Are the Sun Devils where we thought they would be?
With six games completed and six left, the Arizona State Sun Devils are 3 – 3 and honestly, right where they should be. A team with offensive weapons but not enough experience defensively to have a better record.
A long time ago, Bill Parcels once said, “You are what your record says you are”, and that rings true for the Sun Devils.
So far they have: Beat down a UTSA football team 49 – 7 as expected. Next they stunned top 20 Michigan state 16 – 13 at Sun Devil Stadium on a last second field goal.
They followed that nationally televised win with a tough loss to San Diego State, 28 – 21, on the road. And although the Aztecs are a consistent 10-win team, that was a game not only could the Sun Devils have won, it’s a game they should have won. A failed fourth down attempt and a couple of tough calls at the end, closed the book on this game.
On to a tough road loss to the top 10 ranked Washington Huskies 27 – 20. Although The Sun Devils fought hard and produced a solid running game, it just wasn’t enough.
That loss was followed by the Eno Benjamin coming out party in a home win against Oregon State 52 – 24.
Benjamin ran for 312-yards and three weekly awards. The Sun Devils controlled the offensive line and shut the door on Oregon State every time it looked like they would make a game out of it.
Then this weekend before their bye week, the Sun Devils went to Colorado and lost 28 – 21 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.
So what can we expect from the Sun Devils the second half of the season? They end the year with games against: Stanford, Utah and UCLA at home and USC, Oregon and Arizona on the road.
In terms of strength of schedule, the Sun Devils are looking at 3 – 3 again and an overall 6 – 6 record.
When the season started, this was a 6 or 7 win team and that’s what it’s looking like. The Sun Devils have shown the ability to beat the teams they should and compete against the teams, dare I say, they shouldn’t beat.
The Sun Devils are yet to win a road game this year, where they are 0 – 3 with two of those coming against Pac-12 teams.
Head coach Herm Edwards has made winning on the road a focal point, but the Sun Devils are yet to pull one of those out. With winnable road games left, they still have an opportunity to cash in on that focal point.
The first part of the season has had it’s ups and downs for the Sun Devils and the second half will be just as challenging but the one thing that can be said about this team every time they take the field, and that is they play hard and according to Herm Edwards, “Woo, they play hard”, and as long as that continues, they will have a shot to win every week.