The weekend that college football fans have been waiting for has arrived. College football is back and I couldn’t be happier. Arizona State fans are excited as well. Year two of the Herm Edwards experiment is here and the fans have expectations of improvement on their minds.
The biggest change for the Sun Devils is at the quarterback position as we all know. Manny Wilkins is gone. Bring on Jayden Daniels, the true freshman. Daniels comes with the reputation of being one of the best dual threat quarterbacks coming out of high school.
Jayden Daniels showed flashes of what he is going to be able to do as a Pac-12 quarterback. It’s going to be a work in progress, but there is certainly the potential in Daniels to be something special.
Daniels got his first start against the Kent State Golden Flashes on Thursday night. We need to remember that this kid is a true freshman, making his first college football start, and is replacing a popular quarterback in Manny Wilkins. Jayden Daniels doesn’t have to be told there is pressure on him. He’s fully aware of it.
During the game against Kent State there were times where Daniels looked like a freshman and there times he looked like he was in control. However, that is what you get with a freshman quarterback. Sun Devil fans are going to have to show some patience with Jayden Daniels.
The Sun Devils in the first half were pretty pedestrian. Arizona State had 251 yards in the first half, one turnover, but also had close to 50 yards in penalties. Things had to be cleaned up a bit in that department.
However, when you looked up at the scoreboard it was only a 10-0 lead at halftime.
The game had turned into a punt fest. Worst of all, the Sun Devils were allowing Kent State to hang around. The longer a teams hangs around, the more the team starts to believe that they could win the game.
Arizona State had to come out in the second half and put its foot down on Kent State.
The Sun Devils did.
Arizona State put 17 unanswered points on the scoreboard in the third quarter. Between Jayden Daniels rushing for a touchdown, Cristian Zendejas kicking a field goal, and Brandon Aiyuk taking the ball 77 yards to the house on a pass, the Sun Devils put their stamp on their season opener.
Are there things to work on for the Sun Devils moving forward?
Even Coach Edwards said his team “needs to clean things up.”
Jayden Daniels received some praise from his head coach.
“I thought he made good decisions running the ball. He was a little inconsistent, but he is a freshman quarterback.” Coach Edwards said.
Absolutely, but the Sun Devils avoided the upset by a less talented team. ASU can also be happy that they didn’t lose anybody to a major injury. Injuries are the great equalizer in any football season and the Sun Devils have to avoid them like the plague.
All in all, this was a solid 30-7 win over Kent State for the Sun Devils. Next up is Sacramento State next Friday night at Sun Devil Stadium. Arizona State needs to get out of the gate 2-0 because then the Devils go to East Lansing, Michigan to take on Michigan State.