Tempe, AZ— The Herm Edwards Era is in full effect and it started with a dominate win Saturday night. The Arizona State Sun Devils earned their 20th straight home opener victory with ease as they destroyed the UTSA Roadrunners by a final score of 49-7.
Just 1:16 into the game, the Sun Devils started their rally. Redshirt senior quarterback Manny Wilkins connected with junior wide receiver N’Keal Harry, who juked to break a few tackles and took it to the endzone for a 58-yard touchdown.
The Roadrunner defense didn’t know how to stop Harry once the ball was in his possession. Harry lead the Sun Devils in receiving yards, completing six passes for 140 yards and scoring two touchdowns. His second trip to the endzone had the home crowd on the edge of their seats. After catching a screen pass from Wilkins on one side of the field he switched directions and ran all the way across to the other side before reaching the endzone untouched for a 31-yard touchdown.
“I don’t know how many guys he made miss tackles,” Edwards said. “It was about a 100-yard play because he runs from one sideline to the other. After he was going to the other one, I was going “really?” and he just kept going until he scored a touchdown, so it was pretty good.”
“I was trying to make a play,” Harry explained. “That’s something that really comes natural to me when I’m out there. I feel like it’s just natural God given ability, so it was just natural to me.”
The Sun Devil assault wasn’t just offensively, they also dominated UTSA on the defensive end. The Roadrunners first drive lasted all of two plays, before ASU sophomore defensive end Shannon Forman intercepted UTSA quarterback Cordale Grundy’s pass and rushed for a 25-yard return, giving the Sun Devils a brisk 14-0 lead.
“I was very impressed with them (defense),” Wilkins expressed. “They got after the quarterback a lot and I think that early on getting after the quarterback, affects him later on in the game.”
The Sun Devils started to get a little choppy during the second quarter, redshirt senior Jalen Harvey was ejected from the game for targeting. After the decision, the momentum switched to the Roadrunners side as they worked their way towards the endzone, but after a Grundy fumble, ASU regained control of the game and scored two more touchdowns, giving them a 28-0 lead at the half.
The Sun Devils score two more touchdowns in the third quarter and one to start the fourth.Despite this, the Roadrunners were able to avoid a shutout, with just over six minutes remaining, the Roadrunners finally get on the board as sophomore running back B.J. Daniels rushed for a 4-yard touchdown.
“I wish those guys could have gotten a shutout to be quite honest. It would have been nice,” Edwards said. “It’s hard to get shutouts but giving up seven points. We’ll live with that.”
Next up for the Sun Devils are the 11th ranked Michigan State Spartans.
“We’ve got to do a lot of work still,” Edwards added. “ We’ve got a really good football coming into our stadium in Michigan State, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.”