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Arizona State: Four Things to Watch Against UNLV

Keep an eye on these four things as Arizona State goes to battle with UNLV.

Week 2 of the college football season is upon us, and the Pac-12 has quite a weekend to experience. Oregon travels to Columbus to do battle with Ohio State, Washington heads to the Big House to take on Michigan, and Colorado hosts Texas A&M among other notable games to watch. 

Sure, the Arizona State Sun Devils hosting the UNLV Rebels isn't exactly a schedule-clearing game for college football fans. However, it's an important game for a Sun Devils team with big plans down the road. 

Winning 41-14 in the opener won't draw a load of criticism towards the program. However, those who watched the Southern Utah game or closely follow the team know that ASU's performance was far from perfect. 

That's fine, and that's exactly why Week 1 games are scheduled against programs such as SUU (no offense, Thunderbirds). It's much preferred to get those egregious errors out of the way early prior to playing games that have serious conference title implications. 

With one game under their belt, the Sun Devils play their second consecutive game at Sun Devil Stadium with UNLV coming to town. Although Arizona State is favored by more than 30 points, the Sun Devils look to avoid another Rebels upset similar to what transpired in 2008. 

The depth chart hasn't changed since the last time Arizona State took the field, so the team should look the same (personnel wise) when they take the field in their new uniforms on Saturday night. 

Four Things to Watch

Cleaning, and lot's of it: I know Sun Devil fans are so tired of seeing the dreaded 13 penalties for 135 yards brought up over and over again. Yet the reality is, Arizona State will have the perfect opportunity to silence everybody who just can't seem to stay hush about those penalties. Eleven of those penalties came in the first half, a sign that the team indeed listened to head coach Herm Edwards' words at halftime. 

Cleaning up those mistakes will prove to be vital, as the Sun Devils continually prevented themselves from moving the chains with yellow flags everywhere. Watch to see if ASU can correct those self-inflicted mistakes after a solid week of practice. 

Quarterback switch: UNLV was down 20-6 in the second half last week to Eastern Washington. When quarterback Doug Brumfield entered the game, the Rebels found new life and forced the game into overtime. Brumfield was almost immediately named the starter following the game, as the dual-threat quarterback looks to provide a different dynamic for UNLV's attack. 

How will the Sun Devils handle a potential runner at quarterback? The sophomore quarterback has thrown only 33 total passes for UNLV, so there's not a whole lot to work with when it comes to tape. Look for ASU's veteran-led defense to make life difficult for Brumfield by snagging an early lead and forcing the Rebels to air it out. 

An apple a day . . .: The health of running back DeaMonte Trayanum (and others such as Daniyel Ngata) were something to monitor throughout the week following Trayanum's appearance in a walking boot after exiting ASU's opener. 

Both Trayanum and Ngata were held out of practice this week for cautionary reasons, although it sounds as if both will play if possible. Rachaad White is talented enough to effectively shoulder the load for however long Trayanum may be out, as it will be interesting to see Trayanum's load management against UNLV. 

Almost sometimes counts: There's a common belief that quarterback pressures are nearly as good as sacks. The Sun Devils displayed their ability to get after the passer often against Southern Utah despite only sacking the quarterback twice. 

As of recent memory, ASU has shown room for improvement when it comes to pressuring the passer. Week 1 wasn't shabby when taking the absences of Jermayne Lole and (mostly) Tyler Johnson from the defensive line. However, the Sun Devils look to find another gear in the trenches and create havoc for UNLV on passing downs come Saturday. 

Donnie Druin is a Deputy Editor with AllSunDevils. Follow Donnie on Twitter @DonnieDruin, and AllSunDevils @AllSunDevils. Like and follow AllSunDevils on Facebook, and for more ASU news visit