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Southern Utah head coach takes a shot at ASU football



Kenny Dillingham of Arizona State football talks to Cam Skattebo during the Southern Utah game.
H/T Anthony Chiu of Sun Devil Daily

TEMPE, Ariz. — Southern Utah head coach DeLane Fitzgerald took a shot at the Arizona State football program this week. The two teams met to open the season last Thursday. Arizona State squeaked out with a win, 24-21. However, this wasn’t a regular football game. Arizona State took a 21-3 lead into halftime before a haboob and lightning caused a nearly three-hour delay. ASU came out of the locker room after the delay extremely flat, allowing SUU to catch up and make it a game again.

Southern Utah head coach DeLane Fitzgerald attacks ASU

This week while Arizona State is preparing for a Saturday matchup with Oklahoma State, Southern Utah is preparing for their next opponent: BYU. Fitzgerald had some kind words for BYU and some brutally honest ones about ASU.

“They’re a good football program. They’ll be ready. They’re a lot better than Arizona State,” Fitzgerald said about BYU. “They have a lot better of a program than ASU and I’m not going to sugar coat it. … We have to improve to play them this week. We have to act like we’re playing grown-man football at every aspect of what we’re doing this week.”


Do the Cougars up in Provo really have a “lot better of a program” than Arizona State? Let’s look at some numbers.

Comparing Arizona State football and BYU

Arizona State leads the all-time head-to-head series with BYU 20-8, but they have lost the last three. BYU also has a national championship (1984) while Arizona State does not, at least officially. The Sun Devils do have two unclaimed national championships, 1970 and 1975.

ASU has 17 conference championships in its program history. Seven in the Border Conference, seven in the Western Athletic Conference, and three in the Pac-12.

BYU has 23 conference championships, but 20 of them are in the Western Athletic Conference (which they dominated from 1974 to 1996). Only three are in the Mountain West.

The two schools have pretty similar overall records. Arizona State is 590-372-18 and BYU is 612-436-26. The Cougars started their program nine seasons before the Sun Devils, and only have 22 more wins.

The last thing I’ll mention is the AP Poll. Arizona State has spent 291 total weeks ranked compared to BYU’s 279. Arizona State also has a narrow edge over BYU in bowl winning percentage, 47% compared to 43.8%.

The two programs are very similar and to say one is “a lot better of a program” than the other seems a little misguided. Either way, Arizona State just added some bulletin board material for their future Big 12 matchups with BYU in the coming seasons.


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Brendon Pricco attends the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State. He's the managing editor for Sun Devil Daily. Brendon also is a contributor to Spartan Shadows and Gator Digest.