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Wins that much more important for ASU with shortened 6-game season

Arizona State Sun Devils Head Coach Herm Edwards on the sidelines during a college football game against the UCLA Bruins played on October 26, 2019 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Don’t look now, but the Pac-12 football season is on the horizon.

From the belief that there might not be a 2020 season to the first games being played Saturday, college football in the Valley is back.

This season is clearly not like the others, with COVID-19 protocols to meet every day and a six-game regular season to boot.

In short, every win is that much more critical to the overall success of a football team. There’s six chances, and no one in the conference is out there circling potential losses on their schedule. You don’t play a game expecting to lose.

“I think for me as a coach and a former player, they’re all important to me,” Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards said Monday via Zoom. “Whether it’s six, whether you play 12, they’re all important to win. winning your first game gives you a lot of momentum. … There’s not a lot of margin for error.

“I think every team involved in this Pac-12 situation understands we have six of them. They’re all important. Every win you get you feel like you’re in the race. You always want to control your destiny, but when you don’t win, all of a sudden you have to count on other people to controlling and helping you out.”

Edwards and the Sun Devils find themselves in a new position this season. Not only did the program add offensive coordinator Zak Hill to its ranks from Boise State, both Antonio Pierce and Marvin Lewis were promoted this offseason to co-defensive coordinators.

Throw in another batch of freshmen that figure to play some meaningful snaps at some point in the season, and there’s quite a few bodies that haven’t experienced an ASU game, or a regular offseason for that matter.

Yet, even with the new blood in a whacky season, ASU was still picked to finish second in the Pac-12 South by media members, with one picking the Sun Devils to win the Pac-12 title.

But that’s not to say there won’t be growing pains from both the coaching staff and players as they experience Sun Devil football in real time.

A well-oiled football team isn’t born overnight. There’s got to be some adversity to overcome, and with so many new people in the program a lot is going to be adjusted on the fly for the first few weeks.

“It will continue to evolve. With so many young guys, you’re gonna give them opportunities to play and I think as this thing goes we’ll find out who’s who,” Edwards said. “It kinda takes care of itself when you allow guys on the field.

“The one thing we’ve always done here, we’ve given young guys opportunities and with that there’s going to be some errors involved. … But I just think as this thing goes, I think by Week 3, we’ll probably have a pretty good idea of what it looks like on both sides of the ball.”


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