Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins improved vastly from his first year as a starter to his second in 2017. 2018 was supposed to be a season where he sprang forward, taking ASU with him, but his progression has seemingly lulled this season.

The Sun Devils started this season 2-2, the same as last year. The difference this year is that they have only scored 26.5 points per matchup, buoyed by a 49-point performance in week one against lowly UTSA (1-3). Last season, Arizona State put up nearly 35 points per game through four outings.

A new offensive coordinator could be the reason for the sputtering offense, but Rob Likens is actually Wilkins’ third coordinator in as many years. In fact, during last year’s breakout season, Likens was the quarterbacks coach, so he should bring at least a little familiarity.

So what has the problem been?

Credit @MannyWilkins5 Twitter

Wilkins has not been as accurate down the field. He has missed several open targets behind the defense over the past few games and as a result, the play calling has become more conservative. He is averaging a career-low 7.3 yards per attempt, good for eighth in the Pac-12, ahead of a couple of true freshmen. Against Washington last week, Wilkins averaged under four yards per attempt while going 17/27 — even his completions went for just 6.1 yards per play.

To make matters worse, Wilkins has not been good late in games. Instead of finishing on a high note and rescuing these performances, he hasn’t done a whole lot. His fourth quarter passer rating is the lowest of his college career, as is his completion percentage at just 50 percent. He played well against Michigan State, but has lost two one-possession games in as many weeks.

On the plus side, Wilkins has been almost perfect at taking care of the football with just one interception in four games. Also, his touchdown rate is similar to last season’s, as he has seven now, plus a couple of rushing touchdowns. Wilkins has shown flashes of impressive playmaking, like the end of the San Diego State game where he almost led a wild comeback. The signs are still there for him to make another jump, he just has to be more accurate on the intermediate and deep routes.

Credit @MannyWilkins5 Twitter

From Wilkins’ sophomore season through his junior year, he improved across the board. He threw more often with a slightly better completion percentage, averaging more yards per throw and improving his touchdown to interception ratio dramatically. His quarterback efficiency rating was nearly 10 points higher in his second year at 142.6, which is good, but not great. Now at 140.9, Wilkins has stalled as expectations have started to build.

All of the above being said, Wilkins could still have a big conference schedule and build impressively on last year. A big positive is that the Sun Devils no longer have to worry about the Washington or Michigan State defenses, two of the toughest on their schedule. Oregon State at home this weekend will be a great barometer to see if he is stalling or if he is ready to make some noise in the Pac-12.

Gambling this season? Want to try it just to see what it feels like? Go to MyBookie.ag and use promo code ARMCHAIR25 at checkout. They will match your deposit dollar for dollar. Putting in $100? You’ll now have $200.

For quality up-to-date sports reporting, visit our website, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Author Details
Content Creator at Armchair Arizona State , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I am from Los Angeles and I am a huge Angels, Clippers and Baltimore Ravens fan (liked them long before the Rams came). I loved playing and watching sports growing up and since I don’t consider myself an MLB talent, sports journalism seemed like the way to go. I am a sophomore at Arizona State. In my first year, I covered ASU Baseball and Women’s Basketball for Devils in Detail. I also had a sports talk radio show called Road to Glory on the student radio station Blaze Radio, and I am on that show again along with a couple of podcasts on blazeradioonline.com. I also called a couple of ASU softball games for the station. I work as a cameraman and did color commentary for high school athletics for School Space Media.
×
Content Creator at Armchair Arizona State , The Armchair All-Americans, LLC
I am from Los Angeles and I am a huge Angels, Clippers and Baltimore Ravens fan (liked them long before the Rams came). I loved playing and watching sports growing up and since I don’t consider myself an MLB talent, sports journalism seemed like the way to go. I am a sophomore at Arizona State. In my first year, I covered ASU Baseball and Women’s Basketball for Devils in Detail. I also had a sports talk radio show called Road to Glory on the student radio station Blaze Radio, and I am on that show again along with a couple of podcasts on blazeradioonline.com. I also called a couple of ASU softball games for the station. I work as a cameraman and did color commentary for high school athletics for School Space Media.
Latest Posts

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.