Arizona State football has been in some hot water this offseason with the NCAA violations coming to light, but Herm Edwards and the staff still have to prepare for the 2021 season.
Trying to put all that off-field stuff in the rearview mirror, the staff has to figure out how to get back into Pac-12 contention and the Sun Devils honestly have the pieces to compete.
Although Arizona State went just 2-2 last season, they followed up back-to-back one-score losses to start the year with a 70-7 win over Arizona and a 46-33 victory over Oregon State. The Sun Devils bounced back from that tough 0-2 start to finish 2-2. They could have easily been 4-0 and we may be talking about a Pac-12 favorite if that was the case.
But looking at the 2021 schedule, who could the Sun Devils style on and treat like they did Arizona in 2020?
Here’s who the Sun Devils could, and should, blow out in 2021.
Note: I decided to choose just one non-conference opponent and limited it to only FBS teams.
To say UNLV was bad last season would be one of the biggest understatements in college football. The Rebels were 0-6 and didn’t lose a single game by less than 10 points. In fact, the closes loss came against Fresno State when they lost by 13 points.
The Rebels, under first-year coach Marcus Arroyo, didn’t win a game and when you look at the numbers, you see just why that was. They finished 119th in scoring, 106th in passing, and 108th in total yards. Defensively, they were 113th in scoring, 122nd against the run, and 119th in total defense. The only redeemable quality for the Rebels was their ability to “stop” the pass, ranking 58th nationally.
UNLV returns 16 starters from last year’s 0-6 squad, but that’s not going to be enough to even show signs of life against Arizona State.
Arizona State should get a massive blowout in Week 2 which will be a confidence-booster heading into a tough road game against BYU.