2010 PREVIEW: Arizona State

THE BEAVS OPEN Pac-10 play against Arizona State. Picked to finish next to last in the conference by the West Coast Media, most everyone has focused in on what is expected to be a struggling offense. But almost an afterthought is this -- most of the prognosticators are picking ASU to field one of the best defenses in not just the Pac-10, but the nation. And that equals a ninth placed team?

 The Word on the Sun Devils

No one is expecting a Rose Bowl run from the Sun Devils — not with an offense that's starting over and a tough schedule. But ASU can't afford another year like 2009, when a boring offense turned off fans and the team lost its final six games...Athlon

I love this defense. I could watch Burfict play all day. But I continue to have reservations about the offense. All told, I feel more confident predicting A.S.U. to finish in the bottom third of the Pac-10 than I do predicting a bowl trip in 2010... PreSnapRead.com

Unless young offensive players step up, it could be another long season for the Sun Devils. A defense filled with proven stars like Burfict and cornerback Omar Bolden will be called on to carry the team once again. With just nine wins in the last two seasons, Coach Erickson might find himself on the hot seat if his offense can't progress in 2010... Orlando Sentinel

The key for Arizona State—again—will be at quarterback. Out of the physically gifted trio of Brock Osweiler, Steven Threet, and Samson Szakacsy, the staff needs to cull a consistent triggerman capable of running Mazzone's system and distributing the ball. If unsuccessful here, it's unlikely the program will be able to escape mediocrity in 2010... CollegeFootballNews

The Sun Devils, who lost their final six games last season, return seven offensive starters and five defensive starters. With an unnamed quarterback and an unproven offensive line, experts aren't expecting much... The Arizona Republic

Sophomore Zach Schlink, listed No. 1 at right guard on the preseason depth chart, has opted to "retire" due to longstanding knee problems. The math up front for the Sun Devils isn't encouraging...Also seeing his Sun Devils career end due to injuries is defensive tackle Otis Jones, but his loss is not as painful because ASU is deep at defensive tackle, where Jones was slated to be a reserve... ESPN

ASU is expected to have one of the nation's best defenses, but could struggle again offensively. Sun Devils coach Dennis Erickson and new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone will implement a spread attack this fall... Arizona Daily Star

If the Sun Devils can somehow manage to win seven games and make a low-tier bowl game, this season will be considered a success. But that may be too farfetched for a team that has such a lackluster offense. The defense, led by tackle Lawrence Guy and linebacker Vontaze Burfict, should be one of the best in the conference, if not the nation... Phoenix New Times

Erickson said he isn't in a hurry to name a starter. It's something he will monitor with Mazzone. If someone jumps out, he'll win the job. Bottom line: Erickson thinks ASU is in a good position no matter how it plays out. "You can't win without (strong quarterback play), obviously," Erickson said. "That's key. You look at our league, we have great quarterbacks. If you don't have one, you have some issues ... (but) I really like where we're at."... Arizona Daily Sun

The offense doesn't demand a strong arm as much as an accurate one. Erickson must pick the guy who has best mastered the playbook. If the Sun Devils find the right guy at quarterback, they'll be much better than the ninth place the media predicted in a preseason poll... The Arizona Republic

 Sun Devils at a Glance
 Head Coach  Dennis Erickson
 at Arizona State  19-17 (4th Year), Career 167-83-1
 2009 Record  4-8 Overall, 2-7 Pac-10
 Home/Road/Neutral  3-4 / 1-4 / 0-0
 Off Starters Ret/Lost  7 / 4
 Def Starters Ret/Lost  5 / 6
 Lettermen Returning  51
 Off/Def/Spec  23 / 25 / 3
 Lettermen Lost  10
 2009 Team Statistics
 Total Offense
 Rushing Offense
 Passing Offense
 Total Defense
 Rushing Defense
 Passing Defense
 Pts Allowed/Game
 Returning Stat Leaders
Diondre Borel  #17 Brock Osweiler | 6-8 | 245 | So. | QB
 Passing: 24-55, 249 Yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
Robert Turbin  #26 Cameron Marshall | 5-1 | 220 | So. | RB
 Rushing: 64 Att, 280 Yds, 4.4 Avg, 2 TDs
Stanley Morrison  #8 Gerell Robinson | 6-4 | 223 | Jr. | WR
 Receiving: 26 Rec, 261 Yds, 10.0 Avg, 0 TDs
Bobby Wagner  #7 Vontaze Burfict | 6-3 | 245 | So. | LB
 Tackles: 69 Total, 40 Solo, 7.0 TFL, 5 PBU
Rajric Coleman  #8 Brandon Magee | 5-11 | 230 | Jr. | LB
 INTs: 1 for 11 Yds, 34 Tackles, 21 solo, 7.0 TFL
Chris Randle  #50 Lawrence Guy | 6-5 | 300 | Jr. | DT
 SACKS: 4.5 for 34, 37 Tackles, 20 Solo, 7.0 TFL
 Series History
 Games Played  36
 Series Record  ASU leads, 24-11-1
 Last Meeting  28-17, OSU on 10/3/2009
 First Meeting  23-14, ASU in 10/21/1961
 More on the Sun Devils
Home | Roster | Coaches | 2009 Stats | 2010 Schedule | DevilsDigest.com


Now that you've read up on Arizona State, want to see an apples-to-apples comparison with the Beavers? Click here for BF.C's 2010 Preview: Oregon State.

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