Trenton Bourguet leads Arizona State to 42-34 win in first career start
Arizona State finally made a change at quarterback and it ignited an offensive explosion for the Sun Devils.
Trenton Bourguet earned his first career start for Arizona State on Saturday against Colorado. He was perfect on his first two possessions, both of them touchdown drives, and helped the Sun Devils to a 42-34 win over Colorado in Boulder. For Arizona State, it’s the third win of the season and the second in the last three games.
Following a 15-14 loss to Stanford, interim head coach Shaun Aguano expressed obvious frustration with the offense. Under the stewardship of offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas and with Emory Jones at the controls, ASU had been held at or below 21 points four times in six games against FBS opponents.
The other two games: a 25-point showing in a loss to USC and then a 45-point outburst in an upset win over Washington.
The latter featured Bourguet taking over in the second quarter after Jones was knocked out of the game with a head injury. ASU went into its bye week, Jones went into concussion protocol, and when the Sun Devils came out the other side last week against Stanford, it was back to the same old, same old.
Change was warranted. Aguano took over play-calling duties and he elevated Bourguet to the starting job.
The result was exactly what Aguano hoped for. Bourguet completed 32 of his 43 pass attempts for 435 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.
He was a perfect 8-for-8 for 124 yards and one touchdown on the Sun Devils’ first two possessions, marching the team 64 yards in eight plays on the opening drive and then 75 yards in seven plays on the following drive to give ASU a 14-3 first-quarter lead. ASU scored points in every quarter and averaged 7.3 yards per play.
Tailback Xazavian Valladay ran for 118 yards and three scores on 23 carries. Elijhah Badger caught eight balls for 137 yards. Tight end Jaylin Conyers caught six passes for 108 yards and was on the receiving end of all three of Bourguet’s touchdown passes.
The offense utilized tempo and looked to attack. Against one of the country’s poorest defense, the Sun Devils were deadly through the air.
Devils get it done! 😈
Trenton Bourguet threw for 3 TDs in his first start as @ASUFootball held off Colorado, 42-34, in Boulder.#Pac12FB | @PlayAtGila pic.twitter.com/P0aKejlm1e
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) October 30, 2022
Colorado fought back in the second quarter and then again in the fourth to challenge the Sun Devils. Since replacing Karl Dorrell and elevating Mike Sanford to the interim coaching role, Colorado has shown serious fight.
JT Shrout, starting in place of freshman Owen McCown (injured), connected with wideout Jordyn Tyson for a 58-yard score in the second quarter to bring the Buffs within four points, 21-17.
Valladay answered that score with a 1-yard touchdown run on the next possession, then a 5-yard touchdown catch for Conyers midway through the third quarter put ASU back up 35-17.
Tailback Deion Smith ran in a 1-yard score with 8:12 to play in the fourth quarter and then Tyson returned a punt 88 yards to the house with 3:50 to go to bring Colorado within eight points.
Colorado couldn’t get the ball back.
Bourguet hit tight end Messiah Swinson for 13 yards on a second-and-10 to get the drive rolling. Valladay ripped off a 26-yard run on second-and-9 two plays later. Bourguet kneeled on it three straight times to run out the clock and give ASU its third win of the season.
The Sun Devils (3-5, 2-3 Pac-12) are back in action at home next week against UCLA. The Buffs (1-7, 1-4 Pac-12) face Oregon at 12:30 p.m. PT on ESPN.