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ASU football looks fresh to start the season

The Arizona State Sun Devils looked real great. Our chat with Cody Ulm and Kerry Crowley of House of Sparky!

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Is the offense looking better in Year 2? Where are you seeing the most improvement?

Cody: It's really hard to say for certain with how porous Sacramento State's secondary looked Thursday. One thing I can share though is that WR Jaelen Strong delivered as advertised. I'm not going to call him Arizona State's go-to receiver just yet but he did show some serious jump ball ability. That's going to add a whole new dimension to this offense.

Kerry: It's too soon to tell whether the offense is looking better at game speed, but the Sun Devils certainly have more pieces to succeed this year. Offensive coordinator Mike Norvell has a stable of new receivers headlined by JUCO transfer Jaelen Strong and a versatile weapon in tight end De'Marieya Nelson who brings new dimensions to the offense. Sacramento State wasn't exactly a test, but we'll know more about the progress of this offense after Wisconsin and Stanford.

Based on what you've seen from the rest of the Pac-12, where would you place ASU?

Cody: As the 1B to UCLA's 1A in the South division. Clearly the Trojans can't hang and while Arizona and Utah had some nice wins, they still didn't show me enough to bump them up to the upper tier. Overall in the conference, nothing has changed for me. The Bruins and Devils are still clearly behind Oregon and Stanford in my book.

Kerry: I think ASU is firmly entrenched in the top half of the Pac-12 and could be the third best team when it's all said and done. I think Oregon and Stanford are head and shoulders above the competition, but the Sun Devils deserve to be in the conversation with UCLA and Washington for that third spot. There's no reason the Sun Devils can't hang with either one of those teams and the November matchup in Pasadena is circled on every Arizona State fan's calendar.

What worries you the most about the Devils after getting to finally see them in action?

Cody: Probably both aspects of the kicking game. The balls were rolling in punter Dom Vizzare's favor Thursday so his stats were a bit inflated. On the other end, kicker Zane Gonzalez was a slight step above being a regular Alex Garoutte (or in layman's terms, a huge bummer). I have no more confidence in either unit after ASU's Week 1. I think it's only a matter of time before one of these gentlemen negatively affects a game in crunch time.

Kerry: What worries me most is not knowing whether Arizona State has truly made improvements against the run heading into the Wisconsin and Stanford games. The Sun Devils looked great in rush defense against bad teams last year and they had no trouble bottling up Sacramento State's ground game in this year's opener. Wisconsin might be the best running team Arizona State faces this season so if the Sun Devils have really made improvements, they'll show up on Saturday.

Follow Cody and Kerry on Twitter and check out House of Sparky for more ASU coverage!