The Arizona State football team has quite a bit of work to do after the changes that happened in the offseason. The team was a favorite to win the Pac-12 South division and fell apart late in the season, ending the season with an embarrassing loss in the Las Vegas Bowl to the Boise state Broncos.
Dennis Erickson was fired and Todd Graham was hired and things are changing. There is talent, but there is little experience. Ben Haber at House of Sparky breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of this year's squad and projects as many as seven wins for the team.
- All three quarterbacks (Taylor Kelly, Michael Eubank, Mike Bercovici) have never started a college football game
- The offensive line lost two key players in right tackle Dan Knapp and center Garth Gerhart
- ASU lost their top three wide receivers from 2011 (Aaron Pflugrad, Gerell Robinson, Mike Willie), forcing coach Graham to give the green light to inexperienced, raw talent.
- The safety position appears shaky, lacking both experience and a consistently performing player.
Talent is not the problem for ASU; it is simply experience. Someone can spend all day pointing out the shortcomings of every wide receiver, quarterback and defensive back the Devils have, while I can make a legitimate argument that all three positions will work out fine.
Because of these issues, ASU is now predicted to finish closer to the bottom of the Pac-12 South by the media and fans. In my opinion, flying under the radar will be a blessing for the Devils.
Haber believes that the discipline that Graham is instilling in his players will pay dividends. The talent will come through and overcome some inexperience.
The team is hard to gauge right now because of the uncertainty and the newness of everything.
But the team is ready. They are going to play harder than in years past. They are going to be more disciplined. That alone is a great start. If they can manage to get into a bowl of some sort, the season will have been a success.
And with having success, "speaking victory" becomes even easier to do.
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