5 Keys for Arizona State Football to Succeed in 2022

ASU vs UofA 2021 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
ASU vs UofA 2021 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
3 of 5
Arizona State Running Back
Daniyel Ngata (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The third key to a 10-win season will be the breakout of sophomore running back Daniyel Ngata.

Behind Rachaad White on the 2021 depth chart, Ngata still had 309 rushing yards last season which was good for second on the team.

It seems like Ngata is the heir to White and will take over primary running back responsibilities and there are plenty of reasons to think he will have a great season.

As mentioned previously, offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas is capable of calling an offense that utilizes the run effectively and with an average of 5.5 yards per carry in 2021 Ngata is an efficient back.

He will have to work on his receiving abilities to fully assume this new role, but his lack of production in this area is most likely due to the reliance on White as Jayden Daniel’s checkdown option last year and the much higher number of snaps he played compared to Ngata.

Ngata might have some competition in the running back room with the transfer from Xazavian Valladay and 4-star freshman Tevin White, but the No. 1 job should currently be Ngata’s to lose.

If ASU can run the ball and take pressure off Emory Jones, or whoever wins the quarterback battle, then the team will be in a much better position to win games. This might take the form of a true No. 1 back like Ngata leading the team or a more balanced committee approach with Hart III, White, and Valladay sharing snaps.

Either way, the running game has to work in 2022 and Ngata will be a critical piece in the success or failure of that part of the offense.