Skip to main content
Publish date:

Three Goals for Arizona State During Bye Week

The Arizona State Sun Devils have a few things to accomplish on their week off.

For teams across the country, bye weeks present the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button and prepare for the rest of the journey ahead. 

After a 5-2 start, the Arizona State Sun Devils have no game scheduled for the first time in nearly two months. 

Only a week ago, Arizona State was in full control of its destiny in terms of making the Pac-12 title game. 

Thanks to a loss to Utah, the Sun Devils now sit in second place in the Pac-12 South, effectively needing the Utes to lose two games while also running the table themselves the rest of the way (for more of an insight on how ASU can still win the division, click here).

With five games remaining on Arizona State's schedule, the current week off provides ASU the opportunity to accomplish a handful of goals off the field. 

Three Goals for Arizona State During Bye Week

Fix discipline issues: This could be a whole new article in itself (it actually is; AllSunDevils did a deep dive into ASU's penalty issues). Simply put, Arizona State is not a disciplined football team. The Sun Devils average the most penalty yards per game in the country, and are the only team in the FBS to have three games with at least 13 penalties. 

How can Arizona State beat other teams if they're beating themselves? The Sun Devils, especially on the road, have lacked composure. Fix the penalty problems, and the rest of the issues will be more attainable to overturn.


Rest and get healthy: After the second-half performance against Utah, it wouldn't have mattered who was out there for Arizona State as the Utes were moving the ball with ease. 

However, the presence of two injured starting defensive backs (safety Evan Fields and cornerback Chase Lucas) were obviously missed over the course of four quarters. The Sun Devils also missed receiver Johnny Wilson due to injury. 

The bye week affords those players the opportunity to get fully healthy, while also allowing other guys (such as running back Rachaad White) to heal after suffering a few bumps and bruises along the way.

The gauntlet of the season can be taxing for both players and coaches. If you're Arizona State, allowing your body and mind to rest and regroup for an important stretch of games is important. 

Find new ways to get the job done: Arizona State's bread and butter of running the football will never come second in game planning. However, the Sun Devils' game plan can often get stale at times on both sides of the ball. 

Given the level of play ASU faithful have seen at times from this team, it's certainly frustrating to watch an offense with so much talent stall for long periods of time. Whether that's play-calling, play design or simply execution from players, the Sun Devils could benefit from fresh and innovative ideas. 

We've seen the impact both coordinators have made. Offensive coordinator Zak Hill has flashed his creativity with reverses and wide-receiver passes, while defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce has continually put his players in positions to succeed. 

Yes, 5-2 is a good start, but it's not where the Sun Devils had hoped to be. The current bye week can serve as a springboard for ASU to finish the season strong.