Daniels and Trayanum’s rushing game stand out in 28-27 loss to USC

Nov 7, 2020, 3:34 PM | Updated: 4:11 pm
Southern California safety Isaiah Pola-Mao (21) and safety Max Williams (4) celebrate after an inco...

Southern California safety Isaiah Pola-Mao (21) and safety Max Williams (4) celebrate after an incomplete pass intended for Arizona State wide receiver LV Bunkley-Shelton (2) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

The Arizona State Sun Devils faltered down the stretch in a 28-27 loss to the USC Trojans on Saturday, despite the team’s stout rushing game.

Sophomore Jayden Daniels, freshman back DeaMonte Trayanum and sophomore back Rachaad White combined for 271 rushing yards and two scores on the ground for the Sun Devils.

Daniels became the fifth ASU QB in school history to run for 100 yards in a game, gaining a team-high 111 yards on 11 carries.

The sophomore quarterback joins ASU alumnis Mark Malone and Taylor Kelly in the 100-yard club.

Trayanum, meanwhile, became the first ASU freshman to score two rushing touchdowns since George Montgomery did so against Baylor in 1990.

Trayanum finished the day with 84 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground, while ASU had 258 rushing yards as a team.

The Akron, Ohio native scored his first collegiate touchdown early on in the game’s second quarter, running it in from 25 yards to give ASU a 10-7 lead.

His second and final touchdown came on a bruising, 17-yard rush that gave the Sun Devils a 24-14 lead over the Trojans in the game’s third quarter.

Daniels struggled passing, however, completing 11 of his 23 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown.

The sophomore QB gave the Trojans credit for slowing down the Sun Devils’ passing game.

He added that both he and his teammates need to perform better if they’re going to win games in the Pac-12 this fall.

“USC did a very good job defensively taking away the pass which is why we went to the run so much,” Daniels said. “But other than that, at the end of the day we just have to execute.

“There were times where we could have executed a play that we had on third down. It’s just going back to the film, going back to the drawing board and getting ready for next week.”

The trio couldn’t overcome the Trojans’ air-raid offense, with USC sophomore gunslinger Kedon Slovis throwing for 381 yards and two touchdowns in the win.

Edwards addressed the performance of backs like Trayanum and White, giving credit to both for carrying the load for the team’s offense on a day when their passing attack struggled to find a rhythm.

“DeaMonte is a little bit of a bruiser. Rachaad is a smooth runner but I thought that they were both effective,” Edwards said. “And that’s a positive note offensively for us to be able to run the ball like that the first time out.”

Senior wide receiver Frank Darby left the game in the first half due to a rib injury and did not return.

Edwards believes that Daniels and the team’s receivers will hit their stride with time, giving the Sun Devils a multifaceted offense that can contend with anyone in the conference.

“And so, I think as they continue to play they’ll get better. I think we’ll improve offensively as well,” Edwards said. “Especially in the passing part of it. The run part of it, we did a nice job.

“Now, I think when the passing part catches up, we’ll have an offense that can score points.”

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