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The Lost Season, Part II: Dealing with an outbreak

Washington v Arizona State
Posted at 7:36 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 21:43:51-05

Our three-part series on the Sun Devil football team's chaotic 2020 season, picks up after a season-opening road trip to Los Angeles.

RELATED: The Lost Season: ASU football's chaotic 2020 campaign

After a gut-wrenching collapse against USC in the Coliseum, it was another month before ASU returned to the field for its next game.

"It was tough, because we had just felt the emotion of playing, right? And we wanted to go again, and then it was like, 'wait, oh', and we got shut down," recalled Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards.

After traveling to LA, a COVID-19 outbreak ripped through the entire program. Three straight games for the Sun Devils -- canceled, canceled, canceled.

"Now you're out a couple weeks, and we weren't even practicing," said offensive coordinator Zak Hill. "Two weeks where there was nobody in the building, there was nobody practicing, and nobody's doing anything."

"You watch coaches get sick, you watch players get sick, everybody was involved, and you just felt the anxiety when it would happen to a teammate or to a coach, you know, like man," said Edwards. "But we never lost our focus. We didn't make any excuses."

What came next was week's full of uncertainty.

"It's stressful, it really is," said senior cornerback Chase Lucas. "There's points where you're waiting for your test results to come back to make sure that you can play the next game. It was something that I don't think anybody was ready for, and I don't think anybody could prepare themselves for that."

"I can get COVID for two weeks, but you're still not technically clear because you got to go through all the tests and make sure nothing bad happens to your heart, so that is definitely stressful," said freshman running back Chip Trayanum.

28 days later, the Sun Devils finally found their way back onto the field for a game, but then came another hard-to-swallow loss, this time against UCLA.

"We got back into that UCLA week where we had a few practices that weekend, just try to get the get the rust off a little bit, but then nobody's in shape," said Hill.

"Some days of practice, I found myself taking reps at like fullback and tight end just because we were down. It was so weird," said Trayanum. "Once we got past that COVID stretch, we were able to play a couple more games. It was crucial to win just to show that, guys we're still in it for the right reasons. I knew once we got that first one down, then they will slowly start following. To come out how we did against Arizona after that week was very, very important."

Sitting at 0-2 the Sun Devils were left grappling with a lost season, but then came a historic performance in Tucson.

Catch our series finale Wednesday night.