ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

ASU’s Herm Edwards after Territorial Cup win: ‘I’m the coach’ next year

Nov 27, 2021, 6:22 PM | Updated: 10:40 pm

TEMPE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils watches from t...

TEMPE, ARIZONA - OCTOBER 30: Head coach Herm Edwards of the Arizona State Sun Devils watches from the sidelines during the first half of the NCAAF game against the Washington State Cougars at Sun Devil Stadium on October 30, 2021 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona State won its fifth consecutive Territorial Cup on Saturday, 38-15, and after the game players and coaches repeated the same message.

“Herm (Edwards) is back next year,” said defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce.

Expectations in Tempe may have been the highest they have ever been for this year. After completing the season with an 8-4 record, including undisciplined losses to BYU and Utah as well as unexpected losses to Washington State and Oregon State, many Sun Devil faithful questioned whether Edwards would return for the 2022 season.

“I’m the coach, I’m going to be the coach,” Edwards said postgame. “There’s an elevator near the stairs I take and I told myself the day I don’t have the energy to take those stairs, I won’t coach anymore. I’ll be taking the stairs tonight.”

There is an uncertain path for the future as the Sun Devils have a looming NCAA investigation on top of 23 seniors that were honored on senior day.

Athletic Director Ray Anderson set a precedent when he fired then-head coach Todd Graham after the 2017 season. Graham had seen some success in Tempe, pulling back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2013-14, but finished 6-7 and 5-7 in his last two years.

Edwards tied his season-best eighth win in the Territorial Cup and has a chance to notch win No. 9 in the bowl game. He is 4-0 against the Wildcats in four years.

“I had no plans of leaving … It’s always nice when your players react the way they reacted,” Edwards said.

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