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Spotlight on the Sun Devils Transitioning to the Big 12

Arizona State Sun Devils | Coach Kenny Dillingham
© Michael Chow/The Republic/USA TODAY NETWORK

On Nov. 27, 2022, the Arizona State Sun Devils hired Kenny Dillingham to replace Herm Edwards as the team's coach. As an ASU alumnus and highly-regarded offensive guru, Dillingham is considered an ideal fit in Tempe, Ariz.

However, Dillingham's initial season in the Valley of the Sun was rough. The Sun Devils finished their final chapter in the Pac-12 Conference with a 3-9 record, winning only two conference games. Dillingham and company look to turn things around as they transition into the Big 12 Conference in 2024.

Dillingham's Remarks at Big 12 Media Days

At the Big 12 Media Days event on July 9 in Las Vegas, Dillingham commented on his team's status. Beginning with redshirt freshman quarterback Sam Leavitt, who transferred to ASU from Michigan State, the coach stressed the importance of keeping the QB comfortable and putting him in positions where he can excel. Leavitt, a native Oregonian, was a four-star recruit who played in four games for the Spartans as a true freshman. He is exceptionally talented and was rated by On3 as the No. 7 QB in the 2023 class. Dillingham said Leavitt will have a strong supporting cast this year, noting that ASU had a limited number of scholarship players last year. In the words of the coach, "That's a drastic difference."

The Sun Devils' offensive line is anchored by senior Max Iheanachor, a gridiron stalwart with impressive pedigree. Iheanachor and his brother are both four-star recruits from the Los Angeles area. Dillinghman and the ASU staff are counting on Iheanachor and his cohorts in the trenches to protect Leavitt.

Audio of Dillingham's remarks at the Big 12 Media Days event can be accessed here.

Arizona State Sun Devils
Alex Blackburn/College Football Dawgs

Sun Devils' Gauntlet in 2024

The Sun Devils kick off their season on Aug. 31 at home in Tempe against the Wyoming Cowboys. Their schedule after that is a daunting one. According to College Football Network, ASU's s schedule is the 10th-strongest in the nation, featuring matchups against five teams ranked in ESPN's preseason Top 25—No. 9 Utah, No. 17 Kansas State, No. 19 Oklahoma State, No. 20 Arizona and No. 22 Kansas.

Dillingham and ASU face a sturdy challenge in their inaugural Big 12 season.

Stay tuned to College Football Dawgs for further reporting on the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Big 12.


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