If you had any doubts about the ability of Taylor Kelly Saturday’s performance against number 5 ranked Stanford should silence all critics. The kid can flat out play football, Kelly threw for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns Saturday night in Stanford Stadium. Even Stanford head coach David Shaw did not shy away from his praise of Kelly stating, “I love the kid, love his fight.” David Shaw knows to take on that kind of pass rush which did sack Kelly 3 times, and a defense that picked him twice, and to still keep his team in the game takes guts. Taylor Kelly showed heart and carried Arizona State to an impressive comeback in the 2nd half, but Stanford in the end was victorious because of the great start in the first half, leading ASU 29-0 at halftime.
The Stanford Cardinal, on an overcast afternoon, with a damp field from scattered showers throughout the day, outright dominated the first half. You could see the mis-match up front on offense as the offensive line for Stanford played a a great game, but absolutely dominated in the first half. Tyler Gaffney and Anthony Wilkerson combined for 167 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns, as Stanford proved they are without a doubt a force running the football. The first half displayed the bread and butter of this football team, and the wet field played right into their game plan. Also unlike the 2nd half, Stanford displayed a stout defensive front, shutting down Arizona State’s run game and limiting their passing game to short routes and dump-offs early on. Josh Mauro, who had a great game for Stanford, added “defensively we were firing off on all cylinders (1st half), pressuring the quarterback, everything was clicking.”