Tempe, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) – Taylor Kelly accounted for four touchdowns to
outduel a mistake-prone Everett Golson, and 11th-ranked Arizona State vaulted
itself into the College Football Playoff conversation with a thrilling 55-31
victory over No. 9 Notre Dame.
The Sun Devils roared out to a 34-3 first-half lead by converting three Golson
turnovers into touchdowns, then warded off a furious comeback attempt by the
Fighting Irish before pulling away late for their fifth straight win.
Golson threw a career-high four interceptions, two of which were returned for
touchdowns by Damarious Randall and Lloyd Carrington, and lost a fumble to
offset a 446-yard passing day and likely end Notre Dame’s hopes for a
selection in the end-of-the-year playoff.
The Irish (7-2) entered the matchup 10th in the latest playoff rankings, one
spot behind Arizona State (8-1), which also got seven sacks from its swarming
defense in addition to the five takeaways.
Kelly threw for 224 yards and three touchdowns on a 17-of-28 completion rate
while adding a late score on the ground. Demario Richard added a rushing and
receiving touchdown in the Sun Devils’ fourth triumph over a ranked opponent
since a lopsided loss to UCLA on Sept. 25, with D.J. Foster contributing 120
rushing yards on 21 carries.
Golson did connect on touchdown passes to Will Fuller and Amir Carlisle while
hitting on 22-of-41 attempts. Fuller finished with 95 yards on six catches and
Carlisle had three receptions for 92 yards.