Arizona State Routs Central Florida 46-13
TEMPE, Ariz. - Andrew Walter came off the bench to throw two touchdown passes to Shaun McDonald as Arizona State rallied for a 46-13 victory over Central Florida on Saturday night.
McDonald also teamed with starter Chad Christensen on a scoring pass, and Terrell Suggs led a dominating defense with two sacks and a near-sack that produced one of the Sun Devils' two touchdowns on interceptions.
On the first, UCF quarterback Ryan Schneider sustained bruised ribs and was carted off the field.
Earlier, Schneider threw an 80-yard scoring pass to Doug Gabriel, and Matt Prater kicked two field goals for the Golden Knights (0-2), who dropped a three-point decision at Penn State a week ago.
Arizona State (2-1) snapped a six-game losing streak with a 38-2 win over Division I-AA Eastern Washington last week, but showed little offense this time until Walter replaced Christensen 4:05 into the third quarter with the Knights ahead 13-10.
The Sun Devils put the game away with a 29-point outburst in 5:21 of the third capped by consecutive interception returns for scores. The surge began after the first of Arizona State's three pickoffs - by Jamar Williams, who also had a sack.
Walter began the series, but the more mobile Christensen came back in for the key play - a 45-yard pass to Mike Pinkard on fourth-and-1.
Three plays later, Walter found McDonald in the left flat, and the all-Pac-10 receiver ran right parallel to the goal line until he found room to turn upfield, scoring with 7:14 left in the third.
Sixty-six seconds later, Suggs sacked Schneider in the end zone, increasing the score to 19-13.
The Sun Devils tried another fourth-down play after the Knights' post-safety kick, and it worked when Riccardo Stewart went 28 yards to the UCF 26. Walter found McDonald, who caught a 5-yard TD pass from Christensen in the first half, in the back of the end zone on the next play with 3:32 left.
Josh Amobi returned Schneider's second interception 21 yards to score with 3:15 to go in the quarter, and Connor Banks made it 39-13 when he scored on a 9-yard pickoff return off Brian Miller, Schneider's replacement, with 1:54 left.
Cornell Canidate added a 6-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
The teams traded long field goals by Prater and Mike Barth, but neither offense showed much consistency in a first quarter marked by occasionally heavy rain until Schneider hooked up with Gabriel.
Gabriel caught the ball on the 30, shook off a shoulder tackle by R.J. Oliver and outran the rest of the secondary to score with 2:01 left in the quarter.
Stanford Rhule recovered a fumble by Canidate on Arizona State's next possession, and the Knights ran their lead to 13-3 on a 23-yard field goal by Prater three seconds into the second quarter.
Rhule had a sack to force a three-and-out minutes later, but the punt hit UCF's Omar Laurence while returner Asante Samuel was trying to get out of the way, and Banks recovered for the Sun Devils on the UCF 8.
It took the penalty-plagued Sun Devils four plays before Christensen found McDonald for the TD with 7:15 remaining.
By MEL REISNER
AP Sports Writer
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TODAY | 11:00am PTLive
TODAY | 1:00pm PTLive
TODAY | 3:00pm PTLive