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Opinion: Despite four game losing streak, ASU football rebuild still on track

The recent football losses are due to lack of experience, not talent

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ASU now-sophomore quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) throws the ball in a 34-31 loss against Colorado at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019.

ASU football pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football this season, ruining No. 6 Oregon's College Football Playoff dreams Saturday. Before the 31-28 win, the team went on an abysmal four game losing streak after starting the season 5-1. 

These losses, while frustrating current fans, should not worry anyone about the future. The talent on the 2019 edition of Sun Devil football is there. Inexperience is where the four straight losses stem from. 

"I'm happy for our players," head coach Herm Edwards said in a press conference after the win Saturday. "They didn't handle their success very well when we were 5-1. That's a part of growing up. They thought it was going to be easy. It's not easy."

The upset victory over Oregon proved one thing to be true, the talent is definitely there. The win does more than just build confidence and excitement around the program, it makes the Sun Devils bowl eligible. Bowl eligibility gives a few extra weeks of practice, something Edwards believes is the most important aspect. 

"I'm happy to be bowl eligible to be quite honest," Edwards said. "That is significant for us. The class of kids that we have coming in, probably about 22 or 23 freshmen, some of them will be eligible to practice."

Yes, winning does heal everything, but that four game losing streak was not the end of the world. The experience and developed hatred for losing will serve as motivation for the Sun Devils moving forward.

Looking ahead to next season, freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels will have had an entire year under his belt. The sophomore-led defense will be full of upperclassmen. ASU's young offensive line will have a year's worth of camaraderie. 

Next season brings the possibility of junior running back Eno Benjamin returning for his senior season, pending his decision to enter the NFL draft. The influx of talent in the 2020 recruiting class will be the icing on the cake for what should be an impressive 2020 campaign. 

"We are trying to build a program," Edwards said. "When you play a game like this against the sixth-ranked team in the country, it helps you. We were tired of losing." 

Building a program won't happen in one season. 

Edwards has made a point to emphasize that. As we near the end of season two of the Edwards era, it is time to get on the Herm train before it leaves the station. That might be happening before many expect. 

Reach the columnist at or follow @anc2018 on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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