They may have a new head coach, but the Sun Devils will still have their old one on the sidelines on Christmas Eve against Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl.
Dirk Koetter will still be roaming the sidelines after being fired earlier this year after six seasons in Tempe, and Dennis Erickson's debut will wait nine months.
The Sun Devils don't have the same offense that they had a year ago, and if they did, we could expect scores of this game to be in the 60's. ASU has a very young receiving corps, and the top target is tight end Zach Miller. Miller leads the team in receptions (49), receiving yards (481) and touchdowns (four).
It could be tough for the players to go out and defeat a potent Hawaii offense on its home turf, especially because of a lame duck coaching staff on the sidelines. Or, because the coaching staff is on its way out, it may open up a lot of plays for the offense. After all, what do they have to lose?
Defensively, the Sun Devils are going to have a tough time against Hawaii QB Colt Brennan. But in the last regular season game of the year, Brennan and his team lost to Oregon State in a thriller, leaving ASU with a nice scouting tape to figure out what they can do to slow one of the best quarterbacks in the nation this season. The Sun Devils had the second-best defense in the Pac-10 this season, after having one of the worst in the nation the year before. Arizona State will be looking to win its third straight bowl game after a win last year against Rutgers.
The Warriors will be looking to win their 11th game of the season, a feat that they have accomplished only one time in their history back in 1992. It would also be a special night if Brennan can toss two touchdowns, which would break the single-season record of 53 set back in 1991 by David Klingler at Houston. Ironically, Klingler set the mark against Arizona State.
Hawaii led all Division I-A programs this season in total offense (549.9 yards per game), passing yards (432.2 per) and points per game (47.3). Many believe Hawaii's Colt Brennan is the best pure passer in the country, and he's also a threat to run.
It will be fun to see if Hawaii's secondary can stop the Arizona State aerial attack. If they can, it could be a very long day for the Sun Devils. If the Warriors are able to jump out on top of ASU, expect Hawaii to cruise. With a lame-duck coach onboard, things could get ugly if they are caught in an early hole.
Doug Kroll is an independent contributor to College Football Poll.com.