Arizona State opens 2021 season vs. Southern Utah

We’re a day away from the Arizona State football season kicking off with fans for the first time since 2019. 

There’s plenty of reason for fans to be optimistic about the coming season, especially during the first game when the Sun Devils inevitably dominate their FCS sacrificial lamb.

A win over Southern Utah on Thursday would mean 22 straight home openers (not including 2020) for the Sun Devils, which is currently the fourth-longest active streak in the nation. That’s not saying much given the opponents ASU has faced to kick off the season. The Sun Devils hosted 5 FBS opponents since 2003 and they were all the lowest of the Group of 5.

The real test for ASU will be at BYU in Week 3 but for now, enjoy the two-week buildup from Southern Utah to UNLV. 

There’s two key factors behind a potential PAC-12 title run for the Sun Devils. For starters, quarterback Jayden Daniels has been good and securing the ball, having committed only five turnovers in 16 career games. He also has a 22-3 TD/INT ratio entering his junior year. 

Another factor is the continuity in the secondary, which has combined for 123 career starts, behind only Indiana (138) for the nation high. Graduate student Chase Lucas has 39 starts and is nine away from breaking the school record of 47, set by Dexter Davis, who had a cup of coffee with the Seattle Seahawks. 

The Sun Devil defense has held opponents to less than 30 points in 20 of 30 games under head coach Herm Edwards. While 30 points doesn’t sound like an impressive number in regards to the defense, however, in a high scoring league, the games are assured to at least be entertaining. 

Given how the schedule is set up, ASU could potentially start the season either 3-1 or 4-0 in time for the meat of the conference schedule. The season ends at Oregon State and at home against rival Arizona, which should set up the Sun Devils nicely. 

About: Tony Capobianco


Sports Kave senior writer and podcast host

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