Arizona State football schedule – a breakdown

Returning a wealth of talent, the Arizona State Sun Devils enter the 2011 season with high expectations.

Quarterback Brock Osweiler will be entering his first year as the starter after showing promise when presented with opportunities in the past.

Defensively, the Sun Devils suffered setbacks when cornerback Omar Bolden was lost with an ACL injury and linebacker Brandon Magee went down with a ruptured achilles, but junior linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who is on the watch list for every major award, has vowed to be more of a leader.

The Sun Devils have not been to a bowl in three seasons but most expect that to change in 2011.

November 25, 2011: California

Cal handed ASU their most embarrassing loss of the 2010 season, a 50-17 beatdown on the road.

The Sun Devils will need to find a way to not let an emotional game against rival Arizona affect this one. November 19, 2011: Arizona

The Wildcats do not return a single starter on the offensive line, but Nick Foles and Juron Criner are back, so they'll still score some points.

Last season's double overtime thriller was exciting, but had no significant meaning for the season. This year's matchup could decide the Pac-12 South. November 12, 2011: At Washington State

Washington State is improving, but it'd be difficult not to with the way they've played the last couple years. However, the Sun Devils have outscored the Cougars 100-14 over the past three seasons, so take that how you want. November 5, 2011: At UCLA

Quarterback Brock Osweiler used the UCLA game as his personal coming out party last season. 

If the quarterback has another great performance against their divisional opponent the Sun Devils should leave southern California with a win. October 29, 2011: Colorado

Coming off a bye week, the Sun Devils will host the Buffaloes. Colorado was 5-7 last season and will be in their first year under head coach Jon Embree. October 15, 2011: At Oregon

Despite seven turnovers, the Sun Devils only lost to the Ducks by 11 last season.

However, ASU has not beaten the Ducks since 2004 and Oregon has not lost at home for two years. October 8, 2011: At Utah

It may not be the most appealing game on ASU's schedule, but a visit with Pac-12 South counterpart Utah may be the most important.

The Utes are in great position to win the division and the Sun Devils have historically struggled on the road. This game may have a big impact on the outcome of the South division. October 1, 2011: Oregon State

The Beavers are coming off a disappointing 5-7 season and do not appear to be as talented as the Sun Devils, yet this game could easily be a trap game for ASU as it is sandwiched between the USC and Utah games. September 24, 2011: USC

The Trojans cannot represent the Pac-12 South in the title game so ASU does not necessarily need to beat them, but the Sun Devils are 0-11 against USC since 1999 and a win would go a long way towards establishing a new power in the conference. September 17, 2011: At Illinois

Illinois may not be the most talented team in the Big 10, but if the Sun Devils want to compete in the Pac-12 South they need to show an ability to win on the road. September 9, 2011: Missouri

The first real test of the season will be nationally televised by ESPN. ASU will host Missouri on a Friday night and is expected to unveil their new black uniforms in this game.

September 1, 2011: UC Davis

The Sun Devils will open up their season against an FBS foe. ASU should win this game and use it as a tune-up for the rest of the season.