2014 Sun Bowl: W vs. Duke, 36-31
Things didn’t go as hoped for ASU. After a Territorial Cup loss derailed a second straight Pac-12 South title, the Sun Devils were forced to travel to El Paso for the Sun Bowl.
Despite less implications, the game was a thriller.
After leading 20-3 late in the second quarter, ASU saw the Blue Devils go on a 28-10 run to take the lead with 5:03 remaining.
While anxiety was high, the team was stable. Then-freshman running back Demario Richard responded with a 4-yard receiving touchdown, giving ASU a lead they’d hold for the remainder of the game.
For his efforts, Richard was named the game’s MVP. He finished with 63 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. Kelly bounced back from a tough Holiday Bowl with 240 yards passing and two touchdowns, and Strong finished with 103 receiving yards off seven receptions.
Granted, this year could’ve been much more. With the College Football Playoff being introduced, some saw the Sun Devils as a dark horse contender. Even the next year with Mike Bercovici under center was a dud.
Regardless, this was Graham’s last bowl win as ASU’s coach. It’s ironic that at the time, it came in a season that concluded as disappointing.