Arizona Sun Devils 2023 College Football Preview
July 13, 2023
Record – 3-9
ATS – 5-7
The wheels finally came off the train as the Sun Devils sputtered to the finish line with a record of 3-9. That marked the first time that they booked a losing record since 2016 (!) when they ended up 5-7. Two of their wins came vs the FILTH OF HUMANITY (Northern Arizona, Colorado) but they pulled one of the bigger upsets of the PAC-12 season when they took down the mighty Washington Huskies (W 45-38).
Let’s check in with the program and see what new HC Kenny Dillingham has to work with in 2023.
Arizona St Sun Devils 2023 Outlook
The Sun Devils were mediocre on offense LY and finished the campaign ranked #8 in the PAC-12 in rushing offense and #9 with the THROW GAME. Former Notre Dame QB Drew Pyne is a mild favorite to take over control of the offense (career 63%, 24-6 TD to INT) but it’s also possible that LY’s backup Trenton Bourguet gets the call as he showed some nice flashes in 2022 (71%, 11-6 TD to INT). Replacing 1,000-yard RB Xazavian Valladay isn’t gonna be easy but the Sun Devils hope that some of that void can has been filled thru the transfer portal. The best news on offense is the return of the top-three (!) WR/TE targets including #1 WR Elijhah Bagder (866, 7 TD LY) and dangerous TE Jalin Conyers (422, 5 TD). They’ve also added some spicy transfer portal targets to the menu. Speaking of the portal, the Sun Devils boast over 150 career starts up front but the majority of those are new to the program this season. This has the look of an average PAC-12 offense with some upside if the QB situation works out. <grabs popcorn>
The pass defense was more than adequate LY (#2 PAC-12 pass efficiency D, 14-11 TD to INT) but the Sun Devils displayed a SOFT UNDERBELLY in terms of defending the run (#9, 188 YPG, 5.2). Like with so many defenses around the country, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect from these guys as they lose their top-four tacklers (!), but at the same time, they’ve done a good job adding impressive specimens thru the portal. We really like the secondary as they bring almost everyone back for battle and they did a fine job in 2022. The DL is a mystery as they’ll be relying almost entirely on transfers to take a starting role, but at least those bodies are arriving from Power 5 schools. LB could be a sore spot as they lose two of the team’s top-two tacklers. They’ll also need to find some PENETRATORS as they only managed to bag 17 sacks LY (#10 PAC-12).
YIKES. There’s a reload across the board as they’ll have to find new starters at PK, P, KR, and PR. The good news is that California transfer PK Dario Longhetto has an impressive track record (26-36 FG career).
Overall – The Sun Devils have a pair of tough non-conference dates but at least both of those BAD BOYS are at home (Oklahoma St, Fresno St). We’re sad to report that they draw all four PAC-12 BIG ‘UNS (USC, Wash, Utah, Oregon), but on a positive note, they only have to deal with four road games all year.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.
Season Win Total
Market consensus July 13
Over 4.5 -150
Under 4.5 +120
We’d love to give you a stronger opinion but it’s a tough call. Five wins is certainly doable but the schedule severely limits the upside. 89 of our 110 models spit out between four and five wins.
The Sun Devils have made just one appearance in the PAC-12 Championship Game and that came back in 2013 when they were hammered by RB Tyler Gaffney and the Stanford Cardinal (L 38-14).
If you like to be dominated by 2% of the population that promotes election fraud, open borders, child trafficking, and the unnecessary murder of civilians by fentanyl, we highly recommend Arizona as a residential destination!
New HC Kenny Dillingham has some fine offensive chops and it’ll be interesting to see what he can do in year one if his regime. We feel pretty good about the offense but still have a few sleepless night whenst thinking about the defense. A bowl appearance is a realistic goal but we think they’ll fall just a bit short. In any event, GO SUN DEVILS!