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Southern Utah

Jul 18, 2023Jul 18, 2023

Arizona State begins its 2023 campaign with a visit from Southern Utah. It is time to continue our College Football odds series with a Southern Utah-Arizona State prediction, pick, and how-to-watch.

It was a 5-6 campaign for Southern Utah under first-year coach DeLane Fitzgerald. Southern Utah has a solid start to the season though, as they won three of their first four games. The one loss was a 73-7 loss to Utah, but that was to be expected. While it was not the first season to be hoped for, Southern Utah has some hope coming into this one. Justin Miller is back. He had a breakout season last year, and the quarterback is on the Walter Payton Award watch list. They have talented wide receivers who will make for a great offensive showing for the Thunderbirds. Meanwhile, the defense returns a lot but struggled last year at times. If they can use their returning production to take the next step, they could pull an upset here.

For Arizona State, it was a 3-9 season in which they fired Herm Edwards after three games. While hopes are higher under Kenny Dillingham this year, Arizona State is starting over. In total, 29 players left via transfer from last year's team. At one point, the squad did not have a scholarship quarterback, but they have brought in Drew Pyne. There will also not be a bowl this year for the Sun Devils, as they imposed a one-year bowl ban on themselves. Still, the Sun Devils will be looking to improve on last year and build towards the future in this one.

Here are the college football odds, courtesy of BetRivers.

Southern Utah: +31 (-110)

Arizona State: -31 (-110)

Over: 56 (-110)

Under: 56 (-110)

TV: Pac 12 Network

Stream: FuboTV

Time: 10:00 PM ET/ 7:00 PM PT

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If the Thunderbirds are going to cover, it has to start with Justin Miller. Last year he threw for 2,824 yards and 20 touchdowns. Going into his fourth year as a starter, Miller has thrown for 7,018 yards in his career, with 45 touchdowns and 25 interceptions. He comes into this game with experience against Arizona State. In 2021 he played the Sun Devils and went 19-30 passing for 146 yards and three interceptions. He is a much better quarterback now, and the tools around him are also in a much better place.

Miller also has Isiah Wooder and Timothy Patrick coming back. Wooden was great last year. He was a big play threat and has both the size and speed to take the top off a defense. Last year he took in 38 receptions for 778 yards and six scores. Wooden averaged over 20.5 yards per reception last year. Timothy Patrick was the top receiving man in terms of ball caught last year. He took in 39 receptions for 341 yards and a score last season. He was often a safety valve for Miller and would move the chains regularly.

The defense has some work to do. While they bring back a strong linebacking core, some pieces are missing. The top five tacklers from last year are all back, and all play linebacker. Still, eight of the next ten tackle guys on the season are gone. They also were great at making turnovers last year, but only three of the 14 interceptions they had returned to this squad. They also were top 25 in sacks last year, but half of their sack production is gone. It will be worth watching how a young and inexperienced defense plays in this game.

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There could be two quarterbacks playing for Arizona State in this one. The first will be Jaden Rashada. The freshman ended up at Arizona State after a NIL deal fell threw at Florida. He is a dual-threat quarterback who was highly recruited out of high school. He was the 27th-ranked recruit in the 2023 class, and he will get the first shot at the job.

Then there is Drew Pyne. There are a lot of questions surrounding Pyne. First, he has to show he is fully healthy. Two weeks ago he was injured in camp and has not shown he is 100 percent yet. Next, will be how he does in this new offense with the former offensive coordinator from Oregon, Kenny Dillingham, running the show. Last year at Notre Dame he went for 2,021 yards on just under 65 percent passing. He threw 22 touchdowns and six interceptions last year. He did not show off the deep ball a lot, and the offense under Pyne struggled a lot of the year for Notre Dame. Still, Dillingham showed last year what he can do with quarterbacks. He took Auburn cast off Bo Nix and made him into one of the top quarterbacks in the nation.

The Sun Devils also need to replace a lot on offense. Xazavian Valladay, who ran for over 1,00 yards last year is gone, as is a lot of their offensive line. Still, Elijah Badger, Giovanni Sanders, and Jalin Conyers are back in the wide receiver position. They had over 1,700 yards last year and 12 touchdowns. Badger was the best of the group last year. He caught 70 balls for 866 yards and seven scores. With better quarterback play, he could make another step this year.

On defense, the Sun Devils also lost a lot. Still, Jordan Clark is back. Last year he had two interceptions and 36 tackles. He is a quality cornerback who can shut down a lot of top-level wide receivers.

Arizona State is in a complete rebuild this year. They will most likely be starting the true freshman at quarterback, but Pyne should see time. Still, there is not a lot of returning production and the returning production from last year does not give a lot of hope. They should win this game against FCS schools, but Southern Utah has a quality offense. They will put up enough points to stay competitive in this one and cover the spread.

Final Southern Utah-Arizona State Prediction & Pick: Southern Utah +31 (-110)

Here are the college football odds, courtesy of BetRivers. College Football Odds: Southern Utah-Arizona State OddsHow to Watch Southern Utah vs. Arizona State*Watch college football LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*Why Southern Utah Will Cover The SpreadWhy Arizona State Will Cover The SpreadFinal Southern Utah-Arizona State Prediction & PickFinal Southern Utah-Arizona State Prediction & Pick: Southern Utah +31 (-110)