Jayden Daniels passed for a touchdown and had two of Arizona State’s six rushing touchdowns in the Sun Devils’ 46-33 victory over Oregon State on Saturday night.
Following a 70-7 blowout of rival Arizona, the Sun Devils’ offense was explosive once again in the season finale amassing 514 total yards.
“We should have been 4-0. That’s motivation for next year,” said Daniels, who was 8 of 15 for 139 yards, and ran for 83 yards on six carries. “You have those thoughts on what could have been.”
Rachaad White had 158 of the Sun Devils’ 375 yards rushing on just 13 carries, including runs of 51 and 55 yards.
Despite having three games canceled this season, White said “the excitement was still there for all of us.”
Daniels’ 53-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter gave the Sun Devils a 33-15 lead.
Jack Colletto, who the Beavers often utilized at quarterback in short-yardage situations, scored on an 11-yard run to cut the lead to 33-21 midway through the third quarter.
Back came the Sun Devils (2-2 Pac-12), who scored on White’s 45-yard run to extend the lead to 40-21.
Oregon State (2-5) stayed within striking distance on Chance Nolan’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Shaun Harrison late in the third quarter, cutting the deficit to 40-27.
But wide receiver Ricky Pearsal scored on a 29-yard reverse early in the fourth quarter to give Arizona State a 46-27 advantage.
Oregon State made too many mistakes and gave up too many big plays to avoid ending the season on a three-game losing streak.
“It was a long journey and a long road, but I’m really thankful for all the seniors,” Colletto said. “Just a lot of work to do in the off-season to improve and come back and be better next year.”
Arizona State, despite not going to a bowl game, finished the season strong.
“The key going into this game was we didn’t want to have a losing season,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “The last two games we’ve been more consistent with the offense scoring points.”
Following Jermar Jefferson’s lost fumble early in the second quarter, the Sun Devils scored on the next play when Daniels’ found a wide open Geordon Porter for a 63-yard touchdown — Oregon State safety Kitan Oladspo fell down on the play — for a 19-7 lead.
Jefferson finished with 103 yards rushing on 24 carries. Nolan was 9-of-23 passing for 114 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Arizona State extended the lead to 26-7 on White’s 4-yard run midway through the second quarter.
Nolan ran for 12 yards on a key fourth-and-2 from the OSU 42 to keep their ensuing drive alive. Colletto’s 1-yard touchdown run followed by his two-point conversion run cut the lead to 26-15 at halftime.
Arizona State: Arizona State went nearly a month between games due to COVID-19 related issues following a 28-27 loss at USC in the opener. After the California, Colorado and Utah games were canceled, the Sun Devils lost to UCLA 25-18 in their only home game.
But Arizona State finished strong, outscoring Arizona and Oregon State by a combined score of 116-34. Daniels gives the Sun Devils a veteran dual-threat quarterback to build around in 2021.
Oregon State: Nolan showed promise in his three starts in place of the injured Tristan Gebbia and figures to compete for the starting job next season. Jefferson, who came into the game fourth in the nation in rushing yards per game, has a decision to make about returning for his senior year.
The highlight of Oregon State’s seventh straight losing season was a 41-38 victory over Pac-12 champion Oregon.
Arizona State’s season is over.
Oregon State’s season is over.