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Cameron Marshall is a big-run-waiting-to-happen back and Deantre Lewis will provide a potent 1-2 punch if he’s able recover from a leg injury suffered during a random shooting in February.

The key will be Osweiler.

The 6-foot-8 former Gonzaga basketball recruit lost a tight battle with Threet heading into last season and spent most of the first 10 games watching from the sideline.

Osweiler got his chance when Threet got injured in the penultimate game and played well, helping the Sun Devils rally from 17-0 down to beat UCLA handily then beat rival Arizona in a wild double-overtime finale.

Osweiler is the unquestioned starter this season and, if his attitude is any indication, is ready to carry the load on his own.

“It’s my offense now,” he said. “I need to be the leader of it, and I need to perform on a daily basis.”

Arizona State’s defense has been steady since Erickson arrived, leading the Pac-10 in rushing yards against the past two seasons.

It should be good again. The front line is solid, with Pac-10 defensive freshman of the year Junior Onyeali back and tackle Will Sutton back after being academically ineligible last season.

The backfield is the big question mark, thanks to the knee injury suffered by Omar Bolden, an All-Pac-10 selection last year who briefly considered declaring for the NFL.

But whatever the secondary may be lacking, the linebackers could possibly make up for.

The group, anchored by Vontaze Burfict and Brandon Magee, is among the best in the country, fierce, ferocious and fast.

The key will be Burfict, who at times last season let emotions get the best of him, leading to penalties.

Burfict has already gotten into an altercation with a teammate and the Sun Devils hopes he’ll save his best hits for opponents _ without drawing the flags.

“He’s matured a heck of a lot, he really has,” Erickson said. “I’m really proud of how he matured. I think you have to go out and watch him in practice to see how hard he works and what he does. Does he still have a lot of fire? Oh, yeah. Will he get a penalty or two this season? Probably. You can’t control that, but if he gets them it’s because he’s playing hard.”

Now it’s time for the Sun Devils to live up to the hype.