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Today, We're Internet Talking With Arizona State Fans

Let's Internet Talk With People!

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

So, here is a thing.  Internet Talking with our friends over at House Of Sparky.  Whether they are dishing on their unending love of Mike Stoops' facial expression, that visor Mike Stoops always seemed to wear no matter what, or how the word "confounded" best seem to describe Mike Stoops at all times, they are the biggest Arizona State fans around.

So, gather round and let me tell you a tale, the tale being other people answering our questions.  In specific, Connor Pelton and Kaelen Jones.  Many thanks to Pelton and Jones!  Go Bears!

1. Despite the relative youth on the o-line, they have done well in generating the holes for the Sparky formation. Is it a credit to the scheme, the coaching or the raw athleticism of the team?




1. Connor Pelton: All of the above. The power right scheme that Ballage and the rest of the offense typically lines up in isn't exactly groundbreaking stuff, but the team seems to have it perfected. As far as coaching goes, the blocking schemes and plays that first-year offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey have drawn up have definitely impressed Arizona State fans thus far, and the Sparky formation has a lot to do with that (six touchdowns in six attempts in the package's debut will do that for you). But of course, none of this would be possible without the players on the field. Ballage's strength and vision makes him the perfect back for this formation, and the linemen in front of him have been the biggest surprise through three games. The combination has made the Sparky nearly unstoppable, which is why it came as a surprise when the team shied away from it last week at UTSA.


2. What are some of the issues with the pass D. Webb, HC Dykes, and Hansen have all said that ASU's DBs are really good, yet y'all have a bottom 30 Pass D on both of the S&P+ measures. Where is the mismatch?


2. Kaelen Jones: Experience and time. ASU has taken a much more conservative approach defensively this season, rushing on four or five players on what I'd estimate to be around 70% of the time. The only real big plays have come on blown coverages resulting from miscommunication. I'd argue it's been mostly the short stuff ASU defenders are conceding due to their alignment that's made the numbers look so bad. That, and the fact they're struggling to get to the passer up front, meaning an extended time for opposing receivers to get open /*and QBs time to extend and find them.


3. What changed in the second half of the UTSA game that caused the team to surge in the 2nd half?



3. Connor Pelton: It didn't even come until late in the third quarter, but I think that the Roadrunners' second straight touchdown to start the half kind of served as a wake-up call for the Sun Devil defense. Once they finally snapped out of the trance they were in to start making big hits and good tackles, UTSA was in trouble. On the other side of the ball, the offense wasn't sharp by any means for three quarters, but it was due to eventually break through as all they needed to do was start finishing off drives against players that were significantly smaller and slower than them.


4. Is a hot dog a sandwich?


4. Kaelen Jones: Yes. But it is also a hot dog, so no.

5. What's different about this team compared to last season's model?



5. Connor Pelton: The clear answer is the changing of the guard at quarterback. I was a big Mike Bercovici fan but Manny Wilkins seems to have inherited the starting role with ease, and his ability to make plays with his feet (whether designed or out of broken plays) is a nice option to have. Outside of the quarterback spot, there isn't much of a difference anywhere else. There may be new faces scattered across the field - especially on the offensive line and in the secondary - but this team looks a lot like the 2015 version from a production and schematic standpoint.



6. What is different about the new offensive coordinator?



6. Kaelen Jones: He's a genius. To be more specific, Chip Lindsey understands personnel, and catering to skillsets. The offense has playmakers at QB, RB and WR. He's used them all perfectly; Wilkins as a playmaker out of the RPO/using the quick passing game; Richard in-between the tackles/short-yardage; Ballage both off-tackle and in space; White in space, getting him the ball; Harry...he's good at everything; Harvey in isolated matchups one-on-one... I could go on.



7.  If ASU underperforms this season will Graham be on the hot seat?  How many losses will it take to make that seat toasty?  How many wins would keep it cool?



7. Connor Pelton: Back-to-back underperforming seasons might start to make his seat warm, but I think it would take a seriously bad record (3-9, 4-8, etc.) to make it downright hot. And with the team already off to a 3-0 start, that ship has probably sailed. To get him back in good graces with Sun Devil Nation after last year's disappointment, eight or nine wins is probably the minimum. It's going to take the fanbase a while to forget the whole, "expect a national title, end up with a losing record" thing.



8. Kalen Ballage had an insane FBS record performance against Texas Tech but has been relatively quiet in the other games. Any idea as to why? What are your mini-scouting reports on Ballage and Demario Richard?


8. Kaelen Jones: Ballage's career-high in rushing attempts is 18. He's yet to surpass that, but his total touch amount has gone up. He's still learning.


Richard is a between-the-tackles power back, who will run over you whenever he can, and can catch out of the backfield. Ballage is the speed back, home run threat with the size of a power back.


9. Manny Wilkins. What do you make of him? He had a few good performances but he regressed against UTSA. What would you say are his strengths and weaknesses?


9. Connor Pelton: Granted, the competition hasn't been great, but Wilkins has really impressed me through three games. His presence in the pocket has been masterful, and Lindsey's offense has made the transition easy for such an inexperienced quarterback. Accuracy on his intermediate-to-deep balls still need work, but that should come in time.



10. What would you consider your keys to victory on Saturday



10. Kaelen Jones: Time of possession and turnovers (I guess the two coincide with one another).


Last q: Who do you want to punch in the face?



11. Kaelen Jones: Connor Pelton. That guy sucks.

Connor Pelton: Kaelen Jones. That guy is worse.