With Pac-12 South title in sight, Edwards focuses on UCLA

Nov 6, 2018, 7:30 AM

ASU head coach Herm Edwards isn't looking too far into the future after the 38-20 win over Utah. (B...

ASU head coach Herm Edwards isn't looking too far into the future after the 38-20 win over Utah. (Bella Sisneros)

(Bella Sisneros)

TEMPE, Ariz. – Two weeks can change everything for a college football team.

Just ask the Arizona State Sun Devils, who came off a second consecutive seven-point loss Oct. 18 against Stanford. The hope of ASU even attaining six victories to become eligible for a postseason bowl game was in question.

After the loss to the Cardinal, ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins entered the postgame press conference visibly emotional, tears in his eyes after completing a checkdown pass inbounds that allowed time to expire, ending the game.

Fast-forward to present day. After a successful trip to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where ASU beat Southern California, and an upset win over then-15th ranked Utah at Sun Devil Stadium, ASU now is just one-win shy of bowl eligibility.

More importantly, ASU is the only team that controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 South Division.

Just don’t tell coach Herm Edwards that.

“I think it’s this week,” Edwards said. “And it’s only this week, and I’ve always coached that way.”

While Edwards remains focused on UCLA Saturday, there is undoubtedly the prospect of ASU making the trip to Santa Clara, Calif., for the Pac-12 Championship Game.

The path is clear for the Sun Devils: beat UCLA at home, travel to Oregon and take down the Ducks, return to Arizona and defeat the Wildcats in Tucson.

Do all of that, and the Sun Devils will claim the program’s first Pac-12 South title since 2013.

“Opportunities in life come along and when they come along you have to take advantage of them,” Edwards said Monday.

But Edwards isn’t looking beyond the most immediate opportunity. For Edwards, it is all about getting his team to a third consecutive win when UCLA comes to Sun Devil Stadium Saturday.

“I think they’ve gone through it when they won two early and everyone telling them they were this and that, right?” Edwards said. “Obviously, (they) didn’t handle it very well.”

ASU got off to a hot start in September, beating the University of Texas at San Antonio and upsetting Michigan State before falling to San Diego State. That loss was one of three in a four-game stretch.

However, the Sun Devils regrouped and now can win their third game in a row.

“It’s always about the next game for me,” Edwards said. “It’s never about other stuff.”

With all the new-found excitement swirling around the Sun Devils, Edwards made it clear his focus is to continue approaching the season one week at a time.

“I said it after the game was over in the locker room,” he said. “I told them, I said, ‘Hey, OK. Big deal. Never won three. Can you do that?’

“Let’s see.”

Cronkite Sports

Cronkite Sports

Sports gambling in Arizona moves closer to reality

In the near future, the Arizona sports fan’s experience could include the ability to place bets inside sports venues while the action unfolds.

3 years ago

Higley quarterback Kai Millner committed to Cal this spring, despite visiting the campus just once ...

Cronkite Sports

Arizona high school football recruits still committing amid coronavirus

Despite visiting campuses few times if at all in some cases, class of 2021 high school football prospects from Arizona are committing at record rates.

4 years ago

(Photo via Cronkite News courtesy Mesa Community College Facebook)...

Arizona Sports

COVID-19 prompts junior colleges to push for cancellation of sports

The 2020-21 school year for Maricopa County community colleges may not include sports, schools await a decision by the district chancellor.

4 years ago

New Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez believes outreach in the Arizona Hispanic market is ...

Cronkite Sports

New Coyotes CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez looks to reach Latino community

New Coyotes CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez is the first Latino president and CEO in NHL history and hopes to reach new fans in the Valley.

4 years ago

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who joined the Phoenix Mercury in the offseason, is ready to get the WNBA...

Cronkite Sports

Full pay, 22-game season in Florida on tap for Phoenix Mercury

Another league has agreed on a return-to-play plan in the month of July. This time it’s the WNBA, whose members include the Phoenix Mercury.

4 years ago

Phoenix Rising FC assistant coaches Peter Ramage (left) and Blair Gavin are awaiting details about ...

Cronkite Sports

Phoenix Rising players await news on resumption of USL Championship

Phoenix Rising FC and the USL Championship are set to resume play July 11 while players wait on more details for the return.

4 years ago

With Pac-12 South title in sight, Edwards focuses on UCLA