ASU Football: Who has the advantage in the Sun Bowl?

TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Quarterback Manny Wilkins
TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 25: Quarterback Manny Wilkins /
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TEMPE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 23: Quarterback Justin Herbert
TEMPE, AZ – SEPTEMBER 23: Quarterback Justin Herbert /


Arizona State’s secondary was arguably the worst in college football last season, but the group of defensive backs has improved drastically under defensive coordinator Phil Bennett, who will be coaching his final game with the Sun Devils Friday.

Cornerbacks Chad Adams and Chase Lucas have been tasked to stopping the opponent’s best receivers and have performed admirably as both are tied for the team-lead with two interceptions this season.

After being redshirted last season, Lucas has played well in his redshirt freshman season recording 53 tackles and a team-high seven pass breakups. Adams, in his first full season as a starter, has recorded 64 tackles and two pass breakups.

Rounding out the ASU secondary are defensive backs Kobe Williams and Dasmond Tautalatasi.

Williams recorded 34 tackles, two tackles for loss and is second on the team with five pass breakups. Tautalatasi, in 10 games, recorded 21 tackles and three pass breakups.

In pass defense, Arizona State ranked 119th nationally (out of 129 teams) allowing 271.3 passing yards per game.

For NC State, their secondary is led by safety Jarius Morehead, who is second on the team with 75 tackles and three pass breakups.

The top cornerback for the Wolfpack is Johnathan Alston, who leads the team with six pass breakups to go along with two interceptions and 51 tackles.

At the other cornerback position, NC State changed starters midway through the season with sophomore Nick McCloud starting the first half of the season and senior Mike Stevens starting the second half of the season.

NC State’s pass defense is ranked higher than Arizona State’s with the Wolfpack ranked 96th nationally allowing 245.0 passing yards a game.

The strides Arizona State has made in the secondary have been noticeable, but the Wolfpack’s secondary has performed better this season.

Advantage: NC State