Jayden Daniels leads Arizona State to win over No. 20 UCLA
PASADENA, Calif. — Jayden Daniels passed for 286 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Ricky Pearsall, and Arizona State used big plays to defeat No. 20 UCLA 42-23 Saturday night.
The Sun Devils (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) were forced to punt on their first drive before scoring on their next five to take control of the game and likely the Pac-12’s South Division. The Bruins fall to 3-2, 1-1.
“Last time we showed up in this place, it wasn’t a good showing for us,” head coach Herm Edwards said after the game.
Saturday night, those feelings were erased.
“For the most part, I felt energy on our sideline the whole time,” Edwards said.
Rachaad White rushed for two TDs, including a 49-yard score early in the third quarter to extend Arizona State’s lead to 32-23. The Sun Devils led by one at halftime before the senior spun out of an attempted tackle by Qwuantrezz Knight, changed direction and then went up the left sideline before avoiding a diving Alex Johnson at the 5 and then lunging over the pylon. The Sun Devils were then successful on the 2-point conversion on DeaMonte Trayanum’s run.
Daniels completed 13 of 18 passes, with four going for 47 or more yards. Two of them were touchdowns to Pearsall in the second quarter — a 65-yard yard screen that tied it at 14 followed by a 54-yard reception where the junior beat Elisha Guidry in coverage to give Arizona State a 24-20 lead. Pearsall finished with 132 yards on four catches.
“It felt good coming back home and playing in front of family and friends,” Daniels, a native of San Bernadino, said after the game.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson accounted for 328 yards. The junior was 21 of 32 for 235 yards passing along with 93 yards rushing on 18 carries. Kyle Philips had a TD catch for the fourth straight game and tight end Greg Dulcich had nine receptions for 136 yards.
After the teams traded field goals in the first quarter, the Sun Devils and Bruins combined for 41 points in the second. Arizona State led 24-23 at halftime.
Thompson-Robinson connected with Philips for a 3-yard touchdown on the first play of the quarter to give the Bruins a 10-3 lead. The Sun Devils tied it on the ensuing possession when Trayanum went around left end to score from 6 yards out. The key play of the drive was the first one when Daniels connected with Geordon Porter for 47 yards.
Brittain Brown’s 1-yard run five minutes into the quarter put UCLA back on top 17-10, but the Sun Devils evened it six plays later on Pearsall’s first touchdown.
Arizona State appeared as if it was going to go into halftime with a four-point lead, but D.J. Taylor fumbled a punt at the ASU 8, which was recovered by Kain Medrano. Barr-Mira split the uprights from 26 yards on the final play of the first half for his third field goal of the half and get the Bruins within 24-23.
Arizona State: The Sun Devils were one of the top rushing teams in the Pac-12 but are likely to get back into the AP Top 25 due to the prowess of their passing game.
Arizona State: Hosts Stanford on Friday.