ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

Jaden Rashada flashes deep ball in debut for Arizona State

Aug 31, 2023, 7:47 PM | Updated: Sep 1, 2023, 10:21 am

 

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First-year head coach Kenny Dillingham indicated that Jaden Rashada’s arm talent separated the true freshman from the rest of the field competing for the starting quarterback job.

It took just one series into the 2023 season to see the arm strength and the touch from Rashada.

Four minutes into the opener against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds on Thursday in Tempe, the freshman rolled out to draw the defense’s eyes toward the right half of the field. He squared up and launched a deep ball that hit Melquan Stovall in stride and with touch for 33 yards on the left side of the field.

To top it off, Rashada’s accuracy was on point as he took a vulnerable, late hit that drew a roughing the passer flag, giving the Sun Devils an extra six yards.

Running back Cam Skattebo, a transfer from Sacramento State, finished the drive with a six-yard touchdown run on the next play, putting ASU ahead 7-0 with 9:00 to go in the first quarter.

Rashada was a perfect 3-for-3 for 44 yards on his first series, with Skattebo adding two runs for 18 yards, plus a three-yard reception.

Rashada finished the game 18-for-31 for 236 yards and two scores as ASU survived a scare, beating the Thunderbirds, 24-21.

By halftime, Rashada has thrown for 182 yards and two touchdowns on 12 of 16 passing. The Sun Devils went ahead 21-7 through two quarters, with a dust storm hitting Mountain America Stadium just before the intermission.

ASU punted on its third series as well before Dillingham made an aggressive call in no-man’s land with a 7-7 game in the second quarter.

On 4th-and-8 at the Southern Utah 47-yard line, he let his freshman quarterback fling it — and that Rashada did. He hit Xavier Guillory for a 47-yard touchdown that gave the Sun Devils a 14-7 lead with 5:32 left in the first half.

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