The 5: Key moments in ASU’s Territorial Cup victory

Nov 28, 2021, 2:00 PM
Arizona State defensive back Jack Jones (0) celebrates with defensive back Jordan Clark and defensi...

Arizona State defensive back Jack Jones (0) celebrates with defensive back Jordan Clark and defensive back Tommi Hill (6) after having a pick-6 against Arizona in the second half during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Arizona State eventually ran away with Saturday’s Territorial Cup win over Arizona 38-15, but the Wildcats stayed competitive through most of the game.

ASU led by just six with five minutes remaining in the third quarter, but it eventually made too many game-altering plays for the Wildcats to overcome.

These primarily came on defense and through the run game.

Here are five of those moments that made the difference:

Goal-line false start

The Wildcats started the game with two red zone trips resulting in a couple field goals.

Their second opportunity involved a third-and-1 from the ASU 1-yard line. However, offensive linemen Jordan Morgan was flagged for a false start, which pushed them back to the 6-yard line.

Arizona quarterback Will Plummer threw an incomplete pass on the final play of the first quarter, and kicker Tyler Loop came on for his second field goal.

ASU held onto the lead 7-6 at that point, and never trailed at any point in the rest of the game.

Jones’ strip sack

On third-and-4 of Arizona’s third drive, ASU cornerback Jack Jones blitzed Plummer, who rolled out but could not escape.

Jones knocked the ball away, and defensive end Tyler Johnson recovered it and nearly scored.

“I knew on the backside Jack was coming, but I did not know he was going to come that fast,” Johnson said.

Johnson was taken down at the 1-yard line, and ASU running back Rachaad White punched it in on the next play.

Daniels’ run

Saturday was a forgettable one for ASU quarterback Jayden Daniels as a passer. He threw the ball just 14 times and gained 82 yards. But, he ran for 86, 48 of which on one play.

On ASU’s opening drive of the second half, Daniels evaded the oncoming five-man rush to his left and took off.

There were no Wildcats in his path for more than 15 yards before he received a critical block from receiver Ricky Pearsall.

Daniels scored to give ASU a 21-9 lead following the point after.

“When we came out of halftime, I told the defense, ‘We’re going to go score,'” Daniels said postgame.

Daniels to Pearsall

The Sun Devils put together their longest scoring drive of the game in the third quarter after an Arizona touchdown cut the lead to six.

They had a 10-play drive — eight of which were runs — for 78 yards.

It ended with Daniels hitting Pearsall in the end zone, the duo’s second touchdown connection of the game.

That gave ASU a two-score lead again, although this time it never relinquished it.

Jones’ pick-6

The Sun Devils led 31-15 with around 10 minutes left in the game. The Wildcats were still within two scores, but the window was closing.

They had the ball just outside the red zone on first down, and Plummer threw the ball out toward the left sideline to wide receiver Boobie Curry.

Jones had outside positioning and jumped in front for the interception. Without no one ahead of him, Jones had himself an 87-yard touchdown to seal the win for ASU.

“I played my leverage, the quarterback overthrew it and I took it to the house,” Jones said postgame. “That was my first pick-6 of my career.”

For his effort Saturday, Jones won the Bob Moran Territorial Cup MVP.

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The 5: Key moments in ASU’s Territorial Cup victory