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ASU TE Jalin Conyers healthy and ready to play against former coaching staff

Perhaps Arizona State’s best offensive weapon, junior tight end Jalin Conyers, is back and ready to face off against his former coaching staff on Saturday.

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Conyers, who has six receptions for 68 yards on the season, missed ASU’s game against Fresno State last Saturday with an undisclosed injury.

The Sun Devils ended up suffering their first home shutout loss since 1988 to the Bulldogs, as they fell 29-0. 

“It sucked,” Conyers said of having to watch the game from the sidelines.

After ASU entered the game with not only Conyers injured, but several other key players, the Sun Devils also endured plenty of injuries throughout the game.

“When everyone was getting hurt, I asked the doctor if I could suit up at halftime, and he told me no,” Conyers said.

The injuries led to ASU resorting to their fourth-string quarterback, Jacob Conover, and having to let the clock run out at the end of the game because of how many injuries occurred on the offensive line. With all this going on, the Sun Devils also turned the ball over eight times.

“We kind of just took it with a grain of salt,” Conyers said. “It sucked to not be able to help my team as much as I could, but that’s why I’m rehabbed my butt off to get back this week, because we have a big game, and I didn’t want to miss this one.”

Looking ahead to USC

The 1-2 Sun Devils face their biggest test so far against No. 5 USC on Saturday. Conyers is embracing the challenge even with a depleted roster.

“It makes it more fun,” Conyers said. “We get to go play USC on Saturday with a team that’s pretty banged up. How fun would it be to go say like, ‘Oh, this was team that was beat up, that was hurting, and we went and beat one of the top five teams in the country.’ So, that’s our mindset.”

This game means even more to Conyers. USC coach Lincoln Riley and his staff recruited Conyers out of high school, and Conyers played his first year of college football under Riley at Oklahoma.

“It’s definitely exciting for all of us,” Conyers said. “For me personally, I’m going against my old staff that got me into college football in the first place. It definitely means a lot to me to go into this game and have a good game.”

Improving offensively

The Sun Devils have one of the worst offensive rankings in the entire country. However, their defense is top-40 in a lot of meaningful categories. 

Conyers spoke on the stark contrast between the two sides of the ball.

“I think it just gets everybody going knowing that the defense is right there, so the offense is like ‘Alright, we want to get up there too,'” Conyers said. “And it’s like, at this point (offensively), what can we lose? We might as well go out there and do what we can as an offense.

“This week we have a bunch of guys back and trying to get healthy, so I think it’s gonna be good. I think we’re gonna go out there and put up a really good offensive performance. Honestly we have to, we don’t really have a choice.”

All in all, Conyers is ready for ASU to turn it around against USC.

“It’s our first conference game, you’re playing the No. 5 team in the country, they’re coming to your house,” Conyers said. “I think it’s just one of those times that gives us a like ‘Why not? Why not go shock the world?’”

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Brendan Mau is a Phoenix Suns insider and college sports reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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