The 2016 football season is rolling on, as is our weekly mailbag. Below, we attempt to answer your questions heading into Arizona State’s big matchup with Texas Tech this weekend.
If you would like to submit a question for a future mailbag, shoot us a tweet and our writers will answer here every Friday during the season.
@HouseOfSparky Can ASU successfully utilize a two qb system?— Chris (@Gonzopup0112) September 5, 2016
Connor Pelton: Can they? Sure, in theory.
Should they? Not right now, and not for a while.
While the option of having Manny Wilkins in the game primarily to run the ball with Brady White coming in to throw sounds intriguing, history tells us that sticking with one quarterback makes for a more productive offense. So while alternating between quarterbacks sounds fun in theory, what’s best for the team right now is letting Wilkins take the reigns and avoid having him look over his shoulder whenever something goes wrong.
@HouseOfSparky what is the status of the suspended/inj players?— Jake (@Jake161985481) September 5, 2016
CP: Senior linebacker Laiu Moeakiola was reported to have been moving well throughout Thursday’s practice and appears probable to return from a hamstring injury that limited him for the majority of fall camp. Another linebacker - Christian Sam - was in full pads on Thursday but did not participate in any drills in front of the media. Head coach Todd Graham says he is doubtful (foot) for tomorrow’s game.
Both Viliami Latu and Salamo Fiso were suspended for the Northern Arizona game for “not meeting team standards”, but Latu will return against Texas Tech. Fiso’s status is still unknown.
@HouseOfSparky Secondary looks far from corrected. Why did this position suddenly become such a weakness?— Mike (@Mike__OC) September 6, 2016
CP: Change doesn’t happen overnight, and I think it’s a tad unfair to rush to judgement on a new defensive backs coach like the one the Sun Devils have in T.J. Rushing. With that being said, however, it’s understandable why fans may be frustrated after Case Cookus and the Lumberjack offense cooked up the secondary to the tune of 369 yards through the air last weekend.
The cornerback position was decimated by injuries last year, so much so that running backs were being moved to the two-deep in the secondary. That really took its toll on the unit late, especially in games against Arizona, California, and West Virginia.
The good news is, a lot of the players from that torched secondary are now gone. Bad news? The new ones are going to need time to get their feet wet, and Patrick Mahomes and company could provide an even ruder awakening than the one Cookus gave them a week ago.
@HouseOfSparky Do you guys think ASU "fans" are overreacting?— Alex the Ninja (@gigglesthecat13) September 5, 2016
CP: Some of them, sure.
The season opener was definitely an ugly affair for three quarters, but the maroon and gold do deserve credit for putting their foot down in the final 15 minutes and turning a tight game into a blowout without revealing much of anything playbook wise on either side of the football. Like Todd Graham preached on Monday, plenty of teams throughout the country would love to be 1-0 at this point.
I guess it boils down to what your expectations were coming into the season. If you were projecting seven or eight wins like I am, Saturday’s game went a lot like what was expected. Anything more than that, than yeah, the opener was disappointing, and that feeling might continue to pop up often throughout the season.