One thing’s certain: after losing more than a dozen players to the transfer portal and seeing half the coaching staff turn over, Arizona State is going to look like a different team in 2022.

Which direction the program slides will likely determine the fate of coach Herm Edwards, who enters the season firmly on the hot seat even after an 8-5 record in 2021. The Sun Devils need to replace key roles all over the field. Can the group be better or will it take a step back? Offensive lineman Ben Scott feels good about where the Sun Devils sit.

“I feel like we’re more underdogs this year,” he told reporters Monday, via Sun Devil Source. “But at the same time I feel like our team is better than it has ever been. We lost a lot of egos on our team that we didn’t need. And this year I feel like we’re much closer, we’ve bonded much better.”

ASU lost a number of key contributors from last year’s group. Among them were quarterback Jayden Daniels, a three-year starter who left for LSU; defensive tackle Jermayne Lole, who totaled 20 sacks over three seasons but missed all of 2021; and Eric Gentry, a Freshman All-American linebacker last season. The list goes on, but you get the point.

Arizona State certainly seems to be taking an “all we’ve got is all we need” approach to the new year.

Most of the preseason narrative will be woven around the losses, but remember the Sun Devils also added double-digit scholarship players from the transfer portal. Emory Jones at quarterback and Nesta Jade Silvera at defensive tackle figure to be key pieces of the 2022 team.

And Scott’s comment about losing egos sounds awfully familiar to a comment made by another ASU offensive lineman earlier this summer.

“If you’re a big media guy or you’re really into following all that stuff, the consistent word that you see or hear is ‘lost, lost, lost, lost,’” LaDarius Henderson, who will represent the team this week at Pac-12 Media Day, said last month. “And you hardly ever really hear ‘gained, gained, gained.’ It’s almost as if we’ve just lost a bunch of players and haven’t gotten any, and if that’s the case, we don’t have enough people to play a game at all. I’ve focused a lot on the people that want to be here, the people that are here now, and the people that we’ve gained.

“To be quite honest, every loss isn’t a bad loss. I’m not saying every gain is a great gain but we sure do have some good ones when I look around this locker room. Some really good gains. That makes me optimistic for this team. That makes my teammates optimistic for this. When we’re optimistic and believe in each other, I feel like that’s a dangerous team.”

We shall see. ASU begins its season on Thursday, Sept. 1, against Northern Arizona at home.