Most coaches would typically not approve of what Arizona State kick returner D.J. Taylor did to begin Friday night's game against Arizona, but Sun Devils coach Herm Edwards will likely make his peace with it. Taylor fielded the opening kick about 7 yards deep in the end zone but decided to run it out anyway, and it turned out to be a brilliant decision.
Taylor ran the kick all the way back for a touchdown to put Arizona State ahead early. The play set the tone for a disastrous start for the Wildcats, who promptly fumbled on the second play of their subsequent possession which allowed the Sun Devils to take a 14-0 lead in the first minute of the game.
It's always a spirited occasion when Arizona and Arizona State meet on the football field in the battle for the Territorial Cup. But there's a higher-than-usual sense of desperation this year as the Wildcats (0-4) and Sun Devils (0-2) both enter looking for their first win in the Pac-12's truncated season.
For the freshman defensive back Taylor, the return confirmed what he showed flashes of earlier this year. The 5-foot-11 speedster was averaging 28.8 yards per return on four returns entering Friday night's game, but he hadn't yet broken one for a touchdown. Now he has, while in the process probably securing a job as the Arizona State kick returner for years to come.