The Arizona State Sun Devils are ranked 23rd and in the Top 25 for the first time since the preseason 2015 poll. Herm Edwards’ is still undefeated as a college head coach, but he’s never hit the road with his squad. Saturday’s visit to San Diego State will be his first.
Let’s look at the Aztecs, who beat the Sun Devils last season:
Still Running Without Rashaad
San Diego State got the best of the Sun Devils with a 30-20 win in Tempe in 2017. A large part to the performance of running back Rashaad Penny. Penny put on a show at Sun Devil Stadium, rushing for 216 yards, scoring three total touchdowns including a 99-yard kickoff return. But Penny is now a Seattle Seahawk.
His replacement is redshirt junior Juwan Washington. Washington got 16 carries for 56 yards in that win over the Sun Devils. Last season he gained 729 yards along with seven touchdowns.
So far this year as the primary back he’s seen plenty of action. In the Aztecs’ first two games against Stanford and Sacramento State, Washington has 60 carries for 314 yards and four touchdowns.
The Injury Bug
Over the past few days Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune has reported that two key Aztecs will miss the game on Saturday.
Starting quarterback Christian Chapman is out three to six weeks with a MCL sprain in his left knee according to Kenney. Chapman went nine-for-18 in last year’s game in Tempe, throwing for 73 yards and a touchdown.
Redshirt junior Ryan Agnew is expected to make his first career start on Saturday. After Chapman got injured Agnew filled in against Sacramento State last week. In his first two years at SDSU he only threw nine passes, but went 11-for-17 for 159 yards as a replacement.
On defense, senior defensive tackles Noble Hall will also miss three to six weeks with a wrist injury. Last season, Hall finished third on the team with seven and half tackles for a loss.
The ASU-SDSU Connection
Herm Edwards went to three different colleges during his collegiate career. He went to Cal twice, Monterey Peninsula Junior College and finished at San Diego State.
Edwards was also able to pry away defensive coordinator Danny Gonzales and cornerbacks coach Tony White away from Rocky Long’s staff as SDSU.
It’ll be interesting to see how each team game plans for one another as each run the 3-3-5 defense and are familiar with it at this point.