Solar Devils welcome Coach Prime and the Buffaloes to Tempe5 min read

A 1-4 begin and a loaded damage report shouldn’t be the best way Kenny Dillingham drew up his first 5 video games as the person accountable for the Solar Devils.

Dillingham has needed to take care of a tsunami of accidents, primarily to the offensive line in addition to the quarterback place. Redshirt junior Trenton Bourguet is at present beginning underneath middle for ASU, with freshman Jaden Rashada and redshirt sophomore Drew Pyne sidelined resulting from damage.

Of their 24-21 loss at California final week, the Solar Devils out-gained the Golden Bears by 104 yards, placing up 430 yards of whole offense. The distinction within the recreation was the turnover battle, which the Solar Devils misplaced 2-0.

Particular groups have been a problem within the recreation towards Cal, with graduate punter Josh Carlson solely averaging 36.2 yards per punt. Carlson disclosed earlier this week that he has been preventing fractures on his foot which have hindered his efficiency. 

Redshirt junior Race Mahlum or sophomore Ian Hershey is anticipated to take over as punter for Saturday’s recreation. 

Looking forward to this week, the Solar Devils have gained the previous two matchups towards Colorado. Nonetheless, this yr’s matchup sees two totally completely different groups on the sphere Saturday, with the Solar Devils welcoming 78 new gamers and the Buffaloes including 87 new gamers, together with switch junior Shedeur Sanders.  Each groups even have new head coaches on their respective sidelines.

After setting information for season passing touchdowns and completions at Jackson State, Sanders has transferred his skillset to Colorado. He has handed for 1,781 yards, 15 landing passes and 160 completions, and simply two interceptions within the 5 video games this season. Sanders will likely be a formidable menace that ASU has not seen in earlier video games towards the Buffaloes. 

READ MORE: The Solar Devils have hosed down Colorado’s and ‘Coach Prime’s’ media hearth 

“They actually have an id on offense, they usually’re gonna go quicker than anyone within the nation,” ASU defensive coordinator Brian Ward mentioned. “They’re gonna problem us to have the ability to talk and execute our defensive calls, particularly situationally.” 

As for the Solar Satan offense, after Dillingham took over play calling duties previous to USC, it’s been a sophisticated few weeks. 

Bourguet stays at quarterback for the Solar Devils heading into Colorado, granting the Solar Devils some stability together with his second consecutive begin. The junior threw for 344 yards towards Cal, but in addition threw an interception. 

Bourguet has proven high quality management in his alternatives thus far, particularly given the circumstances he’s been thrown into. 

“It’s powerful to all the time come again from a loss, however as quickly as the sport is over simply ensuring to maintain folks’s heads up,” Bourguet mentioned. “You see folks with their heads down, it’s powerful to be in a detailed recreation like that. Clearly (you) need to come out with the victory, however on the finish of the day it’s on to the following, you may’t preserve your head down for too lengthy. We received a stable group coming on this weekend and we received to be prepared for it.”

Creativity remained a staple of the Solar Satan offense towards Cal, with junior working again Cam Skattebo on the middle of all of it. Because the Solar Devils swiss military knife, Skattebo was the group’s main rusher and receiver towards Cal, working for 59 yards and a landing, hauling in 98 yards by the air. He even made an 18-yard cross to his personal quarterback, who made a spectacular catch to transform a primary down on a fourth down.

The Solar Devils ought to count on to place factors on the board this week, contemplating Colorado has solely stored one opponent underneath 35 factors this season.

This weekend will even witness the beginning of true freshman offensive lineman Sean Na’a at guard. 

Protection continues to play an important position for the Solar Devils and will likely be a precedence in limiting Sanders’s electrical playmaking. Up to now 4 video games, the Solar Devils have restricted their opponent to under or proper at their season scoring common, with Cal scoring solely 24 factors, seven level under their common. 

The Solar Satan protection plans to maintain doing what they’ve been doing. 

“We’ve been speaking lots higher, got here by the road quicker, and speaking what we see on the sphere, so I’d say communication is an enormous a part of what the protection has been engaged on,” redshirt junior defensive again Ro Torrence mentioned.  

Graduate linebacker Tre Brown will likely be out resulting from damage, with redshirt junior Caleb McCullough anticipated to fill his position. 

ASU will see a second-straight packed home at Mountain America Stadium, promoting out Saturday’s recreation by Thursday. The Solar Devils fed off of the vitality of its final house crowd, who bought out the USC recreation two weeks in the past. Dillingham is pumped as much as see the elevated assist for his group.

“It’s superior, it’s a aggressive benefit,” Dillingham mentioned. “Getting the noise and inflicting chaos on third down is a big benefit. Our gamers feed off of it and it’s enjoyable for the valley to rally round a group so I believe it’s good for everyone.” 

There’s a good likelihood ASU sees massive crowds the remainder of the best way, with a powerful likelihood their subsequent two opponents after Colorado, Washington State and Oregon are each ranked inside the highest 15 after they journey to Tempe. 

It is going to be ASU’s first day recreation at house in 2023, with kickoff at Mountain America Stadium slated for this Saturday at 3:30 P.M. PST.

Edited by Alfred Smith III, Sadie Buggle, and Shane Brennan

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