An Early Look At Utes’ 2023 Football Opponents: Arizona State
Jun 28, 2023, 12:01 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – Spring ball is over, and the summer months are upon us making it a great time to take an early look at Utah football’s 2023 opponents with this week’s focus on the ASU Sun Devils.
After two tough games back-to-back with Utah heading to USC and following it up hosting Oregon at home, week 10 could provide a little reprieve for the Utes against Arizona State. The Sun Devils had a tough go last season letting head coach Herm Edwards just before hosting Utah in Tempe.
ASU seems to be in a much more stable position in 2023 with the hiring of new coach Kenny Dillingham, but there is a lot to clean up from past regimes that left a lot to be desired for the Sun Devils. Will Dillingham have ASU in good enough shape to get a win in Salt Lake City?
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The When And Where Of ASU Vs. Utah Football
When: Saturday, November 4
Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
What We Know About The Sun Devils Heading Into 2023
As mentioned before, ASU will be guided by new head coach Kenny Dillingham after a few chaotic years under Herm Edwards and Todd Graham before that.
Dillingham comes to the Sun Devils after a very successful one-year run as Oregon’s offensive coordinator in 2022. ASU’s new head coach also brings with him familiarity of the program and school being an ASU alum himself.
One thing Dillingham has appeared to do very well for the Sun Devils before any snaps have been taken is overhauling the roster and trying to address team needs.
According to this article from Athlon Sports, ASU will enjoy eight home games in 2023 and the level of talent Dillingham has brought in should make Sun Devil fans hopeful of at the very least making a bowl game.
Taking Inventory Of Key Players For ASU
Perhaps the biggest thing to watch with ASU in 2023 is how everything comes together. There are a lot of new faces both in the coaching staff and administration, as well as on the roster.
So far, it appears quarterback has not been decided and is a three-way race between returning starter Trenton Bourguet, Notre Dame transfer Drew Pyne, and incoming freshman Jaden Rashada.
ASU will also need to replace their running back who was second in the Pac-12 rushing the ball last season in Xazavian Valladay. ASU does have two guys they feel hopeful about in Sacramento State transfer Cameron Skattebo and returning sophomore Tevin White.
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Despite the questions at quarterback, running back, and offensive line that may lack some depth in the season ahead, it does appear the Sun Devils have a nice crop of pass catchers (both wide receivers and tight ends) they feel good about. Elijhah Badger, Jalin Conyers, and Giovanni Sanders will all return for Arizona State from the season before and were very productive. ASU also has some transfers they are adding in Xavier Guillory from Idaho State, and Melquan Stovall from Colorado State.
While ASU will be relying on a lot of transfers on the defensive side of the ball, it appears there is some optimism about the talent that has been brought in from the spring. The lone question mark appears to be at tackle on the defensive line, otherwise, at least according to early research, the Sun Devils seem to be in a good place.
Clayton Smith from Oklahoma and Prince Dorbah from Texas are two transfer ends that had a nice spring for ASU, while Xavion Alford from USC and Shamari Simmons from Austin Peay will help shore up the safety room.
Bringing returning experience for the Sun Devils are hybrid end/tackle B.J. Green II, defensive end Gharin Stansbury, cornerback Ro Torrence, nickelback Jordan Clark, and safety Chris Edmonds.
Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports
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