Arizona State Sun Devils Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Arizona State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Arizona State Sun Devils Preview
Head Coach: Herm Edwards, 5th year at Arizona State
25-18, 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 8-5, Conference: 6-3
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Arizona State Top 10 Players | Schedule & Analysis
Arizona State Sun Devils Preview 2022
This thing can’t get going, and worse yet, it’s taking a step back.
Herm Edwards was a bit of an outside-the-box choice, and he’s been okay with two eight-wins seasons, a seven-win campaign, and that 2-2 2022 season, but last year was when it was supposed to all take off.
Arizona State had the experience, the quarterback, the talent, and the years of rebuilding under Edwards to be a threat to win the Pac-12 title, but the team fell flat far too often in an uneven run.
Issues off the field, big losses to the transfer portal – BIG losses – and with the Pac-12 South looking like it’s about to make a turn up – USC is about to be a thing, Arizona is better, UCLA should be stronger – this is a true make-or-break year.
All that, and the call of Edwards over current Florida head coach Billy Napier is looming larger now.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
There might have been a wave of players gone to the draft and the transfer portal, but Edwards and ASU were active on the other end. The starting 22 should be good, the schedule is manageable, and the expectations now – compared to last season – aren’t there.
Arizona State Sun Devils Preview 2022: Offense
The offense certainly wasn’t bad – the running game was terrific at times – but the offense only averaged 386 yards and 28 points per game, the passing attack wasn’t explosive enough, and there were times when the whole thing stalled.
QB Jayden Daniels is gone now to LSU, leading rusher Rachaad White is off to the NFL, top receiver Ricky Pearsall and LV Bunkley-Shelton are taking off, and the best offensive lineman – Kellen Diesch – is gone. However …
The offense will be fine thanks to the transfer portal. Alabama transfer Paul Tyson and Florida transfer Emory Jones might not be Daniels, but they can play – Jones is a veteran who’s been through the big SEC games.
The receiving corps is a concern with all the big losses, but getting Cam Johnson from Vanderbilta helps. As long as the passing game is efficient, all will be fine because …
The running game should be terrific. Losing White and his hard-running style is hardly a plus, but Wyoming transfer Xazavian Valladay is a great talent who should go off. Again, Emory Jones can run – he took off for 759 yards last year for the Gators.
Even with all the changes across the board, the O line will be fine. There isn’t a Diesch, but help from the transfer portal and decent returning options will form a solid group.
Arizona State Sun Devils Preview 2022: Defense
The Sun Devil D balled out. It might not have been a huge season overall, but the defense lived up to the expectations, leading the Pac-12 in total defense and scoring D.
The transfer portal didn’t hit this group as hard as graduation did. However, several key parts are back, the work through the transfer portal might even have upgraded areas – the secondary got a huge boost – and there’s no reason to think the production can’t keep going.
Start in the secondary. The pass defense picked off 16 passes, it was among the best in the Pac-12, and it reloaded at safety with Hawaii transfer Khoury Bethley leading the way, and with help coming in to boost up the corner options.
The front seven might have lost parts – especially on the line – but again, things should be okay with help from the transfer portal. Mississippi State’s Rodney Groce has the potential to break out in the linebacking corps, and Nesta Jade Silvera is a veteran big-body insta-fit for the interior.
Good tackling LB Merlin Robertson only seems like he’s been around since the Frank Kush era, and there are decent pass rushing options with the pressure coming from several spots.