TEMPE, Ariz. — Herm Edwards had a larger-than-life TV personality with ESPN, shouting out opinions multiple times a day. While coaching the NFL’s New York Jets, he had the “You play to win the game!” rant that people still bring up today.

Through two games at Arizona State, Edwards has been mostly subdued, taking a businesslike approach to his first stint as a college coach. Oh, he’s still loquacious, still exudes passion, but there’s a confident calm to him that has helped Arizona State to a surprising 2-0 start.

“You have to stay humble and hungry,” Edwards said after the Sun Devils knocked off No. 15 Michigan State on Saturday night.

Edwards’ hire was met with criticism after he spent eight years in a television studio and had not worked the sidelines as a coach since the Kansas City Chiefs fired him in 2008.

More eyebrows were raised when the Sun Devils announced the football program would operate under a professional model with Edwards at the helm. Arizona State wasn’t given much of a shot to succeed in his first season, picked to finish last in the Pac-12 South.

After two games, the Sun Devils look like they could contend for the division title, not occupy the bottom rung.

Arizona State routed UTSA 49-7 in its opener, a not-exactly-surprising outcome against a smaller-conference school. The big test was supposed to be Saturday against Michigan State, but the Sun Devils never backed down from the challenge, keeping it close behind their defense before the offense found its groove in the second half.

Arizona State scored the final 13 points and shortened the game with a clock-management masterpiece in the final few minutes, winning 16-13 on Brandon Ruiz’s 27-yard field goal as time expired.

With the victory, Arizona State moved into the AP Top 25 at No. 23, its first ranking since reaching No. 15 in 2015.

“We’re nowhere near my expectations, but it’s fun when you win,” Edwards said. “It’s another brick on the pile. We’re trying to build something here.”

AP POLL: Alabama held on to the No. 1 spot in the Associated Press poll, making its 106th appearance at the top of the rankings to pass Ohio State for the most by any school.

Alabama received a season-high 54 first-place votes from the media panel, strengthening its hold on No. 1. Second-ranked Clemson, which started the season with 18 first-place votes, is down to six after hanging on for 28-26 victory at Texas A&M on Saturday night.

No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Ohio State held their spots, and Oklahoma moved to No. 5, edging past No. 6 Wisconsin. The Badgers received one first-place vote.

Two Southeastern Conference teams, South Carolina and Florida, dropped out of the poll after losing to conference opponents.

South Carolina, which entered the poll last week at No. 24, is unranked again after a 41-17 defeat against Georgia.

Florida, which was ranked 25th, is also out of the Top 25 after a one-week stay, losing to Kentucky to snap a 31-game winning streak against the Wildcats.

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