Tempe, AZ—After a 37-10 convincing win over UNLV Saturday night in the season opener, Arizona State moved up again in the latest AP Poll.
Quarterback Jayden Daniels had a great game for the Rebels, he displayed a passing and running clinic against UNLV. The first half was a little shaky for Daniels throwing an interception in the end zone caught by defensive back Nohl Williams. On that possession, UNLV was only able to capitalize a field goal to take an early 3-0 lead with 4:40 left in the first. That drive took 16 plays, 70 yards, and 7:40 minutes off the clock for a 28-yard chip shot by kicker Daniel Gutierrez.
The Sun Devils couldn’t put any more points on the board in the 1st quarter. Arizona State was moving the ball well down the field but couldn’t punched it in for a score in the quarter.
With 13:42 seconds left in the second quarter, Jayden hit receiver Johnny Wilson for a 3-yard touchdown giving the Sun Devils a 7-3 lead. This possession took 11 plays, 71 yards, and 5:53 minutes on the clock, the offense moved down the field more fluidly behind a establish running game.
UNLV’s quarterback Doug Brumfield answered back immediately, he kept the ball on a keeper for a 4-yard touchdown, the drive took 10 plays, 75 yards for the score. The Rebels reclaimed the lead 10-7. This definitely didn’t stop the Sun Devils as they rallied back with running back Daniyel Ngata scoring from 13-yards out to put ASU back on top 14-10.
“I think that’s a top-25 football team that’s been together for four years. They made some good adjustments. We tried to make some adjustments as well, but we have to execute better. I think our guys came to play in that first half. We had some nice drives, but the second half we struggled to put some things together.” UNLV Head Coach Marcus Arroyo said.
The second half of the game was dominated by the Sun Devils. They outscored the Rebels 23-0.
Daniels moved the chains with his feet and had a pretty clear vision of the field. He had a career night with 125 yards on the ground on 13 carries making him the fourth most by an ASU quarterback. His previous high was 111 yards in 2020 against USC.
Along with Daniels’ rushing the ball, two freshman wide receivers came to make a statement as well. They both recorded their first career touchdowns against the Rebels. Johnny Wilson a redshirt freshman scored a touchdown in the second quarter at the 13:41 mark by a 3-yd pass from Daniels. LV Bunkley-Shelton, also a redshirt freshman scored his touchdown in the 4th quarter with 8:45 left in the game with a 33-yard pass by Daniels as well.
During the post-game interview, Head Coach Herm Edwards stated “I didn’t anticipate he was going to run the ball for 125 yards. It’s good, but not so good. You don’t want him running that much. That’s too many runs for him, to be quite honest, but he helped us win this game with his legs.”
Daniels felt the same way as he stated “It is not in the game plan for me to get all the rushing yards, but if they are going to give me the opportunity, I am going to take them.” That is what a leader does, make quick split decisions on what is going to be the best option or solution for the task at hand. His high rushing yards stemmed from lack of pass protection from the offensive line.”
Rebels QB Brumfield was 6 of 14 for 63 yards through the air, 43 rushing yards and a touchdown before leaving the game late in the third quarter with an injury. He was replaced by Justin Rogers who was UNLV starting quarterback in the season opener against Eastern Washington.
Fourth quarter was all the Sun Devils. They scored on three consecutive possessions against the Rebels. Arizona State amassed 462 the total yards compared to 155 by the Rebels.
Sun Devil’s will travel to Utah to play BYU as they are both 2-0 heading into next week. Kick off is set for 715 pm.
BYU defeated Arizona 24-16 last week in Las Vegas. This week they (BYU) defeated their state rival Utah Utes 26-17.