As the typical winter Pacific Northwest rain steadily poured in Corvallis, Ore. Saturday night, so too did the points for the Sun Devils.
Arizona State (2-2) capped the weirdest season any player, coach or fan had ever experienced with a 46-33 dominant victory over host Oregon State (2-5).
In a game where ASU gained 375 yards on the ground, it was evident from early on in the first quarter that points and rushing yards would be a dime a dozen for both teams.
After a seven-yard touchdown strike to Beaver wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey to cap off OSU’s opening drive, the Sun Devils took control in all three phases of the game near the end of the first quarter.
Rachaad White ripped off a 55-yard run on the next possession to set up first and goal inside the 5-yard line. Two plays later, he found the end zone with a 2-yard touchdown run. Following the extra point, the game was knotted at seven.
“I just take what the defense gives me,” White said. “We were just having fun out there, the whole team. (Offensive) line blocking really well, everyone was having fun.”
After a quick 3-and-out on defense, Will Shaffer and Timarcus Davis broke through and blocked a Beavers punt, setting up ASU with a short field at the OSU 37-yard line.
Quaterback Jayden Daniels capped a short drive with a rushing TD of his own to put ASU up six.
The Sun Devil offense wouldn’t be idle for long, as safety Evan Fields forced OSU’s Jermar Jefferson to put the ball on the ground in Sun Devil territory.
Defensive lineman Jermayne Lole fell on the loose ball. Daniels wasted no time agan capitalizing on the turnover, as he found wide receiver Geordon Porter on a 63-yard bomb for the sophomore’s first touchdown of the season.
dime. @JayD__5 » @GeordonPorter— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) December 20, 2020
The teams traded rushing touchdowns before the break, when ASU headed to the locker room up 26-15.
“We tried to keep them off balance a little bit all night,” offensive coordinator Zak Hill said. “Hitting that one shot early to Porter loosened us up a bit, and like I’ve said before, if you hit the shots you intend to hit it really helps put together some explosive plays. That one was huge right after the turnover.”
The second half featured more big plays by ASU on both sides of the ball. DeAndre Pierce set the tone early in the third, picking off a Chance Nolan deep ball.
“I’ve felt I should be leading the country in interceptions, thought I let a couple get away here and there this year, so it was good to get that one. I credit the D line with getting in the QB’s face and forcing that throw,” Pierce said.
Following the interception, the Sun Devils would not look back.
Two 50-plus yard rushing touchdowns from Daniels and White highlighted an offensive onslaught that left Beaver defenders chasing names and numbers for much of the second half.
White’s huge night on the ground featured 158 yards and two scores, while Daniels added 140 yards and a touchdown in the air to complete an impressive night for the sophomore signal-caller.
"QBs aren't supposed to do that."@JayD__5. a different breed.— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) December 20, 2020
“Once you see Jayden get in the open, he’s very elusive. He has good eyes, he knows when to get down,” head coach Herm Edwards said. “But he also fools me when he runs. When he starts running, I assume he’s going to get tackled, and I’ll be hollering at him to get down. He impressed me today.”
Oregon State found some success on offense with Jack Colletto, who rushed for two scores as QB. The Beavers scored on the game’s final play, making a one-sided affair look a bit closer in the box score.
Edwards and the university announced after the game that the program would not be playing in a bowl game this season and that their schedule was over.
“Our number one priority has always been the well-being of our players, and we are making this decision based upon that,” Edwards said. “Our players have worked extremely hard since they returned to campus this summer, and they have shown tremendous resiliency in dealing with adversity and challenges each and every day. We’re proud of what they have accomplished and of the way they have handled everything on and off the field. We look forward to beginning our preparations for the 2021 season when they return to campus January 11.”