College Football
Preview
Weber State at Arizona State
When: 10:30 PM ET, Thursday, August 28, 2014
Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona

If Arizona State fails to defend its Pac-12 South championship this season, it won’t be for a lack of firepower. The 18th-ranked Sun Devils head into their opener on Thursday against visiting Weber State well equipped to repeat their performance on offense from last year, when they ranked 10th nationally in scoring. Arizona State’s biggest challenge is replacing nine starters on defense, but third-year head coach Todd Graham has been raving about several newcomers, including freshman tackle Tashon Smallwood.

The Sun Devils should have little trouble with Weber State, which was picked to finish 11th in the Big Sky coaches’ poll after going 4-19 over the past two seasons. New coach Jay Hill faces an uphill battle against Arizona State, which is looking to win its first conference championship since being crowned co-champion with USC in 2007. “Anything less than being a Pac-12 champion is unsatisfactory,” Graham told reporters. “I came here to win championships. I’m not interested in anything else.”

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: No line.

ABOUT WEBER STATE (2013: 2-10): The Wildcats brought in at least seven transfers from Utah, Utah State and BYU over the offseason, but they’ll lean heavily on returning seniors such as running back Bo Bolen, cornerback Deon’tae Florence and receiver Shaydon Kehano against the Sun Devils. “It’s a huge test for us," Hill told the Salt Lake Tribune. “If we can stand toe-to-toe with a Pac-12 team — a good Pac-12 team — then we know we’ve got something going.” Jadrian Clark is in a tight battle with BYU transfer Billy Green at quarterback for the Wildcats, who play four of their first five games on the road.

ABOUT NO. 18 ARIZONA STATE (2013: 10-4): In a conference filled with star quarterbacks, the Sun Devils’ Taylor Kelly is often overlooked despite throwing a total of 57 touchdown passes in the last two seasons. Kelly has plenty of weapons around him, including receiver Jaelen Strong and running back D.J. Foster, who is primed for a breakout season after playing behind Marion Grice for the past two years. The Sun Devils need to replace their entire defensive line from a year ago and address concerns in the secondary, but senior safety Damarious Randall ranks among the Pac-12’s top defensive backs.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Arizona State is 72-27-2 all-time in season openers, including 11 consecutive wins.

2. A Big Sky team has recorded a win over a Pac-12 team in each of the previous three seasons.

3. Arizona State’s defense has forced a turnover in 29 consecutive games.

PREDICTION: Arizona State 48, Weber State 7
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Weber State 0-0 - 0.0 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Arizona State 0-0 - 0.0 0.0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Weber State Arizona State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Weber State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Weber State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Weber State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Weber State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Weber State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Weber State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Weber State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Weber State N/A
Arizona State N/A
Quickchart Matchup
Weber State Off vs  Arizona State Def
0 yards
0 yards
0 yards/rush
0 yards/rush
Arizona State Off vs  Weber State Def
0 yards
0 yards