December 9, 2022

Arizona State poised for run at Pac-12 South Division Title

Herm Edwards

Sep 8, 2018; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards reacts as he talks to his players on the sidelines in the fourth quarter against the Michigan State Spartans at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Herm Edwards has the Sun Devils 3-0 for the first time since 2016 and it has catapulted them into the AP top-25 at No. 24.

Arizona State hasn’t seen a piece of the rankings since September of 2018 and the program has a ton of momentum. Besides Utah, the Pac-12 South is up for grabs and Edwards has his team poised for a run at the title.

Arizona State just won a defensive battle at Michigan State. It was the first time the Sun Devils beat a ranked team on the road since 2015. Edwards has actually won seven of his last nine games, including five against Power Five competition.

The Sun Devils’ defense has been outstanding thus far, allowing just seven points per game and has yet to allow a score in the first half. What a turnaround the unit has showed in 2019 after allowing 25 points per game and finishing 70th nationally in total defense last season.

True freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels has been playing like a seasoned veteran and protects the ball well. He has passed for 728 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions through three games. Eno Benjamin is one of the best running backs in the Pac-12, with 10 career 100-yard games and can catch the ball out the backfield.

Senior wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk has blossomed into one of the best deep threats in the league. Through three games he has 14 receptions for 302 yards and a touchdown catch. This Saturday Arizona State hosts a ticked off Colorado team that lost to in-state rival Air Force in overtime last week.

It will be a key divisional battle and both teams’ conference opener. The Sun Devils have won four-straight games at home. Not to mention the Sun Devils have won four-straight over the Buffaloes at Sun Devil Stadium and outscored them 191-80 during that span.

In hindsight it seems like Edwards has Arizona State a year ahead of schedule. It just goes to show the amazing job the 65-year old is doing in Tempe. The culture has changed for the better and Edwards has everyone buying in more than his predecessor Todd Graham ever did.

The season is still fresh, but Edwards has his team playing with confidence as they approach the meat grinder of their conference schedule and the bandwagon continues to increase. However, the next three games after Colorado are against California, Washington State and Utah and all three are ranked and undefeated.

The next coming weeks will reveal to everyone if Edwards’ Sun Devils are true contenders.