Arizona State edges No. 18 Spartans 10-7 in wild last minute

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Jayden Daniels and Arizona State spoiled Mark Dantonio’s bid for a milestone. Instead, the Michigan State coach was left to explain a chaotic finish to a disappointing home loss.

Daniels directed Arizona State on a pressure-packed 75-yard drive and, after Eno Benjamin reached the ball to the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown run with 50 seconds remaining, the Sun Devils held on for a 10-7 victory over No. 18 Michigan State on Saturday.

The Spartans saw a tying field goal in the final seconds negated for having too many men on the field — a sour finish on a day when Dantonio had a chance to take over sole possession of the school record for victories.

The Spartans’ defense was stifling all day, but Arizona State finally broke through on the final drive. Daniels, the Sun Devils’ freshman quarterback, ran 15 yards for a first down on 4th-and-13 from the Michigan State 28.

“Offensively, we knew it was going to be very difficult to run the football,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “We came in with a plan trying to get it out of our quarterback’s hand fast because they can hit the quarterback. They hit him a couple of times, but at the end the kid did good. He really did good. He made a lot of plays with his legs. I think that’s surprising for a lot of people — his ability to run, and he’s a smart runner.”

Benjamin’s touchdown put the Sun Devils ahead. That play was reviewed, and Benjamin had just barely extended the ball far enough to score.

“He told me, ‘Just give me the ball. I’m going to win this game,’” Daniels said. “I knew once he got hit I knew that he got the ball across the plane.”

After falling behind late, the Spartans drove back to the Arizona State 24 and, after spiking the ball to stop the clock with 11 seconds left, they appeared to have enough time for one more throw. But with no timeouts remaining, Michigan State (2-1) seemed indecisive, and eventually the field goal team rushed on. The Spartans barely snapped the ball in time to beat the play clock, and although Matt Coghlin’s 42-yard kick went through, a replay review showed there were too many players on the field.

“Initially, we were going to try to take a shot to the end zone,” Dantonio said. “Then I said, ‘Hey listen, we need to kick it, because if we catch the ball the game’s probably over — if we catch the ball and we’re not in the end zone, the game’s probably over. Line up and kick it.’”

Coghlin had to try again from farther back, and he hooked the kick left for his third miss of the day.

Elijah Collins had a 9-yard touchdown run with 8:37 remaining for Michigan State, but the Spartans blew a fourth-quarter lead against Arizona State for a second straight year. The Sun Devils won 16-13 last season.

Noah Trister is an Associated Press writer.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Arizona-State-edges-No-18-Spartans-10-7-in-wild-14440838.php.

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