TEMPE, Ariz. – The Jayden Daniels era of Arizona State football got off to an impressive start as the first true freshman to start an opener at quarterback in school history led the Sun Devils to a 30-7 victory over Kent State on Aug. 29. Arizona State, which has a huge road date with No. 20 Michigan State on deck, will look to open the season 2-0 when it hosts high-scoring Sacramento State on Friday night.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: No Line
The 6-3, 175-pound Daniels, rated the nation's No. 2 dual-threat quarterback prospect coming out of Cajon (Calif.) High School, completed 15-of-24 passes for 284 yards and two touchdowns, ran for a third score and didn't turn the ball over - the only negative being that he was sacked five times. "When you look at his day, he had 284 yards passing, two touchdowns, he threw it 24 times," Arizona State coach Herm Edwards told reporters. "Now, the sack thing, we got sacked five times. That's a little daunting there when you get sacked five times." Daniels was one of 25 freshmen to play in the opener (14 true, 11 redshirt), the largest number of freshmen to play in a game for the Sun Devils in the modern era. Sacramento State, picked to finish 11th in the 13-team Big Sky coaches poll, crushed NAIA powerhouse Southern Oregon 77-19 last Saturday night in its season opener.
ABOUT SACRAMENTO STATE (1-0)
It was a record-setting debut for head coach Troy Taylor, who took over the Hornets after spending the past two seasons as offensive coordinator at Utah. Sacramento State, which finished 2-8 in 2018, scored touchdowns on its first nine possessions and reached the end zone 11 times while breaking the school single-game scoring record of 76 points set against the University of San Francisco in 1968. Third-year starting quarterback Kevin Thomson led the way, passing for 303 yards along with four touchdowns, and also rushed for 90 more yards and a TD while the Hornets defense finished with 11 tackles-for-loss for a combined 44 yards.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (1-0)
Although the spotlight was on the play of Daniels, Edwards was even more impressed with the play of his defense against the Golden Flashes. The Sun Devils limited Kent State to 200 total yards of offense, forced six fumbles and didn't allow the Golden Flashes to score until the 12:29 mark of the fourth quarter. Junior running back Eno Benjamin, who led the Pac-12 with 1,642 rushing yards last season, finished with 102 on 22 carries and also caught a touchdown pass in the opener.
1. Arizona State P Michael Turk, a sophomore transfer from Lafayette and the nephew of former NFL punter Matt Turk, set an NCAA record by averaging 63.0 yards on five punts including a 75-yarder against Kent State.
2. Sun Devils PK Cristian Zendejas, who connected on field goals of 40, 35 and 31 yards in the opener, became the third member of his family to kick a point for the team joining his father (Louis Zendejas 1981-84) and uncle (Alan Zendejas 1987-89).
3. Benjamin now has 10 100-yard rushing games in his career, eighth most in school history.
PREDICTION: Arizona State 49, Sacramento State 13