(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
With the most recent loss to No. 13 Utah, Arizona State now has an even 5-5 record. To say this season has been somber for fans is an understatement.
The scripts have flipped on the Sun Devils’ season, winning their first four games to losing their most recent four. Head coach Todd Graham has had some major headaches with the team this season.
But this isn’t the first time Arizona State has come up empty. Graham’s coaching record while at ASU has been 39-24 in five seasons. Additionally, Graham has collected two bowls since taking the job.
This season, not all of the blame can be placed on Graham.
Injuries have plagued the Sun Devils time and time again. Week by week, fans see more Sun Devils be ineligible for games due to injury. There also is a variety of them. Feet, hands, knees, necks, you name it, there’s been a player who injured it.
The quarterback position has been the most talked about spot. Before the season began, a three-man race for the starting position consisted of redshirt sophomore Manny Wilkins, redshirt freshman Brady White and redshirt freshman Bryce Perkins.
Perkins suffered a season-ending neck injury during practice that took him out of contention. Wilkins initially got the starting role but then got hurt during the 41-20 loss at USC. White finished the rest of that game and even made his first career start at Sun Devil Stadium in week five against UCLA.
White then sustained a season-ending foot injury in that one. Graham had to burn freshman Dillon Sterling-Cole’s redshirt later in the contest.
This timeline shows just how many Sun Devils were hurt during the season and how the team has attempted to regain back their health.
In all the adversity the Sun Devils had to face, there have been some breakout performers. Junior running back Kalen Ballage, linebacker Koron Crump, linebacker DJ Calhoun, and true freshman wide receiver N’Keal Harry have shimmered in a dark season.
Each brings an array of skills that Arizona State has taken full advantage of. Fans knew that these four would be effective for the team, but no one could have guessed how much of an impact they have had so far.