#19 Sun Devil Football Heads to Provo to Battle #23 BYU
THE GAME - The #19 Sun Devil Football program takes to the road for the first time this season against the #23 BYU Cougars this Saturday, Sept. 18 at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah. The game is scheduled for a 7:15 AZT/8:15 Local kickoff and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN (Dave Flemming, Rod Gilmore, Stormy Buonantony on the call) and available over the airwaves locally on 620 AM/98.7 FM HD-2 (Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst, Jordan Simone, Jeff Munn).
THE COUGARS/RANKED OPPONENTS - BYU is off to a 2-0 start with consecutive victories over Pac-12 opponents in Arizona (24-16) and #18/21 Utah (26-17). The victories have propelled the Cougars to #23 in this week's AP Rankings. ASU leads the all-time series against BYU, 20-7, though the two squads have not faced off since 1998 and the Cougars are the victors of the last two contests, including a 26-6 victory in that 1998 game in Provo. BYU rides an 11-game home winning streak entering the contest.
This marks the third-straight season that ASU's first road game of the year is taking place against a ranked opponent (#20 USC in 2020, #18 Michigan State in 2019). It will be the first time that two ranked teams will be playing at LaVell Edwards Stadium since 2009 (#22 Utah at #18 BYU). ASU is 5-5 under Herm Edwards against AP-Ranked opponents.
- ASU's secondary has combined for 131 career starts, a total that is second in the nation behind only Indiana. The group is led by Chase Lucas' 41 career starts, who needs eight starts this season to break the Sun Devil school record currently held by Dexter Davis (47).
- ASU has 23 rushing touchdowns in its last 5 games - the most of any FBS team over their most recent five-game stretch ahead of Kent State (19), Buffalo (18) and TCU (17).
- ASU has scored 194 points over a four-game stretch, the most since four wins and 195 points at the beginning of the 2016 season (44, 68, 32, 51).
- ASU has forced 38 turnovers in its last 13 games dating back to 2019, good for the most in the nation over an 13-game span. In fact, even without a takeaway against UNLV, ASU still has five more than any school in the country over the last 13 games (Iowa, 33).
- ASU has won four straight games by double digits, the first time they have won four consecutive games by double digits since the first five games of the 2007 season.
- Darien Butler is the only player in the country with 2.0 sacks and two interceptions this year.
- ASU has allowed only 379 yards through two games this season, it's fewest since allowing 299 in the first two games of the 2009 season.
- The first two games of the year mark the first time ASU has allowed less than 250 yards of offense to an opponent in back-to-back games since San Jose State (115) and Colorado (204) in the first two games of 2007.
AN ASU VICTORY WOULD...
- Improve ASU to 6-5 under Herm Edwards in games against ranked opponents and 3-4 against ranked opponents on the road
- Be the second-straight seasonal road opening win against a non-conference ranked opponent (#18 Michigan State in 2019)
- Move ASU to 21-7 in the all-time series over the Cougars
- End BYU's 11-game winning streak at LaVell Edwards Stadium
- Give ASU a 3-0 start in non conference play for the second consecutive season under Herm Edwards (ASU did not play any non-conference opponents in 2020) and improve Edwards to 9-2 in non-conference games under Edwards
- Be the the seventh straight non-conference victory for the Devils
- 49 passing yards by Jayden Daniels to reach 4,000 in his career (Currently at 3,951)
- 306 rushing/receiving yards by Jayden Daniels to reach 5,000 yards of total offense in his career (Currently at 4,694)
- 3.0 tackles for loss by Tyler Johnson to reach 25 in his career (Currently at 22.0)
- 6.5 sacks by Tyler Johnson to move into the Top-10 in ASU career history (needs 19.0, currently at 12.5)
- 7 starts by Chase Lucas to become ASU's all-time leader in career starts (needs 48, currently at 41)
- 6 tackles by Chase Lucas to reach 200 in his career (currently at 192)
- 12 tackles by Darien Butler to reach 200 in his career (currently at 188)
- 20 tackles by Evan Fields to reach 200 in his career (currently at 180)
#10THINGS (Twitter-Friendly Notes)
1. Darien Butler is the only player in the country with 2.0 sacks and two interceptions this season.
2. ASU has held opponents to less than 30 points in 22 of 32 games under Herm Edwards, notable as it DID allow 30+ in 32 of 43 previous games dating back in a span from 2013-17.
3. ASU's 23 rushing touchdowns in its last five games are four more than any other team in the FBS and six more than any other Power Five team over the last five games.
4. Since the start of last year, ASU is second in the FBS with a quarterback pressure 46.6 percent of the time despite having the seventh-lowest blitz percentage at 18.8 percent.
5. ASU has forced 38 turnovers in its last 13 games dating back to 2019, good for the most in the nation over an 13-game span. Even without a takeaway against UNLV, ASU has five more than second-place Iowa.
6. ASU has allowed just seven plays over 50 yards to opponents since the 2018 season over 32 games. The .22 50+ yard plays per game allowed are second-fewest in the FBS.
7. Since 2019, ASU has allowed a fourth quarter touchdown drive just 17.9 percent of the time (12-of-66), good for 10th among all Power Five schools.
8. ASU's secondary has combined for 131 career starts, a total that is second in the nation behind only Indiana (146).
9. Chase Lucas (41 career starts) needs just seven starts this season to break Dexter Davis' school record of 47.
10. Receivers Johnny Wilson, Andre Johnson and Ricky Pearsall are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd highest graded receivers as run blockers in the Pac-12 and 1st, 3rd and 9th among all FBS receivers in the category.
BY THE NUMBERS
131- ASU's secondary has combined for 131 career starts, a total that is second in the nation behind only Indiana (146). The group is led by Chase Lucas' 41 career starts, who needs seven to break the Sun Devil school record currently held by Dexter Davis (47). Since 2018, that secondary has allowed just five passing plays over 50 yards (none last year or this year so far). Lucas is currently the highest-graded cornerback in the Pac-12 this season, a year removed from being the highest graded CB in the league last year as well.
46 - Since the start of last season, the Sun Devil defense has forced a quarterback pressure on 46.6 percent of opponent passing plays - the second-highest in the FBS in that span. This feat is made more impressive considering ASU has blitzed just 18.8 percent of snaps in that time - seventh fewest nationally.Since last season, ASU's defensive line has recorded 28 tackles for loss or tackles for no gain - second in the Pac-12 (Colorado, 33), despite playing the fewest games in the league in that time. The defensive line has forced 44 pressures so far this season, good for third in the Pac-12.
38 - ASU has forced 38 turnovers in its last 13 games dating back to 2019, good for the most in the nation over an 13-game span. In fact, even without a takeaway against UNLV, ASU still has five more over 13 games than second-place Iowa. ASU has multiple takeaways in 10 of those (and three or more in six of them). ASU has 43 turnovers overall since 2019, eighth among Power Five teams despite playing significantly fewer games than most schools in 2020. ASU has outscored opponents 792-396 since 2012 on points of turnovers, scoring 64.9 percent of the time after a takeaway.
22 - ASU has held opponents to less than 30 points in 22 of 32 games under Herm Edwards, notable as it DID allow 30+ in 32 of 43 previous games dating back in a span from 2013-17. Last season, ASU was first in the Pac-12 in allowing just 23.2 points per game (32nd nationally).. In 2019, ASU was 35th in the country, allowing 22.4 points per game. The Sun Devils allowed just 25.5 points per game in 2018, good for 53rd nationally. These totals are notable as ASU was 103rd nationally at 32.8 points per game allowed in 2017 and had finished 99th or worse in three consecutive seasons prior.
7 - ASU has allowed just seven plays over 50 yards to opponents since the 2018 season over 32 games. The .22 50+ yard plays per game allowed are second-fewest in the FBS in that time behind only Washington (.12 percent on 4 plays over 33 games). ASU ranked in the bottom 10 nationally in 50+ yards played allowed each year from 2014-17. ASU is one of just seven teams in the country to rank in the Top-35 in fewest plays over 30 yards allowed in EACH of the last three seasons. ASU has allowed just 43 in that time (1.4 per game/31 games)) and is one of just six remaining FBS teams to not allow a 30-yard play.
4 - Jayden Daniels has thrown an interception just four times on 463 attempts in his career, the fewest among all FBS quarterbacks with at least 300 attempts. He is one of just three FBS quarterbacks since 2019 with at least 75 attempts to not throw an interception on third down. Since 2019, Daniels is third among FBS quarterbacks on yards per attempt on third down at 9.0 (1,015 yards on 113 attempts). He ranks 13th among FBS quarterbacks since 2019 with a third-down NFL QBR of 102. 2. Daniels has 10 touchdowns in the fourth quarter of games since 2019, 10th among FBS quarterbacks.
- Jayden Daniels is currently the 10th-highest graded offensive player in the Pac-12 this season (79.7) and third among quarterbacks
- Daniels is 21st in the FBS since 2019 in fourth quarter passing yards (965) while his 10 touchdown passes in the final frame are tied for 10th.
- Daniels has an NFL passer rating of 115.5 in the fourth quarter of games, third-highest among FBS quarterbacks since 2019.
- Since 2019, Daniels is fifth in the FBS in yards per pass attempt with 11+ yards to go at 11.3 ypa while he is second in yards per completion in the category (18.1 on 779 yards and 43 catches). His NFL passer rating with over 11+ yards to go since 2019 is 130.0, second in the nation behind Charlotte's Chris Reynolds (131.3).
- His 953 rushing yards overall (sacks excluded) are 17th among active quarterbacks and his 6.2 yards per rush are 14th.
- Daniels rushed for 125 yards against UNLV, his second career 100+ yard game and the fourth-most my a quarterback in program history.
- Daniels has picked up a first down with his feet on third down 54.8 percent of the time - 13th among FBS running backs since 2019.
- Among players with at least 300 passing attempts since 2019, Jayden Daniels ranks first in fewest interceptions with just four on 463 attempts (0.86 percent of his throws).
- Daniels is one of just three FBS quarterbacks since 2019 with at least 75 attempts on third down and no interceptions (Shai Werts of Ga. Southern, Phil Jurkovec of Boston College).
- Since 2019, Daniels is third among FBS quarterbacks in yards per attempt on third down at 9.0 (1,015 yards on 113 attempts).
- Among Power Five quarterbacks with at least 75 third-down attempts since 2019, Daniels is 13th with an NFL quarterback rating of 102.2.
- Starting with 1996 season, ASU's 22 rushing touchdowns in its past four games is the most by any Pac-12 team over a four-game stretch (Oregon, 21, 2013). In fact, it is the fourth-most by any FBS team in that span (Nebraska 25, 27, 24, 23 at points in the 1997 season; Georgia Tech, 25 from 2014-15 and Georgia Tech again, 24 in 2018).
- In the immediate here and now, ASU's 23 rushing touchdowns over its last five games are the most in the FBS over a five-game span ahead of Kent State (19), Buffalo (18) and TCU (17).
- ASU has gone over the 200-yard mark on the ground in six of its last eight games dating back to 2019. The Maroon & Gold are averaging 262.5 yards rushing over their past six games. ASU is 15th nationally and first in the Pac-12 with 259.0 rushing yards per game this season.
- ASU led the Pac-12 and was seventh nationally in averaging 264.2 rushing yards per game last season. It was the highest single-season tally at ASU since the 1981 team posted 266.6 yards per game on the ground.
- ASU's success this season has come in large part by its receivers grinding on the outside with the trio of Johnny Wilson, Andre Johnson and Ricky Pearsall ranking as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd highest-graded receivers in the Pac-12 as run blockers and 1st, 3rd and 9th among FBS receivers overall.
THE PRICE IS WHITE
- Rachaad White has four consecutive multi-rushing touchdown games dating back to last year. He has two in each of ASU's first two games and is ranked seventh in the nation with four on the season.
- White is the highest-graded running back in the Pac-12 this season (79.4) and the 14th-highest graded one in the FBS.
- A credit to his smooth cuts and the big men in front of him, 58.0 percent of White's rushing yards came before contact last season. He averaged 5.8 yards per rush without being touched on the year - tops in the nation and 3.0 more yards than any other player in the league
- White led the nation in averaging 10.0 yards per rush (420 yards on 42 attempts) while he was 14th nationally in all-purpose yards per game (151.0). He was second among Pac-12 running backs with 151 receiving yards and caught all eight of his targets.
GOING OFF THE RAILS ON A CRAZY TRAYANUM
- DeaMonte Trayanum was the highest-graded running back in the Pac-12 in Week One, posting an overall offensive score of 86.1.
- Trayanum was the highest-graded running back in the Pac-12 last season by PFF with a score of 87.6 - 4.4 points higher than any other back in the league. White was fourth in the Pac-12 with a score of 82.5.
- Against UCLA, Chip Trayanum became the first true freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game since Demario Richard in 2014 (14 for 116 vs. Utah - the 8th game of the year). In doing so in just his second game as a Sun Devil, he became the fastest freshman to have a 100-yard game since Keegan Herring rushed for 134 yards on 12 carries in his debut in the season opener for ASU
- Trayanum averaged a first down or touchdown on 36.7 percent of his carries last season, tops in the league just ahead of his teammate, White (35.7).
HOLD ON TO YOUR SEATS
- Arizona State has played in 11 total games decided by four points or less in the Herm Edwards era (since 2018), which is tied for fifth in the FBS in that time behind Kansas State (13), Iowa State (12), TCU (12) and North Carolina (12).
- ASU has seven wins in games decided by four points or less (7-4 record), tied for second behind Nevada (8) for the most wins by four points or fewer since 2018.
- The Sun Devils have played in 19 games decided by a touchdown or less since 2018, going 9-10 in that time. The 19 games are fourth behind Texas (21), Oklahoma State (20) and North Carolina (20) for the most in the country in that span.
A HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR
- ASU has forced 38 turnovers in its last 13 games dating back to 2019, good for the most in the nation over an 13-game span. In fact, even despite not having a takeaway against UNLV, the next closest team (Iowa) has just 33. ASU has multiple takeaways in 10 of those (and three or more in six of them).
- ASU has 43 turnovers overall since 2019, eighth among Power Five teams despite playing significantly fewer games than most schools in 2020.
- The Devils were tops in the country in turnover margin last season at 2.00. ASU was 6th nationally in turnover margin in 2019 (1.08).
- ASU (11th in 2018) is one of just two teams nationally to rank in the Top-25 in turnover margin in each of the last three seasons (Georgia Southern) and only ASU was in the top-15 in each of those seasons.
- The Sun Devil defense has forced a fumble 36 times on 1,369 plays run against it since 2019. The 2.6 fumble percentage is the most of any Power Five school in that time.
- ASU forced a turnover on four of Southern Utah's 11 drives in the opener (36.4 percent). ASU forced an opponent turnover on 25.0 percent of drives last season, tops in the country. ASU forced a turnover on 17.5 percent of opponent possessions in 2019, good for 4th nationally.
- ASU has outscored opponents 792-396 in points off takeaways since 2012.
- Since 2012, ASU has scored 64.9 percent of the time following an opponent turnover (133 of 206) while finding the end zone 98 times in that span (47.8 percent).
- Conversely, opponents have scored just 48.6 percent of the time following an ASU turnover since 2012 (67 of 138) with 51 touchdowns (37.0 percent).
- ASU turned the ball over five times last year, seventh nationally. The Devils turned the ball over just 14 times in 2019 - the 20th-lowest total in the FBS.
- ASU is one of just three teams to rank in the Top-25 in fewest interceptions thrown in each of the last three seasons, alongside triple-option offenses from Air Force and Navy.
LOCKING IT DOWN
- ASU is one of six remaining FBS teams to not allow an opponent play over 30 yards this year.
- UNLV converted four of its first five third-downs last week, before the ASU defensive clamped down and held the Rebels without a third-down conversion on its final nine chances in the game. ASU forced a 3-and-out on 7 of UNLV's final 8 drives of the game.
- Arizona State allowed only 19 yards in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter. The 19 yards with the fewest allowed in an ASU half since Louisville in 1992.
- Arizona State allowed a pass of 40+ yards on just 1 of 158 attempts (0.6%) last season -- 4th-best percentage-wise among Power 5 Teams. ASU allowed just one play over 50 yards on the season (rush) - tied for third-lowest in the country.
- ASU has allowed just seven plays over 50 yards to opponents since the 2018 season over 32 games. The .22 50+ yard plays per game allowed are second-fewest in the FBS in that time behind only Washington (.12 percent on 4 plays over 33 games). ASU ranked in the bottom 10 nationally in 50+ yards played allowed each year from 2014-17.
- ASU is one of just seven teams in the country to rank in the Top-35 in fewest plays over 30 yards allowed in EACH of the last three seasons (Cal, Washington, Utah, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern). ASU has allowed just 43 in that time (1.3 per game/32 games)). For perspective, from 2014-17, ASU gave up 38, 44, 40, 40 such plays, respectively ranked 116th, 124th, 117th and 119th.
- In the last three-plus seasons combined, the Sun Devil secondary has allowed just 16 total passing plays over 40 yards. For perspective, it had 12 alone in 2017, 22 in 2016 and 24 in 2015 – the latter two ranked second to last and last, respectively, in the nation.
KEEP 'EM OFF THE BOARD
- ASU shut out UNLV in the second half, the first time it held an opponent scoreless in the second half since doing so against Washington on Nov. 14, 2015.
- The Sun Devils have allowed just 92 offensive touchdowns (2.9 per game/32 games) since Herm Edwards assumed the reins in 2018 - 14th-fewest among FBS programs. For reference, ASU gave up 109 offensive touchdowns alone between 2016 and 2017 (4.4 per game/25 games).
- ASU has held opponents to less than 30 points in 22 of 32 games under Herm Edwards, notable as it DID allow 30+ in 32 of 43 previous games dating back to a span from 2013-17.
- Last season, ASU was first in the Pac-12 in allowing just 23.2 points per game (32nd nationally). In 2019, ASU was 35th in the country, allowing 22.4 points per game. The Sun Devils allowed just 25.5 points per game in 2018, good for 53rd nationally. These totals are notable as ASU was 103rd nationally at 32.8 points per game allowed in 2017 and had finished 99th or worse in three consecutive seasons prior to the marked improvement the past three seasons.
- Since 2019, ASU has allowed a fourth quarter touchdown drive just 17.9 percent of the time (12-of-67), good for 10th among all Power Five schools.
THRILL OF THE CHASE
- Chase Lucas is currently the highest graded corner in the Pac-12 this season (76.8) and the 26th-highest graded corner in the FBS.
- Lucas was the highest graded corner in the Pac-12 in coverage last season with a grade of 84.7 and the 16th-highest graded corner in the nation.
- He allowed just 109 yards in coverage, seventh fewest in the Pac-12 while his 7.8 yards allowed per catch were third in the league and only allowed five first downs, fourth fewest in the league and forced five incompletions - good for third in the league.
- Lucas allowed a first down or touchdown just 31.8 percent of the time, seventh-lowest in the Pac-12, and allowed just one player over 15 yards, second-lowest in the league.
- Among players with at least 250 defensive snaps, Lucas was the fifth-highest graded defensive player in the Pac-12, regardless of position, with a score of 81.4 from Pro Football Focus. He was the highest-rated cornerback in the league.
- Lucas recorded a score of 84.8 in pass coverage for the season, the highest for a cornerback in the league and the second-highest of any defensive player.
- He was the sixth-highest graded cornerback in the nation in pass coverage and the 12th-highest graded cornerback in the country overall.
- Lucas forced an incompletion on 27.3 percent of the passes thrown his way, the ninth-best tally among corners nationally.
- He was targeted just 22 times on the season despite playing over 90 percent of the team's defensive snaps, allowing just 14 catches.
IN THE TRENCHES
- Ladarius Henderson is one of five offensive linemen in the Pac-12 not credited with a quarterback pressure thus far this season and one of just 20 guards in the FBS to accomplish the feat (min. 50 snaps). His teammates Kellen Diesch, Ben Scott and Dohnovan West have been credited with just one pressure allowed, tied for sixth-fewest in the Pac-12.
- All told, the ASU offensive line has allowed just eight quarterback pressures this year - nine fewer than any other Pac-12 school and eighth-fewest in the FBS.
- ASU's offensive line has allowed just 207 combined quarterback pressures by opponents since 2019 - 10th-fewest among Power Five schools. This is made more impressive by the fact ASU has faced a blitz 38.0 percent of the time in that period - 11th most among the Power Five.
- Kellen Diesch is currently the highest-graded offensive player in the Pac-12 (91.1) and the 11th-highest graded offensive player in the FBS.
- West was named a 2021 PFF Preseason All-America pick by Pro Football Focus, a 2021 Athlon Sports Preseason All-Pac-12 First Team Selection and is ranked as the 2021 No. 5 Lindy's Preseason Center.
- West was the 7th-highest graded guard in the Power Five last season, according to PFF (76.7) and tops among Pac-12 guards
- He was credited with just two QB pressures allowed, tied for third among P5 guards nationally and did not allow a sack on the season.
- Kellen Diesch was the 18th highest-graded tackle in among Power Five schools last year, according to PFF and second in the Pac-12 with a score of 81.3 (just behind the 14th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, Alijah Vera-Tucker of USC (81.8). He is the highest graded returning tackle in the league.
- Diesch had the 22nd-best pass blocking grade in the Power Five (78.9), second in the league behind Vera-Tucker.
HOLD THE LINE
- Since the start of last season, the Sun Devil defense has forced a quarterback pressure on 46.6 percent of opponent passing plays - the second-highest in the FBS in that span. This feat is made more impressive considering ASU has blitzed just 18.8 percent of snaps in that time - seventh fewest nationally.
- Since last season, ASU's defensive line has recorded 28 tackles for loss or tackles for no gain - second in the Pac-12 (Colorado, 33), despite playing the fewest games in the league in that time.
- The group tallied 70 total quarterback pressures last year, sixth in the league but a 17.5 pressure per game average along the line that was easily tops in the league.
- Tyler Johnson is ASU's active leader in tackles for loss (22) and sacks (12.5). Last year, he led the team with 5.0 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss, good for fourth in the Pac-12, respectively
- Johnson was the ninth-highest graded edge defender in the Pac-12 last season as a pass rusher (70.3).
- Johnson's 19 quarterback hurries were fourth in the league among edge defenders. He generated pressure on 21.3 percent of his pass snaps, second most in the league and sixth-most nationally.
- Evan Fields Was the fifth-highest graded safety in coverage in the Pac-12 last season (73.4). He was also the fifth-highest graded safety in the Pac-12 in run defense (73.1).
- He was targeted just 4.2 percent of the time, second-lowest among league safeties and 15th among FBS safeties.
- He allowed just 51 yards in coverage, third-lowest in the league while his two first downs allowed were tied with teammate Deandre Pierce for first in the Pac-12.
- Fields Led the Sun Devils with 28 tackles - eight more than any other player and his 9.5 tackles per game were sixth in the Pac-12.
- Deandre Pierce held opponents to a 64.0 NFL QBR when targeting him last year.
- Pierce was fourth in the league in allowing a first down or touchdown just 28.6 percent of the time in primary coverage and was not credited with a touchdown allowed on the year.
- He had a negative grade in run defense just 3.3 percent of the time on the season.
GO DJ, THAT'S MY DJ
- Redshirt freshman defensive back D.J. Taylor picked up right where he left off last season. Taylor leads the nation with 127 punt return yards - 29 more than any other player.
- Taylor's presence has led to some incredible field position for ASU, even when he doesn't record a return due to teams kicking away from him or to other players. On special teams plays with Taylor on the field (six kickoffs, 12 punts, ASU's average starting field position is its own 34.6 yard line.
- His efforts garnered him Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week in Week One. He went over 100 all-purpose yards for the third time in five games as a Sun Devil in that game. Not only did he collect 55 kick return yards, he added 87 punt return yards, the highest total by anyone player in the nation during week one. He only needed three attempts to collect those 87 yards, averaging 29 yards per return. Taylor's 47-yard punt return is the longest of any player in the conference this season.
- Taylor was the highest-graded player in the entire country on punt plays in week one (83.6) according to PFF. The 83.6 rating was actually 10 points higher than any other player nationally. His elusiveness was on full display, as he forced three missed tackles despite only touching the ball five times.
- D.J. Taylor was the highest-graded kick returner in the Pac-12 with a grade of 81.1 from Pro Football Focus last season – good for 12th nationally. Despite his knack for success on returns, he was actually the fourth-highest graded player on kickoff coverage in the Pac-12 as well – with a score of 77.7..
- Taylor averaged 36.9 total yards per kick return attempt (including yardage on kicks taken out of the end zone), which was seven yards per return more than any other player in the Pac-12 and fourth among any player in the FBS with at least five kickoff returns.
- His 107 total yards on his touchdown against Arizona was the longest of any player in the FBS last season, according to PFF. Taylor took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown in the Territorial Cup, the first Sun Devil to accomplish the feat against Arizona.
- He was credited with at least one tackle in three of the four games last season on the return coverage unit.
HEY MR. D.J.
- D.J. Davidson is the second-highest graded player in the Pac-12 on run defense this year (90.6) and the fourth-highest graded interior lineman in the FBS.
- Davidson was a disruptive force in the middle of the Sun Devil defense and a big reason why Southern Utah only managed 78 yards rushing, making six stops (three solo) from his nose tackle position - leading the team in tackles for the game.
- His efforts garnered him Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week accolades.
- Despite seeing double teams for a majority of the game, it did not stop Davidson from being extremely productive. He finished with two tackles for loss, batted down a pass, and recovered a fumble during an excellent season debut
- According to Pro Football Focus, he was the Pac-12's highest-graded defensive lineman in run defense this week (90.5) and had the second-best overall run defense grade in the conference behind Oregon's Noah Sewell.
- Davidson was the 8th-highest graded player nationally on run plays and second in the country among defensive interior players.
- He finished as the sixth-highest graded overall defender in the Pac-12 for week one. Davidson was part of 5 defensive stops, the second-most in pac-12.
- He was involved in 27 snaps, with 15 of those regarded as "key plays" by PFF.
NO IFS, ANDS OR BUTLERS
- Darien Butler is the only player in the country with 2.0 sacks and 2 interceptions this year.
- He is the highest-graded linebacker in the Pac-12 (79.2) for the season and the 18th-highest graded linebacker in the FBS.
- Butler picked off a pair of passes against Southern Utah, his first multi-interception game of his career.
- He became the first Sun Devil to pick off two passes since Jack Jones did so in a victory over Arizona on Nov. 30, 2019 and the first linebacker to record the feat since Carlos Mendoza back in 2012.
- The two picks represented the first two interceptions of his career.