Here are the breakdowns of ASU players drafted by round since 1964. Until 2013, Arizona State had at least one player drafted into the NFL every year since 1964, one of the longest streaks in college football at the time.
ASU’s spring football camp is now over, and it was obvious to all observers that things have changed. Discipline, teaching, and hustle defined the practices. A clear break from the Dennis Erickson regime. Nothing has been proven on the gridiron just yet, but the trend is exciting Sun Devil Nation. Time to buy your season tickets.
I cannot wait for tonight’s game—this has been a very long offseason.
Expectations for the season
Dennis Erickson needs to win at least 8 games to save his job. He’s been building this team for too long.
The defense will be generally solid, especially against the run. We have enough talent on the offensive side of the ball to really challenge opposing teams. Team speed will be on display all season long.
With high expectations, new uniforms, and some experience, this team may return to the swagger of 2007.
Prediction for the season:
We will win 8 games this season. I was solidly in the 9-win camp until the rash of offseason injuries and departures. I think that the injury bug could easily steal at least one win from the team this year, so now I’m down to 8. If Brock plays well and doesn’t make too many critical mistakes, and if our pass rush makes up for the injuries in the secondary and at linebacker, I think we can easily win nine games, maybe even ten. The early stretch is going to be key. If the Devils can come out of the first four games at 3-1, we’ll be well on our way to a good to great season.
Net turnovers. That includes our turnover margin, as well as stupid penalties and dumb mistakes that stall offensive drives and give opposing offenses a second chance. ASU has not excelled in this area since Erickson’s arrival.
The kicking and punting game – new punter, new snapper, new holder, new kicker. Hey, what could go wrong here?
Depth, particularly on defense: starters Lawrence Guy, Omar Bolden, James Brooks, and Brandon Magee all gone, with additional injuries to backups such as Devon Spann. On offense, we’re missing experienced backups in Threet and Sakacsy, and significant contributors TJ Simpson and Deantre Lewis. Does this team have enough depth to overcome the string of bad luck we’ve had? If Brock goes down, it’s hard to think we’ll be able to compete for a South Division title.
It’s early fall in Phoenix, and that means another season of ASU football is upon us. After a shared PAC-10 championship in his first year, fan approval of Dennis Erickson was off the charts. Following two disappointing seasons — the first back-to-back losing seasons in 60+ years — there’s open discussion amongst fans of who ASU should pursue for the head coaching job in 2011. In what is otherwise a wide-open year for the Rose Bowl, the media has picked ASU to finish ninth in the conference.
What to expect
While the team will be returning what is expected to be a stellar defense, the questions all center around the offense. New offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has installed an up tempo, spread ’em out and throw offense. That’s excited some fans, even though it resembles the quick strike offense so many of them came to despise about Dirk Koetter. However, this defense just may have enough depth for this philosophy to work. That is, however, if the offensive line stays healthy and manages to play above expectations, the quarterback position remains stable, and the wide receivers make consistent plays.
The offense will be improved, but not stellar. The lack of offensive line depth will remain a problem. The defense will not be quite as good as last year, but will be a solid and formidable force. After losing 4 games by a combined 13 points, we should see far better special teams play with Weber’s return. Erickson will pull out the stops when necessary; he’d better, his job is on the line.
This will be a better team than the 2009 team. Will it be enough?
Unfortunately, I think we’ll still end up a game or two short from a bowl game. We’ll win 5-6 games, but unless the offense improves significantly, I don’t think that we’ll be bowling again this year. There are still too many questions on offense, a challenging schedule, and a disinterested fan base. However, if the offense can get it going, this team will not finish 9th in the conference and will remain in the bowl mix.