3 Biggest Questions Facing Arizona State Head Coach Kenny Dillingham Ahead of Big 12 Media Days

    Kenny Dillingham leads the Arizona State Sun Devils into a new conference but faces multiple questions ahead of Big 12 Media Days next week.

    Although conference newcomers, the Arizona State Sun Devils will be at home in the desert, with Big 12 Media Days located in Las Vegas this year. However, after back-to-back losing seasons and being slated with a top-10 toughest schedule in the country, Arizona State has an uphill battle ahead to prove itself in its new surroundings.

    As the conference expands to 10 states and 16 teams, what are the burning questions facing head coach Kenny Dillingham ahead of the 2024 Big 12 Media Days?

    Three Most Significant Questions for Kenny Dillingham at Big 12 Media Days

    1) Did Jaden Rashada Leave Because He Lost to Sam Leavitt?

    Kenny Dillingham had a surplus at the QB position before spring camp, with a competition brewing between returner Jaden Rashada and Michigan State transfer Sam Leavitt. Rashada high-tailed it to Georgia when spring ball concluded, leaving Leavitt the expected starter for the Sun Devils.

    Whether or not Rashada left on his own or if he saw the writing on the wall will be a burning question for Dillingham at Big 12 Media Days.

    2) Has the OL Improved After a Tumultuous 2023 Season?

    The Sun Devils’ OL had a rough time in 2023, thanks to a plethora of injuries. Three starters are returning in 2024, along with Ben Coleman, who missed all of last season with an injury after transferring from Cal.

    On top of that, three transfer offensive linemen were brought in — Arkansas’ Joey Su’a, Hawaii’s Josh Atkins, and New Mexico’s Shancco Matautia — signaling crucial changes on the line of scrimmage for Arizona State.

    3) How Much of an Impact Will Transfers Have on Defense?

    Arizona State finished 109th nationally in scoring defense in 2023, allowing 31.8 points per game. Dillingham addressed this head on in recruiting, bringing in 15 transfers this spring, including LSU corner Laterrance Welch, Florida safety Kamari Wilson, Oregon corner Cole Martin, Texas EDGE J’Mond Tapp, and Arizona DL Jacob Kongaika.

    The Sun Devils need to improve defensively and how much is dependent on a crop of new transfers.

    Big 12 Media Days Schedule: Kenny Dillingham, Arizona State Head Coach

    • Date: Tuesday, July 9
    • Time: 3:40 p.m. ET
    • How to watch: ESPN+

    One of four programs making its Big 12 debut this season along with Arizona, Colorado, and Utah, the Sun Devils left the Pac-12 behind on a sour note with consecutive 3-9 finishes under Herm Edwards in 2022 and Dillingham in 2023.

    Dillingham’s first season at the helm of his alma mater’s football team didn’t go so well, but he’s bringing in a bevy of transfers to help offset his poor start.

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    The Sun Devils have 23 transfers coming in, fourth-most according to 247 Sports, including Michigan State QB Sam Leavitt. As a true freshman last year, Leavitt took a redshirt but made four appearances, completing 15 of 23 passes for 139 yards, with two touchdowns and two picks.

    The Sun Devils have the 10th-toughest schedule in 2024, according to the CFN strength of schedule metric. They’ll make their official Big 12 debut in Lubbock, taking on the Texas Tech Red Raiders on September 21.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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