Skip to main content

Sun Devils Register Season-Opening Win Over Southern Utah

Arizona State kicked its season off in tremendous fashion, as the Sun Devils emerged victorious against Southern Utah.

TEMPE -- The Arizona State Sun Devils approached their Week-1 game with a business-like mindset, and it was business as usual for season openers at Sun Devil Stadium despite a few bumps in the road.

Arizona State defeated Southern Utah 41-14 on Thursday night to begin their 2021 campaign, marking the 22nd consecutive victory for ASU when opening their season at home. That streak is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation behind Florida (31), Wisconsin and Oklahoma State (25). The Sun Devils scored over 40 points for the first time in their season opener since 2016.

Home-field advantage indeed played a big part in Arizona State's victory, as a big crowd was in attendance to see their Sun Devils in action for the first time since 2019. 

ASU's season started off nearly perfect, as defensive back DeAndre Pierce intercepted a pass on the third play of the game and nearly found the end zone before being brought down at the 3-yard line. Arizona State running back DeaMonte Trayanum punched it in on their first offensive play of the game. 

It was an eventful first quarter, including the ejection of linebacker Tyler Johnson only seven minutes into the game. On that same drive, Southern Utah drove down the field and drew within one score thanks to a Judd Cockett touchdown on a jet sweep. 

Arizona State linebacker Darien Butler was the star of the first half, as the senior intercepted two passes to keep Southern Utah's score to just seven. Two touchdowns a piece by running backs Rachaad White and Trayanum put the Sun Devils up 28-7 at the end of the first half. 

The win didn't come easy, or without concern, however. Quarterback Jayden Daniels left in the third quarter after what appeared to be cramps. Backup quarterback Trenton Bourguet took over for the rest of the night. 

Daniels completed 10 of 12 passes for 132 yards, while also adding 40 yards rushing. 

Daniels wasn't the only rusher to be pulled early. Running back Daniyel Ngata replaced the dynamic duo of Trayanum and White and he found the end zone late in the game. 

Arizona State outgained Southern Utah 421-224 including 222-78 on the ground. After a penalty-filled first half during which the Sun Devils were flagged 11 times for 120 yards, they settled down in the second half with only two penalties for 15 yards.

The Sun Devils play at home again next Saturday against UNLV.