Following a solid 10-win season in 2013, the Arizona State Sun Devils will be trying to build up to a conference title instead of a loss in the title game like they had last season against Stanford. Returning six offensive starters, including quarterback Taylor Kelly, makes for a promising 2014 season.
While the Sun Devils had a 10-win season in 2013, the Weber State Wildcats had just the opposite — a 10-loss season. With a win in the very first game of the season as well as they very last game of the season, the Wildcats compiled 10 consecutive losses on their way to a devastating 2-10 record and lack of respect from around the FCS.
With the return of Kelly at quarterback, the Sun Devils have one of the best signal callers in the entire nation. He passed for 3,635 yards and 28 touchdowns last season and has a Pac-12 best 57 touchdown passes in the past two seasons. Running back D.J. Foster is one of the best playmakers out there and he will be able to make things happen no matter what. He ran for just over 500 yards and six touchdowns last season to go along with 63 catches for 653 yards and four scores. Top wide out Jaelen Strong is also returning after a 71-catch, 1,094-yard and seven-touchdown season.
Weber State’s offense was about as pathetic as pathetic could be in 2013. Averaging just 300 yards and 15.8 points per game, the Wildcats would rank near the bottom of the FBS if they competed at that level. Losing quarterback Austin Chipoletti will hurt even though he didn’t post the most impressive numbers in the world. Top running back and second-leading receiver from a year ago, Bo Bolen, will be relied on to carry the load offensively. This offense is about as lethargic as they come.
Defensively, Weber State struggled mightily as well. The Wildcats allowed about 41.4 points and 478 yards per game in the process of losing 10 games. Arizona State fared a bit better, allowing 26.6 points per game as well as just 372.4 yards per contest. Both of those ranked 63rd and 42nd in the nation, respectively.
Weber State will travel to Arizona State to take on the Sun Devils at 10:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, Aug. 28. The game will be broadcasted on Pac-12 Network.
PREDICTION: Weber State 7, Arizona State 59
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at email@example.com.