EL PASO, Texas >> Kalen Ballage returned a kickoff 96 yards to set up the winning score in No. 15 Arizona State’s 36-31 victory over Duke on Saturday in the Sun Bowl.
Ballage’s big return came after Duke (9-4) took a 31-30 lead on receiver Jamison Crowder’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Blakeney with 5:03 left.
On the kickoff, Ballage took the ball near the goal line and went straight up the right hash for about 15 yards before picking up a block and cutting to his right. He was pushed out of bounds at the 4.
On the next play, Demario Richard took a shovel pass from Taylor Kelly and bulled his way over the left side and into the end zone. Kelly was stopped on the 2-point conversion try.
Duke drove to 14 on its final drive, but Anthony Boone’s third-and-10 pass was intercepted by Kweishi Brown in the end zone with 45 seconds left.
Richard had four touchdowns for Arizona State (10-3) to tie the Sun Bowl record with 24 points.
Duke cut it to 30-24 with 10:10 left in the fourth on Boone’s 14-yard pass to Barnes.
Richard opened the scoring with a 9-yard run in the first quarter and have the Sun Devils a 20-3 lead on a 1-yard run midway through the second. Duke rallied with two touchdowns in 1:55 span — Boone’s 14-yard pass to Shaquille Powell and Crowder’s 69-yard punt return — to cut it to 20-17 at the half.
Kelly threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Richard in the third and Zane Gonzalez added a 47-yard field with 2:23 left in the half to push Arizona State’s lead to 30-17.
Kelly was 24 of 34 for 240 yards in his final game for the Sun Devils. Jaelen Strong, leaving early for the NFL, led Arizona State in receiving with seven catches for 103 yards. D.J. Foster had 11 carries for 79 yards and caught three passes for 42 yards. Richard ran for 41 yards on seven carries and caught five passes for 22 yards.
Boone was 15 of 31 for 193 yards. Powell ran for 117 yards on 29 carries and had three catches for 52 yards, and Crowder had seven receptions for 102 yards.