ASU held its second preseason scrimmage Saturday night at Kajikawa practice fields, its 13th overall practice.

Leading off

“I only get nervous when my wife calls me ‘Coach.’ Then I know I’m in trouble.” – ASU coach Herm Edwards on whether he’s nervous two weeks out from his first game as a college head coach.

Starting temperature: 102 degrees/27 percent humidity.

Ending temperature: 96 degrees/33 percent humidity.

Attire: Pads.

Media viewing: Entire practice.

Scrimmage No. 2 runs smoother

ASU scrimmaged for part of Saturday’s practice with a different approach than a week earlier. All players were on the same sideline instead of having offense and defense on separate sidelines and coaches were not on the field. 

Offensive coordinator Rob Likens went so far as to calls plays from a scaffold used for filming practice.

“When we got them on one sideline, it wasn’t so hard getting special teams in and out,” Edwards said. “We wanted to kick the ball off and cover, have certain situations so we got a lot of things done.

“It’s good for the coaches too. They needed to stand on the sideline instead of being behind the guy (saying) you line up over there. Coach Likens was up in the tower like Bear Bryant. We try to orchestrate everything like that.”

On Friday, ASU will shift to Sun Devil Stadium for a closed mock game walk through to prepare for the myriad of situations that will arise when games begin Sept. 1.

“I need to see it too,” Edwards said. “How we collect information on the sideline, how we college information from the booth. We’ll create situations.”


ASU football coach Herm Edwards says up to a dozen newcomers could play this season after the Sun Devils’ second scrimmage on Saturday.
Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral sports


– Edwards is now saying he expects up to a dozen newcomers (freshmen and transfers) who were not here in the spring to play this season.

Those will or could include running back Isaiah Floyd and perhaps A.J. Carter, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and perhaps Geordon Porter, offensive lineman Casey Tucker, Roy Hemsley and perhaps Jarrett Bell, linebackers Merlin Robertson, Stanley Lambert and Darien Butler, cornerback Terin Adams, safety Aashari Crosswell, quarterback Kurt Walding and walk-on tight end Jarick Caldwell. 

Asked if there is a possibility of freshmen Robertson, Lambert and Butler being on the field at the same time, Edwards said, “We’ll see. Never say no. I told you guys when I got here, I’m not kidding. There is 12 guys that weren’t here that are going to play. Are they starters? I don’t know that yet. They are going to play football for us. 

“You eyes always tell the truth, and you can’t lie to the players. The players have figured out who the good players are so you’d better play them.”

– Edwards gave a few additional comments on the indefinite suspension of linebacker Jay Jay Wilson for a team rules violation. “He’s been removed from activities until I decide to bring him back. That’s where it’s at.”

– Star wide receiver N’Keal Harry did not practice Saturday due to a headache. Offensive linemen Steve Miller and Cohl Cabral also did not participate.

“I kind of know who the guys are now,” Edwards said. “Treat everyone fair, don’t treat everyone the same, that’s generally my rule. Next week we’ll get all the guys in place that are supposed to practice.”

Players not expected to play this season will become the scout team next week and serve as the opponent in game preparations. Also Edwards said media access, which has been wide open so far, will be restricted to the early portion of practice starting next week.

– ESPN will broadcast an interview with Edwards about his return to coaching for the first time at 5:40 a.m. Sunday on SportsCenter and again periodically including after “Sunday Night Baseball.” Edwards was an ESPN pro football analyst from 2009-17 before coming to ASU. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Matt Barrie, an ASU graduate, interviewed Edwards when he was in Tempe on Aug. 9.

– Perhaps the biggest sideline reaction Saturday came when Paul Lucas broke off consecutive decent gains against the first team defense. 

Lucas is from Phoenix and began his college career at Oregon State before transferring to ASU for track. He was playing defensive back until recently requesting to be moved to running back.

“He said, ‘Coach, I’m really a running back,’ ” Edwards said. “I said, ‘Really, go play running back.’ He had a nice run today. The guy just went over there two days ago. He can run fast, no doubt about that.”

– Joey Bryant, playing safety now after starting part of last season at cornerback before suffering a season-ending knee injury, intercepted a deep pass on a jump-ball situation against Porter. 

Up next

The Sun Devils are off Sunday and Monday with their next practice at 9:15 a.m. Tuesday at Kajikawa practice field. Practices are open to the public unless otherwise noted or if the team goes indoors to the Dickey Dome due to weather.

ASU preseason practice schedule

Sunday, Aug. 19 – Off.

Monday, Aug.  20 – Off.

Tuesday, Aug. 21 – 9:15-11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 22 – 9:15-11:30 a.m.

Thursday, Aug. 23 – 9:15-11 a.m.

Friday, Aug. 24 – Mock game walk-thru (closed), 7:30 p.m., Sun Devil Stadium

ASU’s season opener is Saturday, Sept. 1 against Texas-San Antonio.