2013 Arizona State Spring Football Analysis
2013 Arizona State Sun Devils ...
Head Coach: Todd Graham
State Sun Devils
Why To Get Excited … the Sun Devils figure to be a bona fide Pac-12 sleeper in Todd Graham’s second season with the program. The offense will feature one of the better backfields in the league, led by QB Taylor Kelly, and the veteran D got a massive boost when star DT Will Sutton opted to return for his senior year. Arizona State is on the ascent, with the personnel to back it up.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 OPEN DATE
9/7 Sacramento State
9/21 at Stanford
10/5 Notre Dame
10/26 OPEN DATE
10/31 at Washington St
11/9 at Utah
11/16 Oregon State
11/23 at UCLA
Why To Be Grouchy … the offense is in desperate need of playmakers on the outside. The Sun Devils had problems stretching defenses a year ago, which is going to be repeated in 2013 if a couple of holdovers or newcomers can’t threaten with their speed. While Kelly is a quality passer, with an accurate arm, the staff wants him to employ more than just the backs and tight ends this season.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … plugging the gaps in run defense. Not only did Arizona State rank No. 81 against the run in 2012, but LB Brandon Magee is no longer around to clean up messes. Sutton will be dominant at the point of attack, and Carl Bradford and Chris Young are highly disruptive in the Devils’ scheme. But yielding more than four yards a carry is not going to be acceptable if ASU plans to cop the South Division.
Non-Conference Games: Sacramento State, Wisconsin, Notre Dame
Games Against The North: Oregon State, at Stanford, Washington, at Washington State
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 8-4
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Sacramento State, Notre Dame, Colorado, Washington, at Washington State, at Utah, Oregon State, Arizona
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: Wisconsin, at Stanford, USC, at UCLA
Schedule Analysis: The Sun Devils need to be ready to rock and roll by mid-September after starting the season a week late and warming up Sacramento State. Wisconsin comes into Tempe in what could be a tone-setting showdown, and it doesn’t get any easier with the Pac-12 season starting out at Stanford followed up by USC and a battle with Notre Dame in Arlington, Texas. That means ASU faces three teams that played in BCS games in a four-week stretch, and USC is hardly a breather.
Everyone should be able to take a breath with Colorado coming to town after the date with the Irish, and if they can get by Washington the week after, with a bye week and winnable road games against Washington State and Utah coming up next, there’s a good chance to go on a good run before hosting Oregon State. Going to UCLA and finishing up against Arizona will go a long way to determining the South pecking order.
Team Concerns For 2013: The Sun Devils had a surprising first season under Todd Graham, and now with 17 starters returning the expectations are sky high. However, considering the defense led the nation in tackles for loss and was second in sacks, the run defense was awful getting pushed around a bit too much while giving up 183 yards per game. The offensive line has to be stronger after allowing almost three sacks per game. The passing attack should be fine, but receivers Rashad Ross and Jamal Miles are done.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defense. The offense is
hardly being ignored, especially for the near future, with JUCO
transfers Jaelen Strong and Joseph Morris looking to play right away and
Ellis Jefferson a playmaker for a few years from now. Chans Cox is the
top fullback recruit in the nation, and De'Marieya Nelson is a nice JUCO
pickup at tight end. But this class is about the defense, as it was last
year, too. JUCO transfers Eriquel Florence and Antonio Longino are fast
and athletic linebackers to go along with Villiami Latu, while the
secondary is loaded with William Early at corner and safety Jayme
Otomewo to go along with JUCOer Damarious Randall. ASU picked up as slew
of nice pass rushers with Demetrius Cherry and Marcus Hardison for now
and Nick Begg and Garrett Marino for a few years from now.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 49. That Class Was Heavy On ... Defense, and lots of it. The last three classes under Dennis Erickson loaded up with offensive talent and firepower. New head man Todd Graham’s biggest job in a short time is to keep everyone already schedule to come in, but mostly he has to work on improving a defense that came up short time and again. The cornerbacks should be good, the linebackers better, and JUCO transfers Mike Pennel and Jake Sheffield are expected to immediately play a big role at tackle.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 34. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. The defensive tackles should be strong with Mo Latu and David Moala two big, tough inside presences, and safeties Isreal Marshall and Ezekial Bishop two fast prospects for the secondary. The attention will be paid to the quarterback situation. JUCO transfer Kipeli Koniseti will provide depth, but he’s not likely going to be a starter, while Michael Eubank, the star of the class, is a big, tall bomber who knows how to spread the ball around. Mike Bercovici doesn’t have the tools, but he’s a baller.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 34. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Receivers.
Instant help was desperately needed for an offensive
line that hasn't kept a quarterback upright since
Dennis Erickson took over, and players are on the
way in JUCO transfers Aderious Simmons and Brice
Schwab at tackle and Calvin Tonga at guard. Four
running backs were signed, led by Deantre Lewis, but
the offensive stars were at receiver with JUCO
transfers George Bell and Mike Willie looking to see
time right away, while Kevin Anderson and Randy
Kurst are speedsters for the near future.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 37. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Running backs. Four backs are headed to Tempe determined to light a spark under a running game that floundered a year ago. Cameron Marshall, Shane McCullen, and Jamal Miles are three-star Sun Devils and among the top 100 high school runners in the country. While Marshall is a 208-pound thumper, McCullen is an intriguing blend of good size and blazing speed, who could also wind up playing on defense if the need arises.