So far, 2015 has turned out to be a roller coaster ride for the Arizona State Sun Devils. It’s been a season filled with ups and downs that have left fans shaking their heads and wondering, who is this team?
ASU lost the season opener against Texas A&M two weeks ago, but recovered against the Cal Poly Mustangs last week and picked up their first win of the season.
Despite the win, the Sun Devils struggled in a match up that was suppose to be a walk in the park. The game entered the fourth quarter tied at 21 all, but ASU managed to scratch across two touchdowns in the final frame to beat the Mustangs 35-21.
The Sun Devils are looking beyond their mistakes, chalking the game up as a win and leaving it at that. They want to completely forget about what happened last week and focus instead on the team at hand – the New Mexico Lobos (1-1).
Like the Mustangs, New Mexico like to run the triple option. It was a play that the Sun Devils struggled to defend last week and the Lobos plan to continue with that approach Friday.
Unlike a traditional triple option play, the Lobos tend to play it in a shotgun style. ASU Coach Todd Graham said the Lobos’ quarterback and running backs are faster than the Mustangs. Reports say the Lobos run out of a “pistol” formation that requires discipline to defend.
New Mexico, like the Sun Devils, has been all over the place to start the 2015 season. They kicked things off with a 66-0 win over Mississippi State Valley in week one, but dropped last weeks’ match against Tulsa 40-21. Tulsa quarterback Dane Evans finished last week’s game with 321 yards after a 16-for-30 night.
Compare that to ASU quarterback Mike Bercovici, who is 48 of 76 with four touchdowns and 482 yards through the first two games.
This may be the game where Berco gets to turn up his passing game.
Tempe has never been a fun place for the Lobos to play at historically. Looking back, the Lobos are 1-12-1 against the Sun Devils. Their last victory came 81 years go.
The Lobos and the Sun Devils met up last season in Albuquerque for their first meeting since 1974. In that game, ASU beat New Mexico 58-23.
It’s going to be an important game for the Sun Devils as they start conference play next week when they take on the USC Trojans.
The Sun Devils should use this game as a tune-up as they continue to work on things that will make them a better team against Pac-12 opponents.