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Oregon State Football: A Midsummer’s Opponent Preview - Arizona State Sun Devils (Game 5)

What will the Sun Devils look like when the Beavers head south to the desert?

NCAA Football: Washington State at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona State Sun Devils

  • Head Coach: Herm Edwards (3rd Season)
  • 2019 Record: 8-5 (4-5 in Pac-12)
  • Last Meeting: 11/16/19 - Oregon State 35, Arizona State 34
  • Key Returners: QB - Jayden Daniels, LB - Darien Butler, WR - Frank Darby

The Skinny

Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards enters his third season in Tempe with the winds in his sails for the first time, as despite a myriad of off-season departures, the Sun Devils have a solid cast expecting to compete in the Pac-12.

The return of quarterback rising sophomore Jayden Daniels, arguably the league’s most excitable play-maker, gives Edwards the team leader he needs to rely on. As a freshman in 2019, Daniels completed 60.7% of his passing attempts for 2,943 yards, while posting a super-efficient 17-2 touchdowns-to-interceptions ratio through the air. Yet in the locker room, Daniels will need to guide an offense that has voids to fill, after the graduation of two first-team All-Pac-12 selections in running back Eno Benjamin and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, as well as second-team offensive lineman Cohl Cabral.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at California
Arizona State will try to crash USC and Utah’s parties and win the South Division in 2020.
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

New faces won’t just be on the field for the offense but on the sideline as well, as Arizona State will thrust former Boise State offensive coordinator Zak Hill into the mix, as the team’s new play-caller. Hill will have to work quickly to develop depth in the wide receivers room, where Frank Darby (31 receptions, 8 touchdowns) is the top returner of a group that claims no other talent with more than 8 catches. At the running back spot, don’t be surprised if a committee approach gets the job done, featuring returners A.J. Carter and Demetrious Flowers, freshmen Daniyel Ngata and DeaMonte Trayanum and JUCO transfer Rachaad White.

Arizona State also needs to make strides defensively, where new coaches in former longtime NFL head coach Marvin Lewis and Antonio Pierce take over the co-defensive coordinator duties. The Sun Devils should be rock solid at linebacker between Darien Butler and Merlin Robertson and have play-makers up-front in Jermayne Lole and DJ Davidson. In the secondary, they have their best group in recent memory, with a wealth of talent stacked up in Jack Jones, Aashari Crosswell, Chase Lucas, Evan Fields and Boise State transfer DeAndre Pierce (son of Antonio Pierce).

Even though their Pac-12 schedule won’t help them too much with road trips to USC and Oregon in the offing, Herm Edwards has Arizona State back in the conference hunt.

Player To Watch

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 30 Arizona at Arizona State Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jack Jones - Defensive Back

Underrated even in the scope of the Pac-12, Jack Jones has a great name which he backs up with some great game, especially when flanked by a mess of talent in the Sun Devils’ secondary. Over the past two seasons, Jones has tallied 86 tackles, 7 interceptions, 20 passes defended and forced 2 fumbles as one of the premier play-makers on Arizona State’s roster. For this group to reach it’s potential in 2020, Jones needs to have another strong season.

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, October 3rd
  • Time: TBD
  • Location: Sun Devil Stadium (Tempe, Arizona)

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