EditorsNote: clarifies field goal stat in first paragraph
Arizona State sophomore Cristian Zendejas tied a bowl record with four field goals, and the Sun Devils beat the Florida State Seminoles 20-14 without scoring an offensive touchdown in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday afternoon.
Cornerback Willie Harts returned the third of the four interceptions of Florida State quarterback James Blackman’s for 25 yards to score the go-ahead touchdown with 10:06 remaining, and quarterback Jayden Daniels’ two-point conversion run added the final points as the Sun Devils (8-5) won their first bowl game since beating Duke in the 2014 Sun Bowl.
Freshman Daniels completed 12 of 28 passes for 195 yards and also rushed for 36 yards as the Sun Devils played without leading rusher Eno Benjamin and leading receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Wide receiver Kyle Williams missed the second half with an Achilles injury after catching two passes for 76 yards in the first half.
Blackman completed 14 of 26 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown and wide receiver Tamorrion Terry had nine receptions for 165 yards and a touchdown for the Seminoles (6-7), who posted back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1975-76, the latter Bobby Bowden’s first year as head coach.
Sophomore halfback Deonte Sheffield had 87 yards rushing in his first career start and backup quarterback Jordan Travis rushed for 58 yards and also had an 18-yard pass reception for the Seminoles, who had 470 yards total offense while playing without leading rusher Cam Akers.
Blackman also had a fumble, accounting for five of the six Florida State turnovers. Florida State’s final three drives ended on a failed fourth-down run, an interception and fumble by Terry on running play with 1:18 remaining.
Zendejas made a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter and 26- and 24-yarders in the second quarter for a 9-0 halftime lead.
Travis’ 18-yard reception on a trick play pass from Blackman set up Ontaria Wilson’s 3-yard scoring run to bring Florida State within 9-7 with 3:17 remaining in the third quarter, and Blackman’s 91-yard pass to Terry on the first play following an Arizona State punt made it 14-9 with 1:04 left in the third quarter. It was the longest play in Sun Bowl history.
Zendejas’ fourth field goal, a 34-yarder, cut Florida State’s lead to 14-12 with 12:02 remaining.
—Field Level Media