lucien placed the Sun Devils just outside of the Mustang end zone. Demario Richard's name was called again and he came through yet again, scoring from six yards out to increase the lead to 21-7.
The Sun Devils looked to be in control but a Kohl fumble on a catch-and-run ended a drive early and gave Cal Poly an opportunity to pull within one possession headed into the locker room. After a 10-play, 46-yard drive that consisted of short runs, Chris Brown scored from one yard out to give the Mustangs hope headed into the half, trailing only 21-14