What a difference a month makes.
Optimism was never higher in the Todd Graham Era than the weekend leading up to the Sun Devils’ showdown with Texas A&M to kick off the season in Houston.
After a 2-2 start that optimism has waned and the once great expectations stowed upon the 2015 Devils by Graham himself, are for the most part gone. After getting thumped at home by USC last weekend the chore gets no easier taking on unbeaten and Top 10 UCLA at the Rose Bowl Saturday.
Graham again reiterated after the loss to the Trojans that he feels this is the most talented team he’s had in Tempe.
One of the greatest ASU players in program history offered some simple advice.
“Football can be over-complicated and really over thought sometimes,” Pac-12 Network Analyst Jake Plummer told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat during his weekly interview Thursday morning. “Instead of just getting back to: hand the ball off, block your dude, go get a first down, tackle the guy with the ball…it’s just bad football right now. That can be fixed by just getting back to basics.”
Plummer believes the Devils are talented but knows the game can be unforgiving and poor play tends to sometimes become the norm in-season when you’re dealing with 18-22 year-olds.
“They’re not the awful team that everyone makes them out to be,” he explained. “It’s them against everyone now because everyone’s bummed and mad.”
He knows no quest to a championship is ever easy and it’s imperative that Graham and team leaders like Mike Bercovici, D.J. Foster and Jordan Simone provide stability with ASU’s season, in many people’s view, at somewhat of a crossroad facing a talented Bruins’ team which blew out then-unbeaten Arizona last week in Tucson.
“This team is going to have a chance to bounce back,” Plummer said to Cesmat. “We’re really going to see what they’re made of this weekend.”