Skip to main content

It was an emotional day for Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels.

In a homecoming for Daniels and a plethora of other ASU players from California, the Sun Devils came up big when it mattered the most.

After a 42-23 upset win over the UCLA Bruins on the road, Daniels revealed in his postgame press conference that his grandfather had passed away on Friday. 

"I don't know how many (of his friends and family) that came out, but being so close to here (Pasadena), it felt good coming back home and getting a win for them," Daniels said, who played at Cajon High School in San Bernardino, less than an hour away from the Rose Bowl.

"Getting a win for my grandpa that passed; yesterday was his birthday. It just felt good coming back home to play in front of family and friends."

Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards says he and Daniels embraced prior to the game. 

"He did a great job, and his grandpa died yesterday," Edwards said. "Coming into this, he was a little emotional. I hugged him in the locker room and told him his spirit is in the stadium. His spirit is here, looking at you, watching you. And I thought he went out and really played well."

Daniels played his best game of the season, completing 13 of 18 passes (72.2%) for 286 yards (22.0 per completion and 15.9 per attempt) and two touchdowns Saturday night, passing for the most yards in his career since a game against Sacramento State in his 2019 freshman season. 

Daniels also passed for two or more touchdowns with no interceptions for the first time this season. He has finished three consecutive games with a completion percentage of over 70.

Whether or not Daniels was aided by his grandfather is not for outsiders to decide. However, Daniels' big night will surely be remembered by him and his family for a long time. 

AllSunDevils' thoughts are with Daniels and his family.