ASU Football: What Will New DC Phil Bennett Bring to ASU?
On Wednesday, ASU football announced that former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett accepted the same position. What changes will we see?
In a move that was reported Wednesday morning, Arizona State announced that former Baylor defensive coordinator Phil Bennett has agreed to take the same position in Tempe.
Bennett will replace Keith Patterson as defensive coordinator as Patterson stay on as the linebackers coach.
The timing was a bit surprising considering we haven’t really heard any rumblings about a defensive coordinator change.
However, the decision to make a change was not surprising.
Arizona State finished with the second-worst defense in FBS last season heavily contributing to a 5-7 season.
Sun Devils finished with the second-worst total defense in FBS (127th out of 128) allowing 520.5 yards per game and 7.07 yards per play.
It doesn’t get any prettier as they were ranked in the bottom in mostly every defensive category including scoring defense (124th allowing 39.8 points per game) and passing offense (ranked last in FBS allowing 357.4 yards a game).
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Change was necessary for the Sun Devils, and with Bennett’s vast experience as a coach, it gives Sun Devil fans something to be excited about.
Bennett comes after serving the last six seasons as Baylor’s defensive coordinator, the Bears the most successful run on the field in school history.
Last season, Bennett’s defense at Baylor ranked 81st in FBS after seeing a lot of talent leave the team.
An attraction for Graham to bring in is that they have similar philosophies. Both love to pressure the quarterback and have an opportunistic defense using the pressure to force turnovers.
Baylor ranked 46th in FBS with 22 turnovers forced and 32nd in team sacks with 2.46 per game.
Bennett has coached a lot of stellar defensive players in recent years coaching Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Patriots defensive end Jabaal Sheard and Bengals defensive tackle Andrew Billings just to name a few.
Sun Devils have a lot of pieces coming back and hopefully the roster continuity will lead to a seamless transition.
It will be interesting to see how much control Bennett has of the defense with Graham’s defensive background and how hands-on he’s been with the unit.
Even though there’s a new coordinator, still expect the same type of defense as the only way for ASU’s defense is to go up.