Quarterback Jayden Daniels ran for a career-high 122 yards, Rachad White added two rapid touchdowns and No. 23 Arizona State eventually pulled away for a 37-10 win over UNLV on Saturday night.
TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State’s first half was a stink and the second half was stellar.
After a surprisingly competitive 37-10 victory over UNLV on Saturday night, the 23rd-ranked Sun Devils chose to focus on the latter.
“Ultimately, our people came together,” said Arizona State coach Harm Edwards. “In the third quarter, that’s when we were leaving.”
Quarterback Jaden Daniels ran for a career-high 122 yards and Rachad White added two rapid touchdowns. The Arizona State’s defense kept UNLV with a total of 19 yards in the second half and the Sun Devils dominated to lead 23–0 after the break.
White had 90 yards on the ground and scored a crucial 9-yard touchdown late in the third quarter to give Arizona State a 21-10 lead. He added a 1-yard touchdown run at the start of the fourth.
Daniels was 20 of 29 passing for 175 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The second touchdown was a 33-yarder for LV Bunkley-Shelton to put the Sun Devils (2-0) up 34-10 and narrow the stretch to three touchdowns in less than seven minutes, turning a tight game into one. Changed to comfortable differential.
“I think we did a good job in the end,” said Arizona State cornerback Chase Lucas. “But we have to start afresh, start better.”
The Sun Devils went downhill early on the first drive before UNLV’s Nohal Williams drove into Daniels’ end zone. The Rebels (0-2) then put together an impressive 16-play, 70-yard drive that took almost eight minutes.
UNLV took a 3-0 lead thanks to a 28-yard field goal from Daniel Gutierrez.
Edwards was not surprised that it was a tight game for most of the night.
Daniels hit Johnny Wilson for a 3-yard touchdown pass and led Arizona State 7-3 in the second quarter, but UNLV followed with another good drive. This one ended when quarterback Jacob Broomfield scored a superb 4-yard touchdown, doing a somersault in the end zone after being hit in the air at the goal line. This gave UNLV a 10-7 lead
“We’re not in a moral victory, but I think we’ve done a lot of things really well,” UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo said. “I think we’ve turned a page on how our people fight, our resilience, and how we see ourselves.”
Arizona State responded with a 13-yard touchdown run from Danielle Nagata to take a 14-10 lead at the break.
Broomfield threw for 60 yards and ran for 43 yards and a touchdown. The Sun Devils ended the game with a 462–155 advantage in total yards.
Arizona State senior linebacker Darien Butler had two sacks against UNLV a week after two interceptions in a win over southern Utah.
Butler was a big part of Arizona State’s excellent defensive second half. UNLV had downed just one first time since the break.
UNLV: The Rebels still haven’t won a football match since 2019 but are headed in the right direction. A week after losing to FCS-level Eastern Washington 35–33, they went toe-to-toe with a veteran Pac-12 opponent. UNLV had a tough time over the years. They were 0-6 in the 2020 season and have started the year with two straight losses.
Arizona State: This was another uneven performance for the Sun Devils, who don’t look like one of the Pac-12’s elite at the moment. They eventually defeated an unmatched UNLV team, but by the end of the third quarter it was a game of 14–10.
Arizona State won, but it couldn’t secure a spot in the top 25 after an up-and-down performance. The good news for the Sun Devils is that they are one of just three Pac-12 teams — along with UCLA and Oregon — to start the year with a 2-0 record.
UNLV hosts the state of Iowa next Saturday.
Arizona State travels to face BYU next Saturday.
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