The Arizona State Sun Devils moved to 2-0 Friday night -- and 7-1 at Sun Devil Stadium under Herm Edwards -- with a 19-7 defeat of Sacramento State behind the leg of Christian Zendejas, who kicked four field goals, and a big-time third-down late conversion from Jayden Daniels to Eno Benjamin.
Zendejas had three-pointers from 36, 26 (twice) and 35 yards while Jayden Daniels was 17-of-27 for 304 yards, with the big play a 72-yard catch and run by Benjamin on a third down with under five minutes to play.
Brandon Aiyuk caught four passes for 98 yards, while Benjamin had four catches for 94 yards and ran for 69 yards on 24 carries.
Defense was the theme of the first half as the two teams combined for only 209 yards in total offense (Sacramento State – 131 yards/ASU – 78 yards).
The Sun Devil defense came up with the first big stop of the game after the Hornets marched into ASU territory on their second drive of the game. The Hornets would drive the ball as far as the ASU 30 before the Sun Devils turned up the heat on Sacramento State’s offense. The Hornets went backwards, losing two yards over the next three plays. On fourth and 12, Hornet quarterback Kevin Thomson threw his second straight incompletion and ASU took over the ball on downs.
Brandon Aiyuk -- who hauled in a 24-yard reception on ASU’s first play from scrimmage -- would account for ASU’s next big play of the game early in the second quarter, bringing a Sacramento State punt back 38 yards to set up the Sun Devil offense at the Hornet nine-yard line. Unfortunately the Sun Devils could not convert the excellent field position into points as ASU RB A.J. Carter was separated from the ball just short of the goal line after catching a pass from Daniels on third and goal. The Hornets recovered the ball in the end zone to turn ASU away.