The start of a new college football season is mere days away, and the Arizona State Sun Devils enter year four of the Herm Edwards era with great expectations. Though they may have Pac-12 championship or New Year’s Six aspirations, the Devils will have to prevail over Southern Utah before they can start thinking about any goals of a loftier nature.
Southern Utah, members of the FCS’ Big Sky Conference, will arrive in Tempe with an appetite for revenge after losing their own season opener against San José State in blowout fashion. Here’s what they must do to have any chance at beating the heavily favored Sun Devils:
Put Together Sustained Drives
Southern Utah managed just 250 yards of total offense against San José State, and its only offensive touchdown came on a Philly Special-like pass from wide receiver Judd Cockett to quarterback Justin Miller. The Thunderbirds’ passing attack was almost completely stifled, barely eclipsing the 100-yard mark.
Although it did not commit any turnovers, Southern Utah’s offense looked completely impotent for the most part, and it will need to make serious improvements in order to solve a deep and experienced ASU defense.
Limit Mistakes On Special Teams
The Thunderbirds would have lost their season opener regardless, but the final score may have flattered them a bit more if not for kicking miscues. Kicker Carson Reed missed both field goal attempts in his college debut, both of which were blocked. Points will be at an absolute premium for the Thunderbirds this Thursday, and their specialists cannot afford to make the same rookie mistakes that beset them in their first game.