There is a general consensus in Tempe that success for the Sun Devils will ride on the shoulders of their quarterback. But the thing is, there is no clear vision of who will get the starting job after a very close, below-par, competition during the spring game in April.
The 2009 season did more than just upset fans. Head coach Dennis Erickson had named Danny Sullivan as starting quarterback, feeding the public with high expectations for the senior player. Let's just say that these expectations were far from being met.
Sullivan was not all to blame for the Sun Devils' offensive struggles, as the o-line was torn apart due to injuries. Add to the fact that his backups were a true freshman and an injury prone sophomore, Erickson was left with no great options for the starting quarterback position. The Sun Devils just did not have the star QB they wanted, and needed.
Needless to say, a high emphasis has been placed on the quarterback duel at Arizona State heading into the regular season. The offense, under the direction of newly appointed offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, is likely to bring a more fast-paced style to the field in order to bring more success to whomever lands the starting gig.
Dennis Erickson decided that the decision for starting quarterback will have to wait until fall camp, as the two candidates are too close in competition to decide solely on their spring performances.
Sun Devil fans will be waiting anxiously to hear who will be leading the 2010 offense in hopes of bringing a winning season to Tempe, and their first bowl berth since 2007.
Let's take a look at the top two candidates for the starting quarterback position.
Threet transferred from Michigan following the 2008 season to Arizona State, sitting out the 2009 season per NCAA rules. ASU is Threet's third school, playing for Georgia Tech in 2007.
He undoubtedly has the most experience, playing in 11 games and starting eight of them for Michigan. After capping off the 2008 season with 1,105 yards for nine touchdowns and seven interceptions, he lead the Wolverines in total offense.
The 6'5", 237-pound quarterback looked extremely consistent in spring scrimmages, although a lackluster performance shadowed everything else.
The fact is, Steven Threet came to ASU for one reason: to be the starting quarterback.
If the past has shown anything, it is that Dennis Erickson favors experience, and Threet has that. Having starting experience in some of most hostile stadiums in the Big-Ten will likely give Threet the extra push for the position.
The chant "We want Brock" could be heard echoing off the stadium walls during the 2009 season. The highly touted six-foot-eight quarterback from Montana has gained a lot of attention in Tempe.
Osweiler, who played six games as a true freshman backup in 2009, made one career start at Oregon. Being thrown into the starting position in one of the most hostile stadiums in the country, he only completed five of ten passes with one interception and sack before sustaining an injury that sidelined him.
His time to shine came during a game against the visiting USC Trojans last November. After replacing Danny Sullivan halfway through the game, Osweiler brought an intensity to the field that had not been seen, bringing the Sun Devils back into contention. Completing 11 of 27 passes for 153 yards and the only ASU touchdown in the game, he showed great promise for the future of the program.
Brock's size gives him a slight edge, showing that he can rush and break tackles in last year's USC game.
Overall, Osweiler threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns under very limited playing time.