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5 predictions for ASU football's 2015 season

Sports columnist Justin Janssen offers his predictions on the 2015 ASU football season

Redshirt senior quarterback Mike Bercovici throws a pass under pressure during the last day of Camp Tontozona on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Payson, Arizona.
Redshirt senior quarterback Mike Bercovici throws a pass under pressure during the last day of Camp Tontozona on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, in Payson, Arizona.

Can you believe it? Football is back in two days! 

Neither can I. Although for ASU, it's four days away. 

Anyway, with the 2015 season fast approaching, here are five predictions for ASU's season.

1. ASU wins the Pac-12 South

I'm not as crazy as college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit or Dave Wannstedt by predicting the Sun Devils into the College Football Playoff, but I think they will win the division by going 10-2, with losses to Oregon and UCLA. If ASU wins the Pac-12 with just one loss, then the Sun Devils will go to the playoff. I just don't see that happening with games against the No. 7, 8, 13, and 22 teams in the country (AP poll). ASU's regular season over/under win total is 8.5 (Bovada) and 7.6 from ESPN, so I was fairly generous given how difficult the schedule is.

2. Mike Bercovici sets the ASU single-season passing record

In three starts last year, Bercovici showed off his electric arm, completing 92 of 146 passes for 1,243 yards. While I don't think he maintains a 400-yard passing performance per start, it's not out of the question that he can throw for 4,037 yards, which would break Brock Osweiler's 2011 record. Assuming no injuries, he'd need 311 yards per start (including a bowl game) to set a new record, or 288 with a Pac-12 title game.

3. Gary Chambers becomes ASU's No. 2 receiver

I think most people expect senior D.J. Foster to lead the team in receiving. Even as primarily a running back last season, Foster was second on the team only to Jaelen Strong in receptions (62) and receiving yards (688). With Cameron Smith out for the season, Chambers is actually ASU's top returner in receiving yards (204). As a fifth-year senior, it's his time to shine, and he's in line to start

4. Special teams won't be ASU's Achilles' heel

Special teams consist of a lot of different functions: kickoffs/kick returns, punts/punt returns and field goals/extra points. ASU returns junior Zane Gonzalez, who is 47 of 57 on field goal attempts in his career. I think the punt return game is overblown given ASU and its opponents fair caught or did not return 79 percent of punts last year. According to Football Outsiders, ASU's opponents started their drive at the 26.9 yard line, on average, which ranked 11th in the country.

5. ASU leads the Pac-12 in interceptions

OK, ASU tied for the lead last year, but with seniors Kweishi Brown, Jordan Simone and Lloyd Carrington all back for 2015, ASU can be even better than last year in the secondary. Even though first-round draft pick Damarious Randall departs, the Sun Devils have enough experience returning to make up for it.

Related Links:

ASU football position preview: Defensive line

ASU football hopes Saturday's game brings more success in Texas

Reach the columnist at or follow @jjanssen11 on Twitter.

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