Jack Jones forced a first-half fumble that led to an easy score and he delivered a knockout punch in the fourth quarter with a pick-six as the Sun Devils beat visiting rival Arizona 38-15 on Saturday in Tempe, Ariz.
The Sun Devils (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12) won the Territorial Cup for the fifth consecutive time, their longest streak in the series since winning nine in a row from 1965-1973, although this game was significantly closer than the 70-7 drubbing of last season.
Arizona (1-11, 1-8) was still within reach, trailing 31-15, when Jones stepped in front of a sideline pass from Will Plummer and was all alone for an 87-yard touchdown return with 9:49 to go in the game.
Arizona State ran for 228 yards, led by Rachaad White, who carried 21 times for 98 yards. Quarterback Jayden Daniels passed for just 86 yards, but he contributed the same total on the ground, including a 48-yard romp early in the second half that gave the Sun Devils a 21-9 lead.
Arizona often faced a loaded box when it had the ball. Plummer sometimes took advantage, completing 28 of 38 passes for 346 yards and one touchdown, but he gave away 14 points on the interception and the fumble caused by Jones as he attempted to scramble in the second quarter.
ASU recovered the bouncing ball at the Arizona 1 and scored one play later for a 14-6 lead with 12:12 to go before halftime.
Daniels threw for two touchdowns, both to Ricky Pearsall. His second came on a fade route from the slot as he hauled in a 14-yard pass with 4:50 to go in the third quarter. A two-point conversion gave the Sun Devils a 29-15 lead. The score became 31-15 when Arizona was penalized for holding in the end zone on a punt.
Arizona was effective in the first half but had to kick field goals on each of three trips into the red zone. ASU led 14-9 at the break.
The Wildcats scored only one touchdown on six red-zone trips in the game.
--Field Level Media