TEMPE, Ariz. - In Dennis Erickson's fifth season at Arizona State, the Sun Devil faithful are optimistic the team will once again challenge for the Pacific conference title.
With just 10 conference victories over the course of the last three seasons, the natives are getting restless in Tempe.
A recent scrimmage didn't help: on three consecutive plays, three players went down with injuries, including senior linebacker Brandon Magee. He is out for the season now with a ruptured achilles.
"We've had those injuries; that's football," Erickson said. "We've had it every year. This isn't like the only year we've ever had it. I mean, we lose guys, so guys have got to step up. That's why you have 85 guys on scholarship."
And injured players don't quit contributing to the team.
"You can't just stop working. You make it a mental day, and you get assignment sound," said Bo Moos, a senior defensive tackle. "But with all these injuries, Ithink it's probably time to slow it down a little bit."
There are reasons for optimism.
The Devils bring back all 11 starters from last year's offense which was 28th in the nation in scoring, averaging 32 points per game.
And junior quarter Brock Osweiler hopes his time has come after leading ASU to a win over rival Arizona last season in his only start.
"You know, our football team sets goals for ourselves, and we stick to that," he said. "Whatever we set for this football team stays within the confines of our facilities, and that's all we're worried about about. What our team goals are, and we're not concerned with what the media sets for us, and what the fans set for us."
You can catch a new training camp preview from each team in the Pac-12 on KVAL News at 6 and 11 until the new season kicks off.
KVAL's Inside the Pac Season Preview Show kicks off this Sunday at 5:00. It's a full hour of exclusive features and interviews around the new-look conference.