Five Pac-12 teams will enter the 2018 season with a new man at the helm, but Herm Edwards leading the Sun Devils may be the most intriguing of all the new head coaches. Chip Kelly to UCLA made waves and is a close second, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was dominating the Pac-12 at Oregon.
Coversevely, it’s been a long time since Edwards coached football – nearly a decade – and even longer – nearly 30 years – since he coached in college. So what’s that all mean for the 2018 Sun Devils?
Sun Devils 2018 regular season win total
Over 5 (-125)
Under 5 (-105)
Odds courtesy of BetDSI Sportsbook.
What Happened Last Year
The Sun Devils got off to a disappointing 2-3 start, including a home loss to San Diego State. ASU then rebounded and stunned the Pac-12 conference with an upset win over Washington. Arizona State followed that up with a win over Utah and then rallied to win three of its final five games before falling to Utah in the Sun Bowl.
While Arizona State did rally and ultimately finished with a winning record (7-6), it was not enough to save Todd Graham’s job.
What Will Change This Year
Well, pretty much everything changes this year. Yes, playmakers like receiver N’Keal Harry and quarterback Manny Wilkins will be back, but the Sun Devils have a new leadership approach. Rob Likens is the new offensive coordinatore, but he’s at least a familiar face to the players as he was already on staff. Danny Gonzalez, the new defensive coordinator, is new to the staff, but brings promise as his San Diego State defense ranked 21st nationally a season ago.
Bringing back Wilkins and Harry is huge for the Sun Devils, but they will need to replace Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage, the team’s top two running backs from a season ago. Eno Benjamin is the top returning running back, but he only rushed 18 times (for 100 yards and a touchdown) in 2017.
Additionally, the Sun Devils will need to solidifiy the offensive line, a position group that has lacked depth recently.
Outlook & Prediction
Five wins isn’t a big number and the Sun Devils have won five or more games in eight straight seasons, but will they be able to make it nine?
The non-conference schedule isn’t easy and won’t give Edwards a lot of time to acclimate to the college game or Gonzalez to get his defense all set up. ASU opens with UTSA then hosts Michigan State before traveling to San Diego State. The Sun Devils open Pac-12 play at Washington and get a bye in Week 7 before hosting Stanford on a Thursday night. ASU also finishes the season with back-to-back road games at Oregon and at Arizona.
ASU may start the season 2-2 and if it does, getting to five wins should certainly be attainable. However, there’s also a real possibility that the young team starts 1-3 and if things start to snowball, betting the under looks like the play.
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- 2018 College Football Odds: Utah Utes Season Win Total - May 22, 2018
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- 2018 College Football Odds: Oregon State Beavers Season Win Total - May 11, 2018