Early Jayden Daniels-led offensive explosion propels ASU over Stanford

Oct 9, 2021, 12:20 AM
Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) gets past the Stanford defense as he runs for a touchd...

Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) gets past the Stanford defense as he runs for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

TEMPE — No. 22 Arizona State came out red hot in Friday night’s 28-10 win over the Stanford Cardinal at Sun Devil Stadium.

ASU jumped out to an early 21-7 lead early in the second quarter after scoring touchdowns on its first three possessions of the ballgame.

That was largely due to Arizona State’s ability to convert on third down, which the Sun Devils successfully converted on their first six attempts.

And after getting three first downs on the opening drive — including converting on two third downs — ASU junior quarterback Jayden Daniels ran for a 51-yard touchdown, the longest rush in his career at Arizona State.

“We know coming out with a fast start is something that the coaches preach,” Daniels said postgame.

“That’s what Coach (Zak) Hill and his staff preach: just go out there and start out fast, put ourselves in a good position. … We capitalized on what we seen against Stanford, play-action passing, just getting on the edge and out-running them and using our speed and it worked out in our advantage.”

In fact, the Sun Devils’ first punt of the game didn’t come until their first possession of the second half.

However, after scoring three touchdowns on the first three possessions, Arizona State’s offense failed to score another point for the rest of the game.

“Most definitely,” Daniels said of leaving points on the board. “You know you want to be perfect but that just comes with football, just comes with the game. You’re going to battle through adversity. … We wanted to keep scoring but that’s something that we preach is just finishing drives.”

Of ASU’s only five possessions in the second half, two resulted in a punt, one resulted in a turnover on downs in Standford’s red zone, one was a missed 32-yard and the last finished in victory formation.

“I thought the second half was telling,” Edwards added. “Our defense only allowed three points, so when you can do that your chances of winning go way up. I thought there’s a couple things we got to clean up but I’ll get that straight, I promise you that. But it was a good win for us.”

The Sun Devils finished the night with 255 rushing yards and 175 through the air for a total of 430 total yards on offense.

“We had some opportunities and we just didn’t take advantage of it and that’s the hard part because you feel like you’re rolling a little bit and then all of a sudden nothing,” head coach Herm Edwards said.

“We got to clean that up. … We ran the ball for over 200 yards and whenever we’re 200-plus, we’ve won a lot of games here. Our record is pretty good.”

While going 14-for-23 (60.8%) passing, Daniels accounted for 76 of the rushing yards on 13 attempts (5.8 per carry) — the second-most of any rusher behind Rachaad White’s 96 yards — to finish with a combined 251 yards.

“He’s starting to get comfortable with the receivers,” Edwards said. “You got to give the receivers a lot of credit. They’re starting to find their way. … I think every week you’re starting to see some explosive plays.”

ASU improves to a 5-1 record on the 2021 season following the win and now boasts the best record in the Pac-12 South at 3-0.


— WR Johnny Wilson did not play but Edwards says he “will be back eventually.”

— Edwards on DB Chase Lucas: “(He’s) a little sore. I’ll probably know a little bit more about that tomorrow.”


Arizona State travels up north to face a Pac-12 South Division rival in the Utah Utes.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Catch all the action on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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