Nov 13, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards stands on the sideline during the fourth quarter against the Washington Huskies at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State: Herm Edwards’ job safe amid NCAA probe

Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards will return in 2022 despite an ongoing NCAA investigation.

Silencing speculation, athletic director Ray Anderson informed the team after Saturday’s 38-15 win against rival Arizona that their coach would be back for a fifth season in Tempe.

“I had no plans of leaving,” Edwards said. “That was nice of Ray and (school president) Dr. Michael Crow to be in there and show support of what we’re trying to do here. It’s nice when your players react the way they reacted.”

The Sun Devils finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, including 6-3 in the Pac-12. They are 25-17 overall under Edwards, including 1-1 in bowl games, and are awaiting a bowl invitation.

The NCAA started investigating the program earlier this year for allegedly hosting recruits during the 15-month non-contact period brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Three assistant coaches were placed on administrative leave last summer.

Edwards, 67, was the head coach of the NFL’s New York Jets (2001-05) and Kansas City Chiefs (2006-08) and spent many years as an ESPN analyst before taking over at Arizona State.

Edwards receives an annual salary of $3.7 million and is due a $200,000 raise on Jan. 1, according to The Athletic. His contract runs through Dec. 31, 2024.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils running back Rachaad White (3) runs the ball during the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State beats Arizona for fifth time in a row

Jack Jones forced a first-half fumble that led to an easy score and he delivered a knockout punch in the fourth quarter with a pick-six as the Sun Devils beat visiting rival Arizona 38-15 on Saturday in Tempe, Ariz.

The Sun Devils (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12) won the Territorial Cup for the fifth consecutive time, their longest streak in the series since winning nine in a row from 1965-1973, although this game was significantly closer than the 70-7 drubbing of last season.

Arizona (1-11, 1-8) was still within reach, trailing 31-15, when Jones stepped in front of a sideline pass from Will Plummer and was all alone for an 87-yard touchdown return with 9:49 to go in the game.

Arizona State ran for 228 yards, led by Rachaad White, who carried 21 times for 98 yards. Quarterback Jayden Daniels passed for just 86 yards, but he contributed the same total on the ground, including a 48-yard romp early in the second half that gave the Sun Devils a 21-9 lead.

Arizona often faced a loaded box when it had the ball. Plummer sometimes took advantage, completing 28 of 38 passes for 346 yards and one touchdown, but he gave away 14 points on the interception and the fumble caused by Jones as he attempted to scramble in the second quarter.

ASU recovered the bouncing ball at the Arizona 1 and scored one play later for a 14-6 lead with 12:12 to go before halftime.

Daniels threw for two touchdowns, both to Ricky Pearsall. His second came on a fade route from the slot as he hauled in a 14-yard pass with 4:50 to go in the third quarter. A two-point conversion gave the Sun Devils a 29-15 lead. The score became 31-15 when Arizona was penalized for holding in the end zone on a punt.

Arizona was effective in the first half but had to kick field goals on each of three trips into the red zone. ASU led 14-9 at the break.

The Wildcats scored only one touchdown on six red-zone trips in the game.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver RJ Regan (21) makes a catch during the second half against the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona looks to avenge last year’s 70-7 loss to ASU

Last year’s result looms large over the rivalry game between visiting Arizona and Arizona State on Saturday in Tempe, Ariz.

The Sun Devils posted an historic 70-7 victory in 2020 by recording a school-record 10 touchdowns, scoring the most points in a Territorial Cup game and winning by the largest margin. It was also the last contest for Wildcats coach Kevin Sumlin. He was fired a day later.

A billboard still stands next to Interstate 10 on the drive from Tucson to Phoenix, reminding everyone of the final score, with the words: “No pity for the kitty.”

Arizona coach Jedd Fisch wasn’t part of the game, but he’s seen plenty of game tape and apparently needs no further introduction to an often bitter, heated rivalry.

“When it’s 63-7 and you call a pass on fourth-and-4, there’s something to that,” Fisch said. “We remember.”

The Wildcats (1-10, 1-7 Pac-12) also remember Arizona State running back Rachaad White.

He was the MVP of last year’s game, rushing for 133 yards and three touchdowns, including a 93-yard romp.

White is the top offensive weapon for Arizona State (7-4, 5-3), which had hopes of winning the Pac-12 South but has lost three of its past five games. White had back-to-back games of 202 and 184 rushing yards earlier this month before he was held to 39 yards last week in a loss at Oregon State. He did contribute six catches for 86 yards against the Beavers, though.

“The running game has been pretty good,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “Last week, not so much. (Oregon State) got us in some bad downs and we weren’t able to run the ball like we would like. With that being said, if you have an efficient passing game, that helps you.”

The passing game hasn’t always been all that efficient, with quarterback Jayden Daniels completing 176 of 266 passes for 2,135 yards, with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Arizona’s offense has been among the worst in the nation, failing to reach 20 points in nine games. Quarterback Will Plummer (five TDs, eight interceptions) leads what often has been a short-passing attack. Stanley Berryhill III is a threat, catching 73 passes for 640 yards, and he can be dangerous on fly sweeps.

The Wildcats’ defense has been improved — ranking 61st nationally in yards allowed (376.2 per game) — but this will be the last game for coordinator Don Brown, who has accepted the head coaching position at UMass.

He would be fondly remembered at Arizona if he is part of a group that avenges the 2020 result.

“It’s clearly in the forefront of everybody’s mind since I arrived here,” Fisch said. “Not just the outcome of the season prior, but the importance of the game.”

Arizona State has won four in a row in the series, its longest streak since the teams joined the then-Pac-10 in 1978.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers running back B.J. Baylor (4) is upended by Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Jack Jones (0) during the first half at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State stifles Arizona State, 24-10

Oregon State’s Jack Colletto scored on a 47-yard run on a fourth-down play early in the fourth quarter to spur the Beavers to a 24-10 victory over Arizona State on Saturday night at Corvallis, Ore.

Colletto’s run came on fourth-and-2 with 11:24 left. The Beavers were forced to punt on three straight possessions earlier in the second half and had their 17-0 halftime lead cut to 17-10.

Oregon State (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12) finished 6-0 at home for the first time since the 2000 team, which included head coach Jonathan Smith at quarterback.

B.J. Baylor rushed for 150 yards on 20 carries for the Beavers, who racked up 235 yards on the ground overall.

Oregon State’s defense forced Arizona State (7-4, 5-3) into a three-and-out after Colletto’s run put the Beavers ahead 24-10.

The Beavers had the chance to make it a three-possession game with 4:39 remaining but Everett Hayes’ 37-yard field goal was wide left.

Arizona State turned the ball over on downs to end its last gasp with 2:22 left.

Oregon State led 17-0 at halftime after limiting Arizona State to 56 yards rushing. The Sun Devils finished with just 100 yards on the ground.

The Sun Devils had six first downs in the first half and failed to convert two field goal attempts, including a 32-yarder by Cristian Zendejas with 1:55 left in the first quarter. That occurred following Arizona State’s only trip into the red zone in the half.

The Beavers scored on three consecutive possessions, beginning with a 52-yard field goal by Hayes with 6:45 left in the first quarter.

Chance Nolan directed a 14-play, 80-yard drive that took 7:46, culminating on his 10-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Shaun Harrison with 9:09 left in the second quarter.

Nolan then led a 13-play, 88-yard drive that took 5:48 that was capped by Nolan’s 1-yard run to increase the lead to 17-0 with 1:59 remaining in the half.

When Oregon State was forced to punt for the third straight time to open the second half, punter Luke Loecher fumbled the snap that resulted in Arizona State recovering the ball at the Beavers 4.

Two plays later, DeaMonte Trayanum scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 17-10 with 13:56 left.

The Sun Devils committed seven false start penalties.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils running back Rachaad White (3) dives for a touchdown over USC Trojans safety Xavion Alford (29) in the second half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

ASU meets Washington, continues its run of going against interim coaches

For the third straight game, Arizona State will face an interim coach when the Sun Devils travel to Washington for a Pacific-12 Conference matchup Saturday.

UW coach Jimmy Lake was suspended for a week by athletic director Jen Cohen for a sideline altercation with one of his players in a 26-16 home loss to No. 4 Oregon last Saturday. Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory will act as head coach for the Huskies (4-5, 3-3).

The Sun Devils (6-3, 4-2) previously went up against Washington State’s Jake Dickert and USC’s Donte Williams.

“The coaches basically decide what kind of plan you want to present to the players, but you still have the same players,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said about facing an interim coach.

“I think whoever sits in that coach’s seat, you gotta realize the players don’t change, and you have to put them in the best position to be successful. The system’s in; you’re not going to change the system in a week. It’s all about the players.”

The Huskies also will have an interim offensive coordinator after John Donovan was fired Sunday after UW had just 166 yards against the Ducks. Wide receivers coach Junior Adams will call the plays.

“We’ve had a lot of adversity this year. We’ve had some tough times, but our team has fought the entire time,” Gregory said. “We’ve been close. We’ve just got to get over the hurdle.”

Lake’s altercation came as he tried to diffuse a sideline scrum between walk-on linebacker Ruperake Fuavai and an Oregon player. Lake appeared to make contact with Fuavai’s facemask with the coach’s play card and then shoved the redshirt freshman in the back.

“They’re college kids, and they hear all the outside noise, and they know that this is a challenging time for us,” Gregory said. “But they also are competitors, and they want to go out and practice and win. So all that being said, I’m not sure if it matters if I’m the interim guy or whoever it is — these guys are going to compete and play hard.”

The Sun Devils snapped a two-game losing streak with a 31-16 victory against visiting USC last Saturday as Rachaad White rushed for 202 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries.

ASU continued to struggle through the air, however, as Jayden Daniels was 11-of-20 passing for 145 yards with two interceptions.

Asked about the benefit of a strong passing game, Edwards said, “It’s easier to fly to California than it is to drive. The plane is easier.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Kedon Slovis (9) throws a pass against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State pours it on in fourth quarter to beat USC

Rachaad White rushed for 202 yards and three touchdowns, and Arizona State snapped its two-game losing skid with a 31-16 defeat of USC on Saturday in Tempe, Ariz.

White’s career-best night for both yards and touchdowns ignited Arizona State. He scored from 47 yards out in the second quarter, giving the Sun Devils a lead they never relinquished.

The advantage shrank to one point in the late third quarter after USC placekicker Parker Lewis made field goals 52 and 45 yards, but White slammed the door with touchdowns of 50 and seven yards in the fourth quarter.

The Sun Devils (6-3, 4-2 Pac-12 Conference) relied primarily on the ground game with quarterback Jayden Daniels finishing 11-of-20 passing with two interceptions. Daniels finished with just 145 yards through the air, but supplemented the rushing attack with 50 yards on five carries.

Arizona State also got 28 yards rushing and a touchdown on just three carries from running back DeaMonte Trayanum.

The 282 rushing yards USC surrendered marked the Trojans’ highest yield since giving up 322 to Oregon State on Sept. 25.

USC (4-5, 3-4) pulled ahead in the second quarter when Tuli Tuipulotu followed a 38-yard Lewis field goal by forcing a Trayanum fumble. On the ensuing drive, quarterback Jaxson Dart rushed to the end zone from nine yards out.

It was USC’s only touchdown of the night on the Trojans’ only trip into the red zone.

Kyle Soelle and Deandre Pierce intercepted Kedon Slovis and Dart. Slovis and Dart split snaps for a second straight week, and finished a combined 24-of-45 for 220 yards.

Tahj Washington led the Trojans with nine catches for 78 yards, but the absence of standout wide receiver Drake London — who fractured his ankle last week — limited the Trojans passing attack.

USC did not fare much better on the ground, gaining 92 yards on 27 carries. Keaontay Ingram led the Trojans with 54 yards on 14 carries.

With the win, Arizona State remains in contention for the Pac-12 South title. USC must finish 2-1 to avoid its second sub-.500 regular season in the last four campaigns.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) throws a pass against Stanford during PAC-12 action at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic

Ncaa Football Stanford At Arizona State

Inconsistent teams square off as USC meets ASU

Arizona State welcomes Southern California to Tempe, Ariz., on Saturday for a Pac-12 South showdown, a potentially pivotal contest for each team’s final month of the regular season.

The Sun Devils (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12), once in control of their championship destiny, have dropped consecutive conference games by two touchdowns.

Arizona State went into its bye week off a 35-21 loss on Oct. 16 at Utah, then returned last week to take a 34-21 home defeat against Washington State that was not as close as the final score indicates. The Sun Devils trailed by 27 points with five minutes to go in the game.

By the time quarterback Jayden Daniels found receiver LV Bunkley-Shelton for Arizona State’s first points last week, Washington State had already scored 28 points. That Sun Devils touchdown, meanwhile, ended a scoring drought of more than 60 combined minutes between the second half of the Utes game and first half of the Cougars contest.

“We’ve got to play a whole game,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “Can’t play in halves. If we can get back to our momentum and get going again, it starts for us early. … We’re playing a half of football. You’re not going to win like that.”

USC (4-4, 3-3) comes into Sun Devil Stadium with a similar problem. The Trojans dug a 24-3 hole Oct. 23 at Notre Dame, then pulled within one possession in the fourth quarter but ultimately fell short.

They rebounded with a win last week against Arizona but gave up much of a three-touchdown halftime lead and needed to secure an onside kick to preserve a 41-34 win.

USC lost standout wide receiver Drake London to a season-ending ankle injury midway through last Saturday’s win. London ranks second in the nation with 88 receptions and third in receiving yards at 1,084.

The absence of its most explosive receiving weapon is one bit of uncertainty for USC’s passing game heading into Tempe. Another is that the Trojans rotated quarterbacks Kedon Slovis and Jaxson Dart against Arizona, and they could do so again at Arizona State.

“I don’t know if we’ll rotate going forward,” interim USC coach Donte Williams said. “It’s a chance that we could keep rotating going forward. We’re actually the ones that are lucky. We have two really, really good quarterbacks that probably could start anywhere, any team right now.”

Slovis has thrown for 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions on the season. Dart sustained a torn meniscus after leading a blowout win at Washington State in September but returned against Arizona to go 12 of 18 for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

The quarterback question will loom in a final month during which the Trojans must go 2-2 to avoid their second sub-.500 finish in just four seasons. The 2018 team’s 5-7 finish was the program’s worst since 2000.

USC is likely out of contention for the Pac-12 South, two games behind division-leading Utah, which has a head-to-head victory. The Utes also beat Arizona State, which leaves the Sun Devils needing a big slip by Utah to have any shot at reaching the conference championship game.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Washington State Cougars running back Max Borghi (21) runs with the ball against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State upsets turnover-prone Arizona State

Washington State scored 24 points off five Arizona State turnovers and Calvin Jackson Jr. finished with 139 yards on eight receptions in the Cougars’ 34-21 win Saturday against Arizona State at Tempe, Ariz.

The Cougars (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12) were 16-point underdogs entering the game.

Arizona State (5-3, 3-2) lost its first game at home this season after starting 4-0. The five turnovers were the most for the Sun Devils since 2010.

Washington State’s Jayden de Laura completed 17 of 27 passes for 234 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

The Cougars surpassed 100 yards rushing against Arizona State for the first time since 2005, reaching 166 behind 68 yards on 16 carries by Deon McIntosh and 67 yards on 12 rushes by Max Borghi.

Arizona State’s Jayden Daniels threw two interceptions for the first time in his three-year career. He completed 23 of 35 passes for 228 yards with a touchdown.

Washington State took advantage of Arizona State’s turnover issues in the first half to take a 28-7 lead at halftime.

Two fumbles and an interception led to three touchdowns for the Cougars.

Six plays after Justus Rogers recovered a fumble at the Arizona State 20, Washington State scored on a 1-yard run by de Laura to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead with 9:44 left in the first quarter.

Arizona State drove to the Washington State 30-yard line, but an interception thrown by Daniels was turned into another touchdown possession for the Cougars.

Washington State started at its 13, and six plays later, de Laura connected with Travell Harris on a 28-yard touchdown pass with 1:15 left in the first quarter to give the Cougars a 14-0 lead.

De Laura led a 13-play, 80-yard scoring drive in Washington State’s next possession that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by McIntosh with 5:09 left in the first half.

An Arizona State fumble again resulted in a score when de Laura completed a 45-yard pass to Jackson with 1:50 left in the half.

The Sun Devils cut the lead to 28-7 on a 12-yard pass from Daniels to LV Bunkley-Shelton with 23 seconds left, capping an 11-play, 78-yard drive that took less than 2 minutes.

Washington State’s lead became 31-7 on a Dean Janikowksi 40-yard field goal with 14:54 left in the game after Daniels’ second interception.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA;  Utah Utes quarterback Cameron Rising (7) reacts after throwing a second quarter interception against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Utah rallies in second half, upsets No. 18 Arizona State

Cameron Rising accounted for three touchdowns Saturday as Utah posted a wild 35-21 come-from-behind win over No. 18 Arizona State in Salt Lake City.

Utah (4-2, 3-0), the only unbeaten team left in Pac-12 play, outscored Arizona State (5-2, 3-1) by a 28-0 margin in the second half. The Utes are 3-0 in conference play for the first time since 2015.

Tavion Thomas and TJ Pledger each ran for a score for Utah. Brant Kuithe caught a pair of TD passes from Rising, who finished 21 of 33 for 247 yards passing while rushing for 59 yards and a touchdown on six carries.

Rising was intercepted twice in the first half as Arizona State built a 21-7 cushion. Jayden Daniels passed for two scores and rushed for another in the first half and finished 20 of 31 for 237 yards for the Sun Devils.

Arizona State took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in 12 plays, capped by a 7-yard TD pass from Daniels to Jaylin Conyers. A 2-yard scoring plunge by Daniels midway through the second quarter made it 14-7 and a 15-yard TD strike from Daniels to Curtis Hodges made it 21-7 in the final minute of the half.

Utah’s six first-half drives included three punts and two interceptions with the only score being a 9-yard TD run by Rising on the hosts’ opening possession. In the second half, however, the Utes scored a touchdown on all four of their drives, with each possession covering at least 67 yards.

Thomas’ 7-yard TD run early in the third quarter drew Utah within a score, and then Rising hooked up with Kuithe for touchdown strikes of 20 yards and 7 yards to put the Utes ahead for the first time.

Pledger’s 7-yard sprint to the end zone with 2:39 remaining put an exclamation point on the comeback win.

Arizona State finished with 13 penalties for 115 yards and allowed four sacks while not recording one of its own.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; Provo, Utah, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils running back Daniyel Ngata (4) is defended by BYU Cougars linebacker Payton Wilgar (49) in the second half at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Utah’s emotional week concludes with key battle against No. 18 Arizona State

Utah continues to endure a challenging season in a variety of ways, both on and off the field.

The Utes’ off-the-field challenges are going to linger all season. Their next obstacle on the field comes in the form of No. 18 Arizona State, which visits Salt Lake City for a Pac-12 matchup on Saturday night.

After winning its last two games, Utah (3-2, 2-0 Pac-12) finds itself a half-game behind Arizona State (5-1, 3-0) in the Pac-12 South Division. However, the story of the Utes’ season to this point unfortunately is one centered around tragedy.

Utah safety Aaron Lowe was shot to death at a postgame party on Sept. 26. Nine months earlier, Utes running back Ty Jordan died as a result of an accidental gunshot wound. The team traveled to Texas on Monday to attend Lowe’s funeral.

Two days earlier, on Saturday night, Utah visited USC and knocked off the Trojans 42-26. The Utes scored 35 of the first 45 points and held on for their second straight win following a crushing overtime loss to San Diego State.

“To see just their sheer enjoyment, and that’s the best way to describe it, they obviously had Ty and Aaron on their mind, and it’s gonna be a constant the rest of the season,” Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said after the win over USC. “But to see them have the success they had tonight was great, and I think this team needed that. I know they did.”

Arizona State coach Herman Edwards has taken note of the way Utah’s coaches and players have handled a difficult campaign.

“I can’t speak for them or their situation, but I have been in situations like this as a former player with teammates,” Edwards said. “It brings a different side to it. I think it brings a lot of reflection. I think they’ve done a great job through this. Today hopefully they’ll have some closure to it. Coach (Whittingham) has done a good job of being a voice, speaking to young men. That’s important. I think they have handled it well.”

Cameron Rising threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns in the win over USC, which certainly caught the eye of Arizona State in its preparation for this week’s contest. The Sun Devils have allowed 14 points or fewer in four of their six games and held Stanford to 13 rushing yards in a 28-10 triumph last week.

Meanwhile, Edwards’ squad ran for 255 yards, led by Rachaad White (13 carries, 96 yards, TD) and quarterback Jayden Daniels (13 carries, 76 yards, TD). White leads the team with 421 rushing yards and has nine of the Sun Devils’ 21 rushing TDs.

“When you run for 200-plus, you’re going to win a lot of games,” Edwards said. “It was fun to watch the runners run.”

On the other side of the ball, Arizona State defensive end Tyler Johnson was named the Pac-12 defensive lineman of the week after recording five tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and two sacks against Stanford.

Utah has won 15 of its last 16 home games, including a 21-3 victory over Arizona State in the last meeting between the teams in 2019.

–Field Level Media