Recapping Coach Edwards' Week One Press Conference
Story written by Christina Fankhanel, a senior from Cave Creek, Arizona who is studying journalism and mass communication with a specialization in public relations.
Sun Devil Football gears up for the season opener against the USC on Nov. 7, which will be broadcasted for a national audience on FOX at 10 am MST. In his weekly press conference, Head Coach Herm Edwards talked about the upcoming showdown in the Coliseum.
"I think it's a long time coming for our coaching staff. Our players are excited about the opportunity to play football in the PAC-12. I think all the coaches feel the same way. I don't want to speak for them, but I got a pretty good idea that they feel, like I feel, it's been a long time for players, for our fan-base everyone involved in Pac-12 football." Edwards remarked.
Due to the unprecedented circumstances, the 2020 football season has been reduced to six-games, cut in half compared to the typical 12-game season. Edwards stressed the importance of getting off to a fast start because of the small margin for error.
"Whether you play six, whether you play 12 they are all important to win. Winning your first game gives you a lot of momentum," Edwards observed.
With safety being a priority, Edwards revealed some of the messages he has shared with players leading up to Saturday. He emphasized that the danger is not when the team is at practice, but who the players and staff socialize with when they leave the field.
"We understand that it really comes down to socially people involved in your organization making the right decisions. If the virus should hit, it can take a lot of people out with it. We are already aware of that, that is the navigation part."
Edwards prepared the team for the morning kickoff time (10 am in AZ) and 4:45 a.m. pregame meal by telling them to start getting their rest now. The early start time is not completely unfamiliar territory for Sun Devil Football, as the team has practiced in the morning since Edwards arrived in 2018.
"We've been fortunate, we have always practiced in the morning, but that is practice. We have never played a live game. There is a different feeling when you play a game. First time I have played a game at 9, 10 o'clock in the morning. Same for the players as well."
Edwards shared that his favorite moment from a season opener in his career as a player or coach was the first game that his dad was able to watch him play. As a member of the Los Angeles Rams, Edwards returned to the state of California to play in front of his dad, a game he says he still remembers like it was yesterday.
Since the stadium will not be filled with fans this weekend, Edwards looks forward to seeing who will bring the energy and stressed that simplification on the field is critical during the game.
- ASU is 78-27-2 all-time in season openers, though the 2020 addition has its own caveats due to the COVID-19 crisis. It will be the latest start date for Sun Devil Football in modern history.
- It will be the first time the Sun Devils have opened a season against a conference opponent since opening the 1998 season at home against Washington, a 42-38 loss.
- It's the first time opening on the road against a conference opponent since Washington in 1995, a 23-20 loss in Seattle.
- It is the first time since 2002 that ASU has opened with a TRUE road game - that one coming in a 48-10 loss on the road against Nebraska in Lincoln.
- ASU is 17-22-2 all-time in Pac-12 openers (overall) and 17-23-1 in Pac-12 ROAD openers.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
The Sun Devil Football program will open the 2020 season this Saturday, Nov. 7 on the road against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Coliseum in the program's first ever appearance on the FOX Sports Big Noon Saturday Game of the Week.
FOX Sports lead college football game broadcasters Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft call the action when the game kicks off at 12:00 PM ET, 9:00 AM local time, in the Pac-12's first contest scheduled in the network's featured time slot.