Tomorrow night, the ASU Football team opens the 2014 season against FCS opponent Weber State.
The Wildcats, whose campus is in Ogden, Utah, are a program that is in the middle of rebuilding. They are under the direction of first year head coach, Jay Hill. Hill was an assistant at Utah for 13 years. Most of his time there was spent as a special teams coordinator. The key members of his staff were “stolen” from Southern Utah.
Weber State only won two games last year, their first game against Stephen F. Austin and their last game against Idaho State.
The first thing to mention about this team is their offense. The probable starter is Billy Green, a transfer from BYU. Green was a two-star dual threat QB coming out of high school. He appears to be a decent athlete and competent quarterback. Hand in hand with Green is a new offensive coordinator whose teams set Big Sky records passing the ball at Southern Utah. You can count on Weber State to sling the ball around.
The Wildcats will probably try to establish a quick-passing game early on. Slants, hitches, pops. Three step drop stuff, (or a one step drop from the shotgun). ASU could counter that by playing some press coverage and playing some zone blitz games up front.
Defensively, four transfers play defense. They’ll be used to seeing FBS talent. But their ability to soak up a new system and make it fit against the highly touted ASU offense might be too much for them. Weber State’s returning leading tackler, LB Luke King is questionable with an injury.
The best news for Weber State is that their new head coach was the special teams coordinator at Utah and the Utes thrived on special teams under his watch. They’ll be sharp in the kicking game. ASU needs to be on guard for trick plays on punt, field goals and kickoffs.
Bottom line, coach Todd Graham’s team should throttle Weber State. They don’t necessarily need to humiliate the Wildcats. But they should dominate in every phase if they have aspirations of defending their PAC-12 South title.