Oct 15, 2011; Eugene, OR, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) scrambles away from the pressure of Oregon Ducks linebacker Josh Kaddu during the second half at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks beat the Sun Devils 41-27. Mandatory Credit: Jim Z. Rider-US PRESSWIRE.

Pac-12 Conference Football Preview: Arizona State Sun Devils (Part 1: Offense)

The Arizona State Sun Devils has a decent season at best last year. The first six games were amazing while the last six games were not. In 2011, the Sun Devils started off with a record of 5-1 in their first six games. However, the last six games started off with a 41-27 road loss to Oregon and they finished the regular season with a record of 6-6 (third in the Pac-12 South). Even though they earned a trip to the MAACO Bowl, Arizona State lost to #7 Boise State in blow out fashion by a score of 56-24.

The Sun Devils will need to look to their offense if they want to an elite Pac-12 team this season. Here’s a look at the averages they had per game and their rankings compared to the other schools in Division I:

  • Total: 445.8 yards (24th overall)

  • Passing: 328.8 yards (10th overall)
  • Rushing: 129.1 yards (85th overall)

The biggest thing for the Sun Devils this season will be replacing their starting quarterback from 2011, Brock Osweiler. Osweiler was selected in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos this past April. In his final season with Arizona State, Osweiler threw for 4,036 passing yards on 326 completions and had 26 passing touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also had 90 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

However, there is a question mark at who will replace Osweiler in 2012. The Arizona State depth chart suggests that there could be a position battle between Mike Bercovici (Sophomore), Michael Eubank (redshirt – Freshman), and Taylor Kelly (redshirt – Sophomore).

According to Arizona State’s spring prospectus, one of the players to watch this season on the offensive side of the ball will be Cameron Marshall. Last season, Marshall played in all thirteen games for the Sun Devils, but only started ten of them. He rushed for 1,050 yards on 230 carries and was the first Arizona State running back to rush for more than 1,000 yards in a season since Ryan Torain (Washington Redskins running back) in 2006. Also, Marshall had 18 rushing touchdowns in 2011 with in the second in Pac-12 history behind former Oregon running back, LaMichael James.

It will be interesting to see if the Arizona State Sun Devils will rely more on running the ball in 2012. With the season that Cameron Marshall had in 2011 and the departure of Brock Osweiler, this does not seem like a bad idea. Especially with the confusion at quarterback for Arizona State, Marshall might be able to give the offense something to lean on and feel good about going into the 2012 season.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft Arizona State Arizona State Football Arizona State Sun Devils Boise State Brock Osweiler Cameron Marshall Denver Broncos LaMichael James MAACO Bowl Michael Eubank Mike Bercovici Oregon Pac-12 Pac-12 South Ryan Torain Taylor Kelly Washington Redskins

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