EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – Arizona State will be without leading rusher Eno Benjamin and leading receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl against Florida State, but that doesn’t mean the Sun Devils are void of weapons.
With Aiyuk and Benjamin sitting out to prepare for the NFL Draft, Arizona State (7-5) will look to true freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels considerably more on New Year’s Eve. The Sun Devils think he’s ready for it.
Daniels threw for over 2,500 yards, 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions in the regular season and hasn’t thrown a pick since October 19 against Utah. He grew up in front of the Sun Devils’ eyes down the stretch of the regular season and his wit stuck out to ASU coaching staff.
“I think his poise and his ability to continue to learn. Everything for him this year was a new experience,” said ASU head coach Herm Edwards. “The conversation we had at the end of the season was that things were starting to slow down for him. He still has a lot to learn and he knows it, but we’re very pleased with his progress thus far.”
For his part, Daniels agreed that he still has some strides to make.
“Just going out there and learning different defenses. You see a lot of defenses throughout the season,” said Daniels. “It’s like nothing you’ve seen before, so it’s just learning how to watch film, and be a college student and a pro. It’s what they preach here.”
Daniels engineered big wins over Oregon and Arizona in the final two games of the season to help the Sun Devils punch their ticket to the Sun Bowl. Now, he hopes to lead them to victory in El Paso.
Arizona State will look for their eighth win of the season on Dec. 31 against Florida State in the 86th Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.