Dec 7, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly (10) runs the ball under pressure from Stanford Cardinal linebacker Shayne Skov (11) in the second half at Sun Devil Stadium. Stanford defeated Arizona State 38-14. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona State Sun Devils: Overall, the Arizona State Sun Devils look to be more talented than the Arizona Wildcats in this upcoming season.
The Sun Devils’ season ended in 2013 when the fell to Stanford in the Pac-12 championship. The Sun Devils’ final record would be 10-4.
Unlike the Arizona Wildcats, ASU is lucky to be having their 2013 starter at quarterback return for his senior season, Taylor Kelly. Kelly had 3,635 passing yards and 28 passing touchdowns in 2013.
That is most certainly not all Kelly did, though, as he was a dual-threat quarterback posting 608 rushing yards and having 9 rushing touchdowns as well.
Once again, unlike the Wildcats, Arizona State will be having their starting running back return as Junior DJ Foster looks to have another solid year after seeming like he could do it all in 2013.
Why do I say Foster could do it all? Foster had 635 receiving yards and 500 rushing yards in 2013. Yes, this running back had more receiving yards than rushing yards in 2013. Foster could actually be considered a running back/wide receiver rather than just a running back.
Dec 7, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils wide receiver D.J. Foster scores a touchdown in the first quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Arizona State did suffer a big loss, though, as they have to replace Pac-12 defensive player of the year in Will Sutton who was an interior linemen in the Sun Devils’ defense last year. As a result, their run defense could suffer.
The Sun Devils’ defense looks to have a lot of potential but they also are a very young group. It is always easy to say the defense looks great in practice but, for many of these players, we have not seen them in live action yet so this group will have to prove themselves in 2014.
Final Thoughts: Arizona State seems like they will have a another solid record in 2014 with another good chance at making the Pac-12 championship and qualifying for a major bowl game.
The focus this year will be on the Arizona State defense and if they can hold up for the entire year while the offense, hopefully, performs like they did last season.
The defense is very young so the question becomes, can they be solid enough to bring the Sun Devils back to the Pac-12 championship? These are things we need to look for in Arizona State this coming season.
For more on the rest of the Pac-12 conference, click here where Grantland.com looks at the Pac-12 in it entirety.
Regular Season Record Prediction: Arizona State Sun Devils – 10-2.