Devils Fly Past Wildcats 52-21

Sept. 17, 2005

Final Stats

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Sam Keller passed for 409 yards and four touchdowns and freshman Keegan Herring ran for 197 yards and two scores, leading No. 18 Arizona State to a 52-21 win over Northwestern on Saturday night.

The Sun Devils (2-1) rebounded from a 35-31 loss to No. 3 LSU last week by accumulating a school-record 773 yards, 532 in the first half. Rudy Carpenter, Keller's backup, ran 2 yards with 2:30 left to push the total past the 743 yards the Arizona State had against Stanford in 1981.

The game took on aspects of an NFL exhibition in the fourth quarter, Neither Keller, Herring nor Wildcats quarterback Brett Basanez played the final 15 minutes, which began with Arizona State leading 45-14.

Basanez passed to Shaun Herbert for 7- and 5-yard TDs, and C.J. Bacher threw 12 yards to Rasheed Ward for a score in the fourth quarter. Carpenter also directed a TD drive, finishing with a 7-yard pass to Brent Miller with 6:57 left in the game.

Keller, who threw for 461 yards against LSU, tossed a 36-yard scoring pass to Jamaal Lewis, a 24-yarder to Derek Hagan, went 15 yards to Rudy Burgess and 30 yards to Matt Miller.

Herring scored on runs of 2 and 5 yards.

The Sun Devils put the game away by scoring on six straight possessions in a 13:52 span of the first half and taking a 38-14 lead on Burgess' catch and run with 3:00 left in the period.

Each drive had a big play - a 39-yard hookup from Keller to Burgess before Herring's tying TD; a 16-yard catch by Hagan before Lewis' scoring reception; Keller's 65-yard pass to Matt Miller to set up a 27-yard field goal by Jesse Ainsworth that made it 17-7; a 14-yard pass to Lewis before Hagan's 24-yard scoring grab; and 38-yard completions to Moey Mutz which preceded Herring's 5-yard TD run.

Early in the game, Northwestern's Marquis Cole had a 57-yard punt return, but the Wildcats stopped their momentum with an offensive face-mask penalty, and Joel Howells missed a 43-yard field goal.

Basanez marched them 80 yards in 1:58 on their next possession, setting up the game's first score with a 34-yard play - a 27-yard pass to Ross Lane, followed by a roughing-the-pass penalty on linebacker Dale Robinson that moved the ball to the 7.

Banasez passed to Shaun Herbert for the TD with 7:23 left in the quarter.

But it was all Arizona State after that.

The Sun Devils slowed the pace in the third quarter, using Herring, who ran for 134 yards and one score in a 63-16 rout of Temple on Sept. 1, to grind out first downs and burn up the clock.