Arizona State has made back-to-back bowl games in head coach Herm Edwards’ first two seasons at the helm – predominantly with a large number of young players not just contributing, but excelling at key positions during that timeframe.
The 2020 season could be a breakthrough one for Edwards and the Sun Devils according to one college football analyst.
“I think ASU, with the amount of players they have coming back,” Pac-12 Network’s Yogi Roth said in a recent Skype interview with Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat. “I think they’ll win at least nine games next year.”I think a lot of it is because of their defense.”
Said unit is littered with a crop of three-year starters which should make the transition easier for new co-defensive coordinators Antonio Pierce and Marvin Lewis, who take over for Danny Gonzales who left to become the head coach at New Mexico.
This is a program on the rise ?
We earned our first 8️⃣-win season since 2014❗️ pic.twitter.com/3lLPB0X6Os
— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) January 1, 2020
Offensively, all eyes will again be on soon-to-be true sophomore quarterback Jayden Daniels who more than lived up to expectations passing for nearly 3,000 yards and 17 touchdowns last fall. Maybe most impressive is he only threw two interceptions in 338 attempts, while adding 355 yards and three more scores on the ground.
Daniels won the C.M. Hendrix MVP Award after leading the Devils to a 20-14 win over Florida State in the Sun Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
“He’s got a chance to be one of the best, if not the best, at that institution,” Roth said without hesitation when asked of Daniels’ potential. “Jayden’s ceiling, he’s got a chance to be the best one I’ve seen in the last 20 years and get in the conversation of the Jake Plummer’s.”
Happy #LeapDay ? pic.twitter.com/2ShkEwzGwO
— Sun Devil Football (@ASUFootball) February 29, 2020
One adjustment every school in the conference had to make in recent weeks is the cancellation of spring football. Roth believes the usual Pac-12 heavyweights, like defending champion Oregon and North division foe Washington will be hurt most without the additional on the field time because the Ducks are replacing several offensive pieces, including future first-round pick Justin Herbert. The Huskies have a new head coach in Jimmy Lake, as well as a new quarterback with Jacob Eason graduated and off to the NFL.
“Out of all the [Pac-12] teams I’m most confident in that,” He continued. “When I look at the entire Pac-12 landscape…out of everybody, Arizona State is probably in pole position in terms of comfort level.”