By: Doug Seagrave/Excel H Sports West
Arizona State welcomed back the 1971 Sun Devil football team, the inaugural Fiesta Bowl champions, for a halftime celebration on Frank Kush Field. The 1971 team, led by QB Danny White, is revered in the Valley of the Sun. This year’s team is starting to look like it may be one to remember as well as they defeated Stanford 28-10 to improve to 3-0 in the Pac-12 and 5-1 overall.
The Sun Devil offense started strong and then relied on their defense in the second half to close out the Cardinal. Fleet-footed quarterback Jayden Daniels capped off a 9-play, 87-yard drive with a 51-yard TD run to open the scoring with 7:12 left in the 1st quarter. Stanford responded with QB Tanner McKee tossing a 6-yard TD pass to Elijah Higgins to tie the game.
When ASU running back Rachaad White scored on a 5-yard run with 1:05 left in the 1st, it looked like those betting on the over were going to benefit from an offensive shootout. However, after receiver Elijah Badger ran a reverse for a 22-yard touchdown to make the score 21-7 with 10:24 left in the 2nd quarter, points became much harder to produce. 3 Sun Devil possessions had resulted in 3 touchdowns. They could not capitalize on any offensive possessions after the hot start. The defense rose to the occasion to put additional points on the board.
The Sun Devils had a highlight reel defensive play with 2:38 left in the 3rd quarter to take a controlling 28-10 lead. Stanford’s McKee threw his 1st interception of the season. Jack Jones intercepted the ball and was about to be tackled when he pitched the ball back to teammate DeAndre Pierce who ran to the end zone for the touchdown.
ASU amassed 255 rushing yards. Jayden Daniels threw for 175 yards and ran for 76. The defense allowed Tanner McKee to throw for 356 yards and a touchdown. However, the Cardinal could only muster 9 rushing yards on 20 carries.
The Sun Devils will travel to Utah on Saturday, October 16, for another Pac-12 matchup. Kickoff is at 7:00.