2007 ANALYSIS: OFFENSE: Last season the Sun Devils had one of the tougher offensive units in the Pac-10 and although the team has a new coach in Erickson, expect Arizona State, with 10 returning starters, to once again give opposing defenses fits. The biggest threat the Sun Devils possess is their two-headed monster in the backfield, as Ryan Torain and Keegan Herring helped lead the Sun Devils to 69.7 ypg on the ground last season. Torain did most of the damage, rushing for 1,229 yards and seven scores, while Herring posted 549 yards and six scores on 5.8 ypc. With both players back, it is probably the best rushing tandem in the Pac-10. Under center, Rudy Carpenter will look to continue he progress for ASU. Last year, the junior threw for 2,523 yards and 23 TDs against 13 interceptions. Carpenter dealt with some injuries, but this season he appears healthy and has a solid group of receivers. Mike Jones looks to be the top target for ASU, as the 6-4 wideout is coming off a season in which he grabbed just 20 balls for 318 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore speedster Kyle Williams and fellow soph Brandon Smith will also play a huge role in the offense this year. The bottom line is that Carpenter has the tools around him, now all he needs is to work Erickson's scheme effectively. DEFENSE: The Sun Devils were atrocious last season on defense and with only six starters back in the fold, it might be more of the same this time around. The biggest problem for the Sun Devils was in the secondary, as the team ranked first against the pass in '06. However, the team should improve this season with its leading tackler back in strong safety Josh Barrett. Jeremy Payton will join Justin Tryon at cornerback, while free safety Troy Nolan returns from a serious injury which caused him to redshirt last season. The front line is also in need of some major help as only starters Dexter Davis and Michael Marquardt return. Saia Falahola will move from offense to defense to give the team some depth, but there are still plenty of questions to be answered. Fortunately, the team has a solid group of linebackers with starters Travis Goethel and Mike Nixon and juco transfer Morris Wooten roaming the middle of the field. SPECIAL TEAMS: The kicking game will go through a transition period this year with four-year kicker Jesse Ainsworth now gone. Thomas Weber has a big leg, but he has consistency issues and will obviously struggle early on. One area ASU does not have to worry is in the return game. The Sun Devils have plenty of speed and talent on the roster but it will most likely be either Rudy Burgess or Kyle Williams returning kicks for ASU this fall. OUTLOOK: Having a coach as seasoned as Erickson will obviously be a plus for ASU, but it will take some time for the team to grasp his offensive scheme. Last season, ASU had a tough road schedule, but this time around the squad will have the luxury of playing eight of its 12 games at Sun Devil Stadium. The toughest part of the schedule will be back-to-back road games in November against Oregon and UCLA. The offense should put forth similar numbers to last year, but if the defense does not improve look for ASU to post no more than seven wins.