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Rushing Game and Defense Lead Way in 37-10 Win Over UNLV

Sep 11, 2021

By Griffin Fabits, Sun Devil Communications Graduate Assistant

TEMPE -- For the second consecutive week, the No. 23 Sun Devils married a dominant rushing attack with a stubborn defensive showing, this time doing so to pummel the UNLV Rebels, 37-10, Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium.

Jayden Daniels and Rachaad White outran the Rebels for much of the night, with Daniels setting a new career-high in rushing yards with 125. White chipped in with 90 of his own on 22 carries, reaching the end zone twice.

"[I said at the half] third quarter now, this is when we really have to hone in on some things," Edwards said postgame. "Our coaches did some great things correcting some things on defense, as well as offense."

Dating back to last season, White has four consecutive multi-touchdown games, with a total of nine in that span.

139 - Mark Malone (10/14/78 vs. USC) - ASU's first Pac-10 win, upsetting No. 2 USC
135 - Taylor Kelly (12/30/13 vs. Texas Tech)
133 - Mark Malone (10/27/79 vs. Utah State)
125 - Jayden Daniels (9/11/21 vs. UNLV)
111 - Jayden Daniels (11/7/20 vs. USC)
108 - Mark Malone (11/7/78 vs. Northwestern)

The Sun Devil defense was unbreakable in the second half, pitching a shutout and forcing the Rebels to punt on seven consecutive possessions. As the defense stood its ground, the offense quickly caught fire.

37, Idaho State (Sept. 5, 2009)
100, Iowa (Sep. 20, 2004) 
115, San Jose State (Sept. 1, 2007)
128, North Texas (Sept. 14, 1996)
130, Washington State (Nov. 15, 2008)
145, Stanford (Oct. 21, 2006)
155, UNLV (Sept. 11, 2021)

"We went into the game feeling like we needed to stop their run game," Edwards said. "For the most part, we did. They have a dynamic runner [Charles Williams] and he didn't do a lot to us."

The Sun Devils ripped off 27 unanswered points, doing so via Daniel Ngata's 13-yard end-around, White's two scores, a 33-yard hookup from Daniels to LV Bunkley-Shelton and a Christian Zendejas 22-yard field goal.

After going into the half with a slim 14-10 edge, Daniels and the Sun Devil offense found its groove. They were propelled by a stretch in which they scored on four consecutive possessions to bury the Rebels, turning what was once a 10-7 deficit into a contest far out of reach.


The Rebels opened the scoring on their first drive of the night. Their offense made good use of its one first quarter drive, connecting on a 28-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead.

After a quiet first 15 minutes from the Sun Devils, they found the end zone early in the second quarter when Daniels connected with Johnny Wilson to take a 7-3 lead. The 3-yard reception marked the first score of Wilson's career, as he would total four catches for 38 yards.

Wilson was one of six wideouts who Daniels connected with through the air. White paced the receiving game with five receptions for 41 yards.

The Rebels' final lead of the contest came minutes after the Sun Devils got on the board, when quarterback Doug Brumfield scrambled and into the end-zone for an acrobatic 4-yard score and 10-7 lead.

The Sun Devils would jump back in front before the end of the half, when Ngata scampered into the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown to give them a 14-10 edge.

Their lead only widened, as they pounded the rock and tired the UNLV defense. They ran wild for 287 yards, marking the sixth time in the team's last eight games they've totaled 200-plus yards on the ground.

They added to that streak tonight even without the presence of DeaMonte Trayanum, who was nursing an injury and didn't dress.

ASU has also now held opponents to less than 30 points in 22 of 32 games under Edwards. They totaled five sacks and didn't allow the Rebels to reach the end zone in the final 38:46 of play.

With the win tonight, the Sun Devils have started the season 2-0 for the third time in four years under Edwards.

Up next for Edwards' squad is its first road-trip of the season at BYU on Sat., Sept. 18, in Provo, Utah, with kickoff scheduled for 7:15 p.m. PT/8:15 p.m. MT.