EditorsNote: Deletes extra “pass” in graf 2; adds Benjamin’s carries and word “straight” in graf 3; other minor edits
Arizona State true freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels passed for 304 yards and a game-clinching touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and sophomore Cristian Zendejas made four field goals as the Sun Devils slid past Sacramento State 19-7 on Friday in Tempe, Ariz.
Daniels completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to halfback Eno Benjamin on third-and-7 with 4:42 remaining. The big play came on the possession immediately after Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson threw a 9-yard touchdown pass Tao McClinton to make it 12-7.
Daniels completed 17 of 27 passes, and Benjamin rushed for 69 yards on 29 carries and caught four passes for 94 yards for the Sun Devils, a 35-point favorite. They have scored at least seven points in 136 straight games, the longest active streak in the FBS.
Zendejas made field goals of 36, 26, 35 and 26 yards, the last of the four giving the Sun Devils a 12-0 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter. Zendejas’ father, Luis, made 81 field goals in four seasons at Arizona State before playing in the NFL.
Thomson completed 32 of 50 passes for 263 yards with one interception. Elijah Dotson gained 32 yards on 11 carries and caught 10 passes for 63 yards.
Zendejas is 7-for-7 this season while filling in for nominal starter Brandon Ruiz, who has missed the first two games due to a back strain.
Arizona State had 192 yards in the third quarter to the Hornets’ 10, but the Sun Devils had to settle for two field goals.
Zendejas’ 35-yarder with 1:57 remaining in the second quarter was the only score in a lethargic first half in which Sacramento State outgained the Sun Devils 131-78. There were seven punts in the first half, and each team lost a fumble.
Both teams posted lopsided victories in the season openers, Arizona State beating Kent State 30-7 and Sacramento State rolling past NAIA Southern Oregon 77-19. Arizona State topped Sacramento State 55-0 on Sept. 5, 2013, in the teams’ only previous meeting.
—Field Level Media