For two consecutive Mondays, Herm Edwards was able to waltz into his weekly press conference following a win. As the Arizona State football season has gone, he showed up at the podium Monday having to answer for a series of undisciplined and often times incompetent malfunctions that led to another road loss.
This loss is ASU’s fourth, and it ensured that mediocrity will b the ceiling for a team that began the season with its sights set on a Pac-12 championship and a New Year’s 6 bowl. Life comes at you fast.
“I can’t coach it,” Edwards said of the constant penalty issues. “We were fine in that game until the last quarter and all of a sudden it appears again. Three were on offensive linemen, but we had three of them by skill players. It’s just concentration.”
Considering expectations, this season has been especially disappointing for fans. Edwards elaborated on the peaks and valleys of every football season.
“It’s been like all seasons, there’s been some highs and there’s been some, I wouldn’t say lows, there’s been some wow. Right? That’s football. I think if you look at our conference, every coach would say that.”
No matter how many disappointing losses Arizona State has suffered, the final week of November will always be a focal point for college football fans in Tempe and Tucson. This week, Arizona comes to town for the Territorial Cup. Generally considered the worst team in the Power Five. Arizona has almost no chance this weekend. While they won’t lose by 63 points, ASU is still expected to bludgeon its in state rivals from down south. Edwards discussed the Wildcats, and how it’s important to not take any opponent lightly.
“You can just feel the electricity, I’m glad it’s played the last game of the season,” he said. “I think fans appreciate that. No matter what your record is, it doesn’t matter. This is the one.”
On the field, Arizona has been laughably bad. Their lone win of the season came against the Pac-12’s second worst team in Cal, and it took nearly half the Bears’ roster being inactive due to a Covid outbreak for Arizona to notch its first win in two years.
“They’re a really competitive group, and they play really hard,” Edwards said. “In a game like this it doesn’t matter what the records are.”
The Territorial Cup has grown on Edwards, who in his fourth season is 3-0 against Arizona. During his time as a collegiate player, Edwards starred at Cal, where the annual “Big Game” against rival Stanford holds a similar meaning.
“I played in two of those games,” Edwards said earlier this season. “I think I had interceptions in both, and we won both. It’s a fun atmosphere.”
Now on the coach’s side, he continues to learn.
“I’ve been involved with this rivalry game for four years. The more you get involved with it, the more you understand the passion of the fans and the players.”