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College football: Weber State opens Jay Hill era against No. 19 ASU

Wildcats want better start than last season.

First Published Aug 27 2014 12:28 pm • Last Updated Aug 27 2014 11:28 pm

Tempe, Ariz. • Weber State hopes its second game against a Pac-12 opponent goes better than the first.

Last year, the Wildcats visited Utah and were mauled, 70-7. The loss seemed to put them on their heels for the rest of the season.

At a glance

Weber State at Arizona State

At Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.

Kickoff » 8:30 p.m.

TV » Pac-12 Network

Radio » 1430 AM

Records » First game

Series » First meeting

About the Wildcats » They are 4-19 over the last two seasons. … They have lost 27 straight games against FBS opponents, dating to 1993.

About the Sun Devils » They are ranked 19th in the AP preseason poll.

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They finished 2-10 and lacked competitiveness on the road, where they lost seven games by a combined 358-68.

This year, Weber State hopes its opener at Arizona State provides a springboard to better things, even though beating the 19th-ranked Sun Devils would be a monumental task.

Former Utah assistant Jay Hill is the Wildcats’ new head coach, and eight transfers from FBS schools have infused talent into his program. Billy Green, who played at BYU last year, will get the start at quarterback.

"I like the quarterback play I’ve seen," Hill said. "Billy Green has great poise. … I can see why he was heavily recruited coming out of high school."

Arizona State presents plenty of problems, however.

Although only four starters return on defense, the Sun Devils have forced a turnover in 29 straight games. That’s the third-longest streak in the country.

Offensively, ASU averaged 39 points a game last season. Quarterback Taylor Kelly returns for his third year as the starter. As a junior, he threw for 3,635 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Hill liked his players’ preparation for the game until the final few days, when practices got a little sloppy.

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"You’re playing such a good opponent that your margin for error is not too big," Hill said.

"And right now we’re making a few too many mistakes. … We’ve got to clean things up to make a good showing down there."

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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