D.J. Taylor returned the opening kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and Arizona State scored twice in the opening 56 seconds to rout rival Arizona 70-7 Friday night.
Arizona State (1-2) made a mockery of the annual Territorial Cup game from the opening kick return, capitalizing on a string of Arizona turnovers to build a 35-0 lead by early in the second quarter.
Freshman DeaMonte Trayanum converted an opening Arizona fumble into a 4-yard TD run 43 seconds after Taylor’s TD return and the Sun Devils piled on one score after another.
Rachaad White ran for 133 yards and three touchdowns, Jayden Daniels accounted for three scores and Arizona State won its fourth straight in the series for the first time since 1975-78.
The Wildcats (0-5) may have been thankful there were no fans in the stands after a lackluster performance that may put coach Kevin Sumlin’s job in jeopardy.
Arizona was on its heels after Taylor’s opening kick return and had three fumbles, an interception and twice turned it over on downs in its first six drives. The Wildcats had seven turnovers overall and gave up 70 points for the first time since 1949 to lose their record 12th straight game spanning two seasons.
Arizona State lost the previous two games it played on last-minute TDs and three more to COVID-19 issues.
Arizona had its opener canceled due to the coronavirus and lost its first four games, most recently 24-13 to Colorado last weekend.
The odd, twisting season came to a conclusion in the desert with the most unique game in the history of a series that dates to 1899.
The Sun Devils quickly turned it into a laugher.
Taylor was about six yards deep when he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and Arizona State got the ball back at Arizona’s 4-yard line after Gary Brightwell lost the first of his three fumbles. Trayanum scored on the next play to put the Sun Devils up 14-0 in less than a minute.
They kept going.
Daniels pinballed off defenders for a 20-yard TD run and hit a wide-open Ricky Pearsall on a 31-yard score, White broke off a 93-yard TD run and Daniyel Ngata scored on a 3-yard run.
Arizona State led 42-7 at halftime—most first-half points in Territorial Cup history—despite being outgained 260-241 in total yards.