Sun Devils Stomp Louisiana-Lafayette, 63-27
Oct 6, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. - Among the rare Arizona elements of wind and rain, Arizona State (3-1, 0-1) managed to stockpile the second-highest point total in Sun Devil history with a 63-27 sizzling of the Ragin' Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafayette (1-4, 0-1) at Sun Devil Stadium Saturday night.
The Devils handed Lafayette a taste of southwestern Pac-10 offense, en route to feasting on 543 total offensive yards and nearly eight yards of offense per play. ASU won its second straight game with 50-plus points, and tallied the most points since a 66-3 victory over UTEP on Oct. 22, 1977.
'We're very excited, because we hung in there and we did take care of business,' ASU head coach Dirk Koetter said.
Sun Devil sophomore quarterback Jeff Krohn, who was 12-of-23, accounted for 290 of the Devils' 328 total passing yards and connected for four touchdowns. He also etched his name in the record books, reaching 1,000 passing yards in four games, the fastest to do so in ASU history.
In ASU's opener against San Diego State, Krohn's target was Donnie O'Neal. Last week, it was Ryan Dennard. And tonight, it was speedy sophomore Shaun McDonald. McDonald added fuel to the Devils' fire with 154 receiving yards and touchdown catches of 45, 57, 19, and 19 yards, all in the first half. Krohn found McDonald at the 12:15 mark of the first quarter on a beautiful 45-yard strike. Then Louisiana-Lafayette's Jonathon Knott split the uprights with a 48-yard field goal on its opening drive, cutting ASU's early lead to 7-3.
After forcing Louisiana-Lafayette to punt, ASU fumbled the ball deep in its own territory and Lafayette's Trey Randall recovered at the 18 yard-line. One play later, the Cajuns' Jerome Coleman scampered into the end zone to give Lafayette a 10-7 advantage.
'We were out of rhythm on offense, and they (Lafayette) made a couple plays with their offense,' Koetter said.
As fans sighed in disbelief, the Devils snapped out the slow start and immediately began their own offensive pounding. It took only 62 seconds for Krohn to hook up with McDonald from 57 yards out for the tandem's second score, as the Devils regained a lead they would not relinquish.
Midway through the second quarter, Krohn and McDonald found each other again for a 19-yard strike to give the Devils a 21-10 edge.
'Mac was hot tonight,' Koetter said of McDonald. 'Even though it does seem like Donnie O'Neal was hot the first couple games, and then Ryan Dennard, and then Mac tonight--we don't really plan it that way. I thought Jeff (Krohn) really threw the deep ball well tonight.'
Not more than a minute after McDonald's third score, Devil rush end Terrell Suggs blindsided Lafayette quarterback Jon Van Cleave and forced the Cajuns to cough up the ball deep in their own territory.
With the Devils up 28-10 and 35 seconds remaining in the half, Lafayette's Andre George scored on a five-yard pass to get the Cajuns a bit closer before half. However, Krohn found O'Neal for a 35-yard completion and then hit McDonald a play later, yet again for another 19-yard strike, with 13 seconds remaining.
For McDonald, it was a career moment. 'I was the first read on most of them, but I was just open most of the time,' he said. 'We have a lot of talent at receivers and any one of us could blow up any game.'
The Devils' running game took over the second half, opening the third quarter on a Tom Pace score from four yards out after a 7-play, 76-yard drive. ULL's Knott kicked a 45-yard field goal on the Cajuns' next drive, followed by a one-yard scoring run by ASU's Mike Williams at the 5:03 mark to put the Devils up 48-20.
Seconds into the fourth quarter, the Maroon and Gold ended an eight-play, 54-yard march as Pace pounded in from a yard out for his second score on the night, running up the score to 56-20. Pace headed the Devils' running game by averaging over eight yards a carry on 9-of-77 yards rushing.
After stopping the Cajuns' next drives, Sun Devil sophomore Jermaine McKinney rushed nine of the Devils' next 12 plays and capped the ASU 70-yard drive off with his own two-yard score to give the Devils a commanding 63-20 lead.
The Cajuns added a final score on an Ivan Taylor 48-yard run minutes later, but the damage had been done long before.
As the Devils wrapped up non-conference play undefeated, the focus automatically turned to Pac-10 action.
'I think the team bounced back well coming back from Stanford,' McDonald said. 'We got two good wins. USC is the beginning of all the rest of our Pac-10 games, so we have to go out there and play tough. Our offense is confident they will score every time they get the ball. This is definitely fun. We've got to keep rolling.'
SUN DEVIL GAME NOTES: Krohn became the fastest quarterback in school history to pass for 1,000 yards in a season. Krohn has already tossed 1,156 and 15 touchdowns... McDonald had a career evening, catching five passes for 154 yards, four of which were for touchdowns all in the first half. McDonald tied a school mark for four TD catches in a game (John Allen against San Jose State, 1953)...The Devils' ground game was just as effective, pounding in five rushing touchdowns. The last time ASU accomplished five rushing TDs was in a 52-15 win over Oregon (11/15/97)...Sun Devil place kicker Mike Barth nailed an impressive 38 consecutive PATs before missing a second-quarter attempt... Suggs recorded a team-high 10 tackles (four TFLs) and two sacks...The Devils' 63 points is the highest point total accumulated since a 62-36 victory over Stanford on 10/24/81 and ranks second in school history next to the Devils' 66-3 win over UTEP on 10/22/77.