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Jayden Daniels was able to settle in quickly for ASU debut

Quarterback Jayden Daniels #5 of the Arizona State Sun Devils drops back to pass during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Kent State Golden Flashes at Sun Devil Stadium on August 29, 2019 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

There is a fair amount of hype around Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels, and understandably so.

He’s the first true freshman to start a season opener in school history and one of the few in the country meeting the criteria.

There’s also following in the footsteps of Manny Wilkins, who was the team’s starter each of the last three seasons.

So, safe to say he would be pretty nervous in his debut against Kent State, right?

He did admit that was the case, but he got comfortable immediately.

“After the first play, everything just settled down,” he said to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta Thursday.

“It only took one play. After the first play, I’ll be fine every time.”

Daniels did indeed settle in, completing 15 of his 24 pass attempts for two touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 30-7 win. He also had 12 carries for 13 yards on the ground and another score.

Arguably the biggest highlight for the Arizona State offense came via Daniels’ arm but his recevier did most of the work.

Senior wideout Brandon Aiyuk caught a quick screen pass in the third quarter and went all the way to the house, 77 yards, for a touchdown that effectively blew the game open to a 27-0 Sun Devils lead.

The connection between Daniels and Aiyuk has been building since Daniels’ ASU journey officially began.

“Me and Brandon go way back,” Daniels said. “When I first committed he had talked to me when I first got here. He took me under his wing.”

While it was a 23-point win, Daniels saw some things he and the offense need to improve on for Friday’s matchup with Sacramento State.

“We gotta keep from going backwards and stay moving forward,” he said. “Clean up the penalties that we had had, clean up the missed reads, missed blocks — just have a cleaner game this week.”

You can hear that game at 7:00 p.m. on 98.7 FM.

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