TEMPE, AZ - As Todd Graham started to rehash his first game as Arizona State's coach, his mouth was moving, but no one could hear what he was saying.
That technical mishap with a postgame microphone was about the only thing that went wrong in Graham's desert debut.
Marion Grice ran for three touchdowns, Taylor Kelly was efficient in his first start and Arizona State opened the Graham era with a 63-6 rout over Northern Arizona Thursday night.
"They were obviously overmatched, and we dominated a team we should dominate, but still we played well," Graham said after his 50th career win. "I'm really proud of how our guys prepared and played."
Playing the up-tempo style Graham has preached since he arrived in Tempe, the Sun Devils overwhelmed Northern Arizona from the opening kickoff, forcing three turnovers and running for five touchdowns while building a 42-0 halftime lead.
Kelly, Arizona State's fourth quarterback in as many years, looked as he'd been under center all along, throwing for 247 yards and a touchdown.
Cameron Marshall had two of Arizona State's seven rushing touchdowns, both in the first quarter, and the Sun Devils ran for 305 yards, their most since 2001.
ArizonaState had 554 total yards while scoring its most points in seven years and was just as dominant defensively, knocking out Northern Arizona's quarterback and leading rusher in the first half.
There were some typical first-game miscues -- a lost fumble by Marshall, a couple of defensive breakdowns in the second half -- but there wasn't much for the Sun Devils to complain about.
"When everybody was watching us, we showed up," Arizona State safety Alden Darby said.
It was a nice start for Graham, who wasn't the most popular choice to lead Arizona State after Dennis Erickson was fired.
The high-octane Texan has been a winner nearly everywhere he has gone, but has a penchant for not sticking around, including a one-year stint at Pittsburgh before moving on to ASU.
Graham soothed concerns about his commitment with an all-out charm blitz, shaking hands and speaking with as many ASU and supporters as he could. He gave the entire program a makeover, from the style of play to the look of the football offices.
Graham also infused Arizona State with a much-needed jolt of discipline, turning what had been a freewheeling program into a yes-sir, no-sir operation. He stuck to his my-way-or-don't-play guns for the opener, sitting top receiver Jamal Miles and running back James Morrison for "not meeting a team standard."
Graham's grand plan has created a buzz in the desert, giving the Sun Devils a profile they haven't had in a while.
All that was left to do was win games.
Facing NAU figured to be an easy start, even without Miles.
The Lumberjacks are solid offensively, led by running back Zach Bauman and quarterback Cary Grossart, and are expected to be better on defense after coach Jerome Souers brought in 12 transfers.
Still, the Sun Devils are bigger, faster and have more depth than Northern Arizona, which hasn't beaten an FBS opponent since 1987.
It went about as expected.
Led by Graham, sporting a sleeveless windbreaker in the desert heat and a telemarketer-style headset, the Sun Devils ran past and over the Lumberjacks on both sides of the ball, quashing any hope of an upset in the game's opening minutes.
"With their speed, they create a lot of difficult matchups for us," Souers said. "But I think as a program, this is something that will help us in the long run.
Kelly was sharp after winning a three-way battle as the starter that lasted late into fall camp, making good decisions while hitting 15 of 19 passes.
When it came time to score, though, the Sun Devils went to the ground -- a staple of Graham-led offenses.
Marshallran in a 9-yarder to cap Arizona State's first drive, becoming the fourth player in school history with 30 career rushing touchdowns. He made it 31 on the next possession, diving in from 1 yard out on a fourth down. D.J. Foster followed with 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and Grice added another to make it 35-0 midway through, set up by a 50-yard pass from Kelly to Rashad Ross.
Arizona State's defense hammered Northern Arizona throughout the first half, knocking Bauman (head) and Grossart (knee) out in the second quarter while forcing three interceptions.
"It's a violent sport," Northern Arizona running back Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson said. "At any given moment someone can get hurt, and it's all about the next person being as ready as the starter."
It wasn't going to matter against Arizona State and all its speedy defensive players.
Linebacker Brandon Magee, back after missing last season with a torn Achilles tendon, returned one of the picks 45 yards for a touchdown just before Grice's TD. Darby later intercepted a pass by Chase Cartwright and returned it 50 yards, setting up Arizona State's fourth 1-yard TD run of the half, this one by quarterback Michael Eubank that made it 42-0.
Arizona State had a 356-92 advantage