No. 22 Arizona State powers past Stanford
TEMPE – Jack Jones stepped in front of the receiver, caught the ball and held it out with one hand. Just before he hit the ground, the Arizona State defensive back caught a glimpse of Deandre Pierce and tossed it to his teammate for a spectacular touchdown.
The Sun Devils' run game was just as impressive.
Pierce scored a 27-yard touchdown on a lateral off Jones' interception and No. 22 Arizona State rode its explosive run game to a 28-10 win over Stanford on Friday night.
“When you run for 200-plus, you're going to win a lot of games,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “It was fun to watch the runners run.”
Especially like this.
The Sun Devils (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12) exploited one of the nation's worst run defenses, racking up 255 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Jayden Daniels provided the balance, throwing for 175 yards and running for 76 more, including a 51-yard touchdown.
Their defense gave up some big plays in the passing game, but kept the Cardinal out of the end zone in the second half and created three turnovers — none more exciting than the interception and lateral.
“When I got it, I knew it was me and the receiver on an island,” Jones said. “I turned around a 'Dre was there. Luckily he caught the ball.”
Stanford (3-3, 2-2) had no answer for Arizona State's run game and became one dimensional offensively after falling behind, limited to 9 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Tanner McKee threw for 356 yards and a touchdown, but had his first three interceptions of the season, including Pierce's back-breaking TD in the third quarter.
“We got into position multiple times and stalled,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “The defense gave the offense opportunities in the second half and the offense didn’t take advantage.”
Both teams were coming off big wins.
Stanford took down Oregon 31-24 by sending the game to overtime with a touchdown on an untimed final play of regulation.
Arizona State picked up one of its biggest wins under Edwards, knocking off then-No. 20 UCLA 42-23.
The Sun Devils kept rolling against the Cardinal with an onslaught of big plays.
Daniels scrambled through a hole up the middle, ran away from two Stanford defenders who collided and raced off for a 51-yard touchdown run on Arizona State's opening drive.
Raachad White scored on a 5-yard run, one play after leaping a defender for a 29-yard gain. The Sun Devils pulled off consecutive trick plays covering 54 yards, the second Elijhah Badger's 22-yard TD run on a reverse to lead 21-7 at halftime.
“When we get off to a fast start, it puts us in a good position,” Daniels said.
Arizona State's offense stagnated in the second half, but the defense came up with the big plays when it needed.
Arizona State has put together consecutive impressive wins with power running, good decision-making by Daniels and an opportunistic defense.
Stanford play at Washington State on Oct. 16.
Arizona State is at Utah Oct. 16.