Arizona State vs. Texas Tech: Score, Grades and Analysis from 2013 Holiday Bowl

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2013

Kirby Lee /USA Today

The Texas Tech Red Raiders jumped out to an early lead over the No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils in the 2013 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., and never looked back en route to a 37-23 victory.

The Red Raiders were able to amass 484 yards of total offense to the Sun Devils' 412. Perhaps most impressive was the strong defensive showing by Texas Tech, which limited Arizona State to a 6-of-19 mark on third down—a jarring stat considering the Sun Devils entered the game with a top-10 offense.

Yahoo! Sports' Pat Forde summed up the lopsided and unexpected outcome nicely:

The star of the show for the Red Raiders was quarterback Davis Webb. His 403 yards and four touchdowns led the way, while his favorite target and potentially NFL-bound tight end Jace Amaro caught eight passes for 112 yards.

Arizona State's junior quarterback Taylor Kelly was ineffective through the air, throwing for just 125 yards and a pick. But Kelly made up for his lack of production through the air on the ground as the team's leading rusher with 25 carries for 135 yards and a score.

Kelly and the offense started the game at a deficit and were simply unable to catch up.

Kliff Kingsbury's high-octane offense scored on its first four drives of the game—all via touchdown passes by Webb. He found Rodney Hall for a one-yard score on the opening drive of the game and hooked up with Jakeem Grant from 18 yards out to make it 13-0 shortly after.

After two Arizona State field goals from Zane Gonzalez, Webb once again took control of the game with his pretty display of passing that led to his third touchdown pass, this time to Bradley Marquez with 14:30 left in the second quarter. He then found Grant for their second touchdown connection to make it 27-6 with 10:08 to go in the second quarter.

Got all that? CBS Sports summed up the shocking development best:

But then Arizona State found life as Texas Tech receiver Jordan Davis fumbled a punt:

GIF courtesy of B/R.

This allowed the Sun Devils to score their first touchdown of the game after a D.J. Foster 20-yard touchdown rush with 7:52 left in the second quarter:

With the score 27-13 at the half, things appeared to be suddenly swinging in Arizona State's favor. Kelly came out to start the second half and led the Sun Devils down the field six plays before he took it in himself from 44 yards out to make it 27-20.

Just 11 seconds later, the Sun Devils were once again in a 14-point hole after Reginald Davis took the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to the house. The teams then traded field goals the rest of the way to end the late-night affair, 37-23.


Key Player Grades

Davis Webb, QB, Texas Tech: A

Dec 30, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders quarterback Davis Webb (7) passes the ball during the second half against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sp
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

What more can be said about Webb? The freshman was electric all night long against a weak Arizona State defense.

Webb was laser-sharp and utilized the quick attack to great efficiency. He saw the entire field all night and had no issues picking apart an exhausted Sun Devils defense.


Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State: C

Dec 30, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly (10) runs with the ball against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the first half in the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TOD
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

For one reason or another, the Sun Devils stayed away from the passing game most of the night, but credit Kelly for coming through on the ground.

Kelly was playing from behind all night but did a quality job of taking what the defense gave him. As far as offensive bright spots go for the Sun Devils, the junior signal-caller was about it.


Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech: A

Dec 30, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders tight end Jace Amaro (22) is tackled by Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Damarious Randall (3) after a reception during the first half in the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credi
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Amaro put an emphatic exclamation point on what was likely his final game at the collegiate level with his gaudy statistics.

While the Sun Devils defense makes a habit of making offensive players look great, Amaro rose above and beyond while leading the team in receptions and yards.

Not only that, Amaro broke the NCAA record for receiving yards by a tight end, as the bowl's Twitter account captured:

To summarize, Amaro finished a winner and record-breaker. Not a bad way to potentially go out.


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