TMG Newsmaker of The Week: Arizona State

Mark Blaudschun

A year ago, they provided an early wake-up call to the Top 20 world with an upset of then ranked Michigan State. They proved it wasn't a fluke by repeating the performance in September in East Lansing. The Spartans, who barely recovered from the loss a year ago, have been tumbling ever since.

So it was for Arizona State and Coach Herm Edwards who came into the world of college football with lots of ideas and chatter about he would do things differently and that it could and would work.

There is still debate about that. The Sun Devils matched unexpected wins with let down losses last season as they finished with a 7-6 record. Edwards said he would tinker with the engine and it would be different this season. He started by bringing in a highly-regarded freshman quarterback, Jayden Daniels to Tempe in January.

By the spring, Daniels won the job. Things started out great this fall with ASU winning 5 of its first six games. Then the reality arrived. The Devils turned into Angels and Daniels looked more like a freshman. ASU came into Saturday night's game against No. 6 ranked Oregon with a four game losing streak, which looked more ominous compared to Oregon's 9 game winning streak.

After a brief speed bump at the start, ASU and Daniels put on a night time show in the Valley of the Sun. They built a 24-7 lead as Daniels completed his first 12 passes. Daniels completed 22 of 32 passes for 408 yards,with eight of those 17 yards or longer.

Oregon finally realizing what was at stake--a Final Four berth--came back and grabbed the lead, but ASU and Daniels never blinked.

With a third-and-16, Daniels hit Brandon Aiyuk down the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown to solidify a three point lead.

And just like that Oregon's playoff hopes vanished. For that Arizona State is TMG's Newsmaker of The Week.


Mark Blaudschun