2. KEYS TO THE ARIZONA STATE SEASON
Biggest Key To The Arizona State Offense
Own the ground game. The receiving corps is good enough to keep the passing attack rolling, and Eno Benjamin could use some more help from the other options, but behind a great line and with a star running back, it’s all about banging away for this O. Last season, ASU went 5-0 when running for 200 yards or more, and was 6-2 when rushing for multiple scores. And on the other side …
Biggest Key To The Arizona State Defense
Stop the run. The Sun Devils were great at making plays behind the line, but they didn’t generate enough third down stops and didn’t do enough against good running teams. ASU pulled off victories despite getting ripped apart by Oregon State and Arizona on the ground, but it got hit hard by Fresno State in the bowl loss and was run over for over 300 yards by San Diego State early on. The consistency has to be there even with the youth on D.
Key Player To A Successful Season
QB Dillon Sterling-Cole, Jr.
Overall, this is still a young team Herm Edwards is building up, and it needs a steady veteran leader who can keep things moving. Manny Wilkins wasn’t amazing last year, but he could run, and he didn’t make a whole lot of mistakes. Sterling-Cole has to at least be consistent and efficient, or the Jayden Daniels era could be underway.
Key Game To The Arizona State Season
at Utah, Oct. 19
The Sun Devils were able to stomp on the eventual Pac-12 South champs last year – winning 38-20 – but now they have to beat the Utes on the road. The first half of the schedule isn’t awful, and most of the games in the second half are at home, but at UCLA, USC, Oregon and Arizona are still on the slate. ASU needs this road game.
– Arizona State Full Schedule & Analysis
2018 Arizona State Fun Stats
– Fumbles: Opponents 17 (lost 9) – Arizona State 17 (lost 4)
– Sacks: Arizona State 29 for 190 yards – Opponents 16 for 90 yards
– Punt Returns: Opponents 13.55 average – Arizona State 10.32 average